Because the wishes, expectations and limitations of wealthy families differ, every single-family office is unique. Nonetheless, three core drivers enable single-family offices to facilitate optimal financial worlds for wealthy families. Moreover, these drivers are fundamental to all types of family offices including multi-family offices and virtual family offices.

“One of the most powerful and consequential drivers of value in the private wealth industry—and in all business, for that matter—is the human element," said Peter Sasaki, managing member of SDS Family Office and co-author of "Maximizing Your Single-Family Office: Leveraging The Power of Outsourcing and Stress Testing." "It is essential when you realize that to achieve your optimal financial world, your solutions must be spot on. The only way that is consistently possible is when the senior executives at your single-family office truly, deeply understand you and are able to communicate with you in a way that truly resonates.”

“Enabling your optimal financial world and addressing a diverse set of lifestyle concerns and desires requires a number of strongly motivated experts working seamlessly together on your behalf," said Cliff Oberlin, chairman and CEO Oberlin Wealth Partners. “Some of these motivated experts will probably be in house—employed by the single-family office—while some will be outsourced. Put them all together, add in hefty doses of leadership, and you have your cohesive team.”

So often professionals—even extremely technically capable professionals—deal with their clients in a haphazard and disjointed manner. This is anathema to the very concept of a single-family office. Instead of addressing each of your financial challenges or any unique challenges on a changeable and uneven basis, there are proven methodologies to ensure that you get ideal, integrated results. A high-performing single-family office intricately coordinates all solutions while extracting synergies to produce superior outcomes.

Your single-family office can optimize not only your financial world, but also many other aspects of your life and the lives of those you care about. By proficiently leveraging the three drivers of exceptionalism—the human element, a cohesive team and systematic processes—your single-family office is ever-more likely to achieve excellence.

Unfortunately, the reality is that only a percentage of single-family offices understand the power and applications of the drivers. They therefore are somewhat restricted in what they can accomplish for you, your loved ones and the causes that matter most to you. Too often, some single-family offices focus on deliverables such as investment management and along the way lose sight of the family. What is usually critical is making certain you, your loved ones and the causes that matter are always at center stage.

Russ Alan Prince, president of R.A. Prince & Associates, is a consultant to family offices, the ultra-wealthy and select professionals.