Team up with us Family engagement: our offering

Family engagement: our offering

Engaging as a family in the effort to create a better world can be an extremely satisfying experience. We help families make a positive impact by supporting them in developing their vision and investment strategy, and implementing it in the most effective way.

Addressing family values – the appeal of family engagement for good

Families all over the world are increasingly interested in using their wealth to make a positive impact on society and the environment. Done right, this can be a very rewarding process. It can bring family members together around a single vision, strengthen family ties, and help the next generation learn about and live the family's core values.

But while the urge to do good is extremely laudable, many are surprised to find out how complex it can be. As Aristotle said over 2,000 years ago, "Giving away money is an easy matter... but to decide when and how much to give to whom and for what purpose is not." It pays to be aware of what is involved before embarking.

Asking the right questions – what to consider in family engagement

When considering engagement, a family needs to answer a number of essential questions. In our experience, the most frequently asked questions are:

  • What do you want to achieve, and how?
  • Do you want to make direct donations through a philanthropic foundation, or effect change through sustainable investment techniques?
  • What resources are you able to devote to the project – not just financial, but also in terms of time commitment and level of engagement?

Families must also evaluate and choose among the myriad approaches and vehicles available to them today. Luckily, both philanthropy and sustainable investment are well-established industries, so there is a wealth of information available.

While a successful engagement program can unite families, deciding on the right course can also be a source of friction. It can raise questions about a family's core values, or lead to disagreements about the requirements and priorities for its wealth.

Many families therefore find the services of an outside, neutral expert extremely useful in helping them successfully navigate these difficulties. While not necessarily easy, the journey is almost always worth it.

Read our white paper, The Family Office Dynamic: Pathway to Successful Family and Wealth Management, written in partnership with Ernst & Young and the Center for Family Business at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.

All along the journey – how Credit Suisse supports family engagement

At Credit Suisse we offer a full range of services to families who are considering philanthropy or sustainable investing, or who want to enhance or professionalize their existing efforts. Throughout the process, we can help.