The Single Family Office

Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg School of Management


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In order to keep the company that you are managing or your own business competitive, you need to have a clear plan of action, in other words, you must...


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Who should attend

Senior executive leaders of single family offices. Typically, these executives are non-family members. These executives will lead multi-disciplinary family office teams that serve the needs of sophisticated multi-generational family offices.

About the course

How can you align the goals of the family office with the goals of its clients and stakeholders? How can your office develop and promote your client’s trust in the family office? What is the best approach to challenging conversations with family stakeholders around wealth management, governance and education?

Challenging, often subtle family dynamics, sensitive communications and interlinked governance structures all contribute to the complexity of family offices. This program focuses squarely on the management, planning and governance skills family-office leaders must master and manage.

Guided by a renowned faculty of experts and advisors in family organizations, teamwork and communication, you will learn to navigate complex family office dynamics to more fully align stakeholders. You will develop skills to plan strategy, promote trust and communication, and address challenging issues around governance and continuity. All of these skills will help to promote family harmony and maximize family office performance.

Key Benefits

  • Understand and address family dynamics that affect and impede family office functions and processes
  • Gain skills to promote trust-building positive interactions among family office stakeholders
  • Learn practical insights about family, family business and family office governance
  • Develop strategic planning skills related to continuity, succession, outsourcing and other areas
  • Share insights with other family office leaders, while learning from their experience

Program Content

Effective Teamwork: Collaboration and Leadership in Flat Organizations

Family offices require teamwork across a group of professionals as well as outsourced service providers. Family clients may also be pulled into teams for projects. This program will address the unique challenges that arise in a non-hierarchical organization and opportunities to leverage the professional team to achieve high impact outcomes.

Earning Trust

Building trust with family clients is key to success for any family office. Trust is developed at both the institutional, office level as well as the interpersonal level. You will explore key factors crucial for achieving trust amongst clients and staff.

Brave Voices: How Leaders Build Cultures of Courageous Conversations

For our relationships, teams, and communities to thrive, we need everyone’s voice in the conversation. In the family office context, the ability to address challenging topics with clients, team members and other stakeholders is crucial to a productive culture and trust. You will 1) gain insights on how to build confidence and courage to speak bravely and say what needs to be said, and 2) learn practical steps for leaders to “encourage courage” in others, building cultures of brave voices to maximize organizational performance.

Information for Decision Making

Family office executives are faced with high-stakes decisions and demands across a variety of topics, heightening the demand for relevant data and timely reporting and analysis to drive critical decisions. Transforming data and information into business intelligence is both an art and a science. In this program you will explore leading practices on data aggregation, reporting and analysis and the different tools available to enable data-informed decision-making and increase the effectiveness of your teams.

Continuity Planning

Case studies of successful multi-generational family enterprises have moved beyond periodic succession planning to focus on continuity of the business, ownership, family and family office. Family office leaders face the daunting task of ensuring continuity of the office team as well as continuity of service across generations of the family. We will provide a coordinated model of planning across office strategy and staffing.


Michelle Buck

Michelle Buck is Clinical Professor of Leadership at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She previously served as the School's first Director of Leadership Initiatives from 2006 to 2013, designing and coordinating opportunities for personal leadership development to comp...

Leigh Thompson

Leigh Thompson is the J. Jay Gerber Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. An acclaimed researcher, author, and speaker, Thompson’s research focuses on negotiation, creativity, and teamwork. Thompson’s books...

Adam Waytz

Adam Waytz is the Morris and Alice Kaplan Chair in Ethics and Decision Mangement and professor of Management and Organizations. His research uses methods from social psychology and cognitive neuroscience to study the causes and consequences of perceiving mental states in other agents and to inves...

Jennifer Pendergast

Jennifer M. Pendergast Ph.D is the inaugural John L. Ward Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and Faculty Director, John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. In this capacity, Jennifer guides the market leading executive education and...

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The Single Family Office at Kellogg School of Management

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Strategy

Strategy courses contain a large amount of practice. You will be able to analyze the company's performance and make a strategic development plan. All practices are based on real cases that each of you may encounter. The courses will also introduce yo...

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