When you break your leg, you want the best surgeon or orthopaedic surgeon to take care of you. It should be the same when it comes to family assets. Today, experienced professional management is increasingly used, not least because the family successors of entrepreneurs who have managed to build significant wealth over the last 30 years now face the difficult task of ensuring that their assets are managed so that their value does not fall, and the revenues continue to provide for the family.

A family office generally operates on the basis of simple and common legal and tax solutions that, tailored to the specific family, put together a robust and secure, yet flexible, system of rules and relationships for managing assets and businesses. A multi-family office works similarly, but for multiple families at the same time.

A family office includes a structure for holding, managing, and protecting assets that enable it to increase the value of investments, develop family assets, and also provide for the distribution of revenues to family members or for philanthropic and charitable activities. It is a professional team of experts who, in cooperation with the family, ensure the allocation of part of the assets, control investments, and consistently manage the associated risks.

"When a person takes care of his/her health, he/she sees doctors and specialists in the respective field. They will perform a detailed screening, identify ailments and tell you how to combat them and how to take care of yourself so that you can enjoy a long, high-quality life with your loved ones. Within the family office, we do the same with family assets," explained David Neveselý, a partner at HAVEL & PARTNERS.

Sharing for success

Compared to a traditional family office structure, a multi-family office offers the same top professional services. Additionally, sharing them among multiple families allows for greater diversification of the costs of asset management and part of the investment strategy. This is ultimately efficient for all the families involved, as such a multi-family office serves clients with similar financial goals or values.

Compared to a single client, a multi-family office is also better positioned with foreign asset managers or banks with which it negotiates investment cooperation. Clients thus have better access to investment opportunities with the possibility of interesting revenues that often do not even reach the public.

HAVEL & PARTNERS now offers this solution to its clients. The new multi-family office will provide clients with professional services and representation in Prague, Brno and Bratislava and, thanks to our cooperation with foreign specialists, will also connect them with global destinations such as New York, London, Dubai, Frankfurt or Zurich.

"It will be a combination of investment professionals with extensive experience, the team will be complemented by our elite legal and tax specialists and other experts from Czech and Slovak investment funds and companies," said David Neveselý.

From generation to generation

Even in the Czech Republic, entrepreneurs can rely on the advantages of an asset management structure based on the experience of the world's richest families. Since 2014, the Civil Code has offered options that were until then the exclusive domain of the Western world.

These are institutes of inheritance law and also endowment funds and trusts. Thanks to their subsequent incorporation into the tax system, they quickly gained considerable popularity. An effective set-up helps protect assets in the future from the effects of family events, unexpected tragedies or failed family relationships that could cause the family wealth to fragment. The aim is not only to manage financial assets, but also to invest in real estate and other assets or to ensure the efficient transfer of family wealth from one generation to the next.

Extra services

Many people entrust the management of family wealth to advisers lacking their own experience of building and maintaining such a large amount of wealth, but experience plays a key role – just as in medicine. "We have many years of experience in private client services and have the largest team on the market. We have implemented hundreds of family holdings and holding structures in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as dozens of private endowment funds and trust solutions. Our added value is that we are successful in business ourselves. We have managed to build the most successful Czech-Slovak law firm. We can thus offer our managerial and investor know-how to our clients alongside our top legal expertise," said Jaroslav Havel, the firm’s managing partner.

HAVEL & PARTNERS' private client services go beyond legal and tax advisory. Experts in the family office can also take care of unpopular activities such as paying bills, communicating with authorities and banks, dealing with insurance or real estate management issues, etc.

Private family matters are also handled for clients by a dedicated inheritance and family law team. It offers comprehensive services in the field of marriage or divorce or complex inheritance disputes.

The firm provides excellent service even when dealing with serious problems or crisis situations that threaten the client's reputation, security or economic stability. "This is a completely unique service with high added value that averts fatal damage and the often devastating negative impacts on a person or company. No other law firm or consultancy company offers it to this extent," added David Neveselý.

This article was first published in Forbes magazine Czech Republic. The text was abridged for H&P Magazine.