In recent years, family offices have changed significantly: From small family advisory firms to institutionalised companies employing highly qualified professionals. This change has implications for the structure and transparency of remuneration: In traditional family offices, salary levels are often decided on the basis of emotional and personal criteria. Sound benchmarking plays only a secondary role in the determination. Professionals, however, expect clear remuneration structures, as transparent benchmarks dominate in market-based service sectors.

Data on compensation in family offices

We wanted to know what the remuneration structures look like specifically in family offices worldwide and therefore conducted a survey in cooperation with the Agreus Group. We also looked at and evaluated the different demographic structures of employees and the composition of staff in family offices. A total of 625 employees in family offices worldwide were surveyed: Assistants, CEOs, chairpersons and 25 family office managers. The data was compared with primary data collected by Agreus Group over a 13-year period, which includes insights from 1,500 family offices. This report is one of the largest data sets on family office compensation in the world.

Key highlights from the report


Global family office compensation graphic

In Europe, family offices still have a rather short history compared to other parts of the world: although Europe is home to some of the oldest and most renowned family offices - especially in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Spain - the majority were only founded after the turn of the millennium, many even after 2010.

Demographic characteristics vary widely around the world

29 percent of the family offices surveyed come from Europe, the highest figure after North and South America. In the UK in particular, the gender distribution of CEOs stands out: 37 percent of respondents said they were female. This is the highest proportion of female executives in comparison. Europe is above average with 23 per cent female executives overall. The situation is different in the USA with only 13 percent of female executives, and in Asia all CEOs surveyed are male. 

The age structure is striking there: the majority of Asian employees stated that they are between 35 and 39 years old. In most of the regions surveyed, employees are on average 45 years old or older, including in Europe, where the age range of 45 to 49 years is most frequently represented.

Governance structures are secondary for many

For half of all respondents, the topic of governance seems to be of little importance, although it is gaining in importance overall. For example, 52 percent of the family offices surveyed do not have a board of directors, 40 percent do not have an investment committee, 42 percent do not have a formalised governance structure, and 48 percent do not have a succession plan in place.

Employees increasingly looking for change and career advancement

One third of respondents said they were considering a change in their role - a significant increase over previous years. The reasons for this trend are manifold: they range from professional development (42 percent), better remuneration (16 percent), avoiding conflict situations in the work environment (6 percent) to the desire to make a greater value contribution to the company (22 percent) or to take on positions with more responsibility in liquidity management (2 percent). The desire to change careers is definitely a concern for family offices at a time when there are already more vacancies than professionals looking for work.

Click map below for key insights