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Father and son working together in a family office

Private Banking for Family Offices

October 20, 2020

Running a family business isn’t easy. There’s the extra complication of working with your family, the expectations of your parents based on the way they ran the business, and the long-term planning to pass the business on to the next generation. Combining the financial planning of a family and a business is always going to be complicated.

Besides all that, you need to find a bank that works for you. You need a bank that understands the needs of your family and the needs of your business, as well as the way those needs interact. Here’s what to look for.

Enhancing Liquidity

Every family office is unique, from the smallest first-generation family office to well-established, multi-generational businesses. Most family businesses start small, however, and for small businesses, liquidity is crucial.

First, you’ll have immediate cash needs as you’re ramping up the scale of your business, acquiring new equipment, hiring new people, and even moving into bigger office spaces. You’ll need to be able to pay those bills right away as they come up, rather than waiting for new business to ramp up with them.

You’ll also need to stay on top of your loans. One missed payment is enough for some lenders to mark your loan as defaulted, and you’re likely to need loans if you’re a smaller or newer business, so it’s crucial that you keep the cash on hand to make those payments.

Finally, cash is your buffer against unpleasant surprises. You never know what kind of unplanned expenses might come up and how much they’ll disrupt your business, so you’ll need to be prepared for any eventuality.

A good private bank will take all these needs into account. With the experience that comes from working with other businesses like yours, we can anticipate the kinds of loans, expenses, and other needs you’re likely to encounter so that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.

Personalized Needs

Many big banks tend to lump their clients together based on broad categories like size, income level, assets, and location. It’s an efficient strategy and it allows them to crank out financial plans and bank accounts faster, but it’s missing the personal touch that a family office needs.

Your organization is unique. The needs and setbacks of your business are unique. You have your own very personal list when it comes to the things you’re good at, the things you need more help with, the obstacles you’re facing, the values that drive your business plan, and so on.

You need a bank that will take every aspect of your business, your priorities, and your long-term vision for your family into an account. First Western Trust Bank can provide that. We don’t create cookie-cutter financial plans — every single client and account that we service gets a unique, holistic plan built from the ground up.

Long Term Planning

With a family business, the priorities are different from that of any other startup. Some businesses hope to find a profitable exit within five years, bought by a national chain or tech giant, but not you. You want your business to last for decades until you’re ready to hand the reins to your children and their children.

That approach requires a different kind of planning than your typical business. It requires looking at your investments and risks through an entirely different lens and monitoring long-term values more than short-term trends. Perhaps most importantly, it requires estate and succession planning so you can decide what you want your legacy to be after you’re gone.

Talk to First Western Trust Bank

For all your family office’s banking needs, First Western Trust Bank is the solution. We have experience with businesses of all sizes, and we can take a holistic, personalized approach to your unique set of circumstances and priorities. If you’re ready to start taking private banking seriously, schedule an appointment with an expert.

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