November 3, 2010
Some family offices whose operations are dedicated to a single family and which do not hold themselves out to the public as an investment advisor are structured in a way that the firm is not wholly-owned by family members, but its ownership may include minority interests held by key employees or trustees of trusts for the benefit of family members. In addition, even when wholly-owned by family members, the Board of Directors controlling the firm may consist only of key employees. There does not appear to be any good reason to disqualify such firms from the exemption just because of the participation of such key employees in the ownership or control of the firm. Also, occasionally, when key employees invest with the family, their investments are put in the name of family trusts for the benefit of the key employee and members of the key employee's family - there does not appear to be any good reason to disqualify the firm from the exemption simply because a key employee wishes to structure his/her investment in this manner. In each case, the spirit of the exemption is complied with.