Family Offices in the Abu Dhabi Global Market - UAE - 10 Leaves

  • 08-04-2019



The core activities of a family office arrangement involve the centralized management of wealth derived from one family, in an environment where family influence affects decision-making. Each family will add services to this core activity, in line with its requirements and ability/ willingness to meet the costs associated with each activity. Such structures usually have a broad range of business interests, with asset management and philanthropy adding to the complexity. One of the most important considerations for families is preserving wealth for the future while serving the income needs of the current generation. 

The ADGM approach:

The ADGM has followed the United Kingdom in its approach to family offices. There is no single structure, or regulation, that encompasses a family office. Rather, the term refers more to a concept encapsulating a variety if structures established to manage family wealth, and hence a bespoke solution is required in each case.  

Accordingly, ADGM offers a tailored approach to family offices. While the structures available remain the same (with an added advantage of discretion), emphasis is laid on usage of the ADGM eco-system in order to complete the various requirements of the family office. There is no asset-based entry-level criteria, however, the common ancestry is obviously a pre-requisite.  

The Restricted Scope Company (RSc):

The RSc is a unique private structure that can be the vehicle of choice for family offices. It’s salient features: 

  • • It does not require to maintain a physical office in Al Maryah Island. Instead, this can be a correspondence address of a professional service provider.  
  • Protection from normal inspection of company records and from the requirement of maintaining public records. 
  • • Directors are required to prepare accounts but not normally required to file such accounts and reports with the ADGM Registration Authority, nor are such accounts and records subject to public disclosure 
  • Exempt from audit requirements  

The ADGM Eco-system:

Available resources: 

Investment Management – Specialist advisors | Fund Managers | Private Equity  

Management Resources – Governance provisions | Family Charter | Letter of Wishes | Trusts | Foundations | Protectors/Enforcers 

Special Purpose Vehicles – Passive holding companies | Securitisations | Commercial property | Private Jets/Yachts 

Operational Companies – Local UAE Company | International Company | Joint Ventures  

Family Administration Office – Employees | Advisors | Lawyers & Accountants | Management/Administration  


The costs for the structure would depend on the components. Here is an indication of the ADGM fees: 

Private Limited Company (operational ) – US$ 12,000* per annum 

Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) & Investment companies  – US$ 1,700* Year 1 / US$ 1,200* per annum 

*Service fees extra


We support families with: 

• The creation of effective family office structures, devising business plans and investment strategies. 
• Design of appropriate remuneration packages and strategies to attract and retain the best people as key employees. 
• Developing governance structures from a corporate and family perspective. 
• Succession planning. 
• Strategic business advice including acquisitions, re-organisation and exits from investments and businesses. 
• Real estate acquisitions and disposals and ongoing asset management. 
• Developing philanthropic strategy and designing a structure that meets the family’s requirements. 
For more details about ADGM Services, Please Contact Us

Here is another interesting article on family offices in general:
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