Deeply Rooted in Family Offices
At Xylogenesis, we bring a unique insider’s perspective from decades of experience living and working inside of multiple embedded, single-family, and multi-family offices. Utilizing our experience from other family offices, we provide an outsider’s perspective to your organization in an objective, independent, candid, and trust-building manner.
Whether you are a family member, family office staff, or a trusted advisor to a family or family office, you can feel confident about partnering with Xylogenesis. We will provide the most independent, candid, and actionable recommendations and planning to help you achieve multi-generational family harmony, operational excellence, and financial prosperity.
Single Family & Multi-Family Offices
Family offices that: wish to modernize, or are in transition of some type; have outgrown themselves due to new mandates, mission creep or size, diversity and complexity of family members and the required services; are moving from family-led to non-family led or from founder-led to next generation family led, or are underperforming and need alignment or restructuring; want to merge or combine with another family office; want to wind down and distribute.
Embedded Family Offices
Families with operating businesses that have employees providing embedded or personal family services who recognize this structure creates a liabilty, and is either not sustainable or creates a business performance challenge due to distraction, overstretched or unqualified internal staff, and lack of privacy and confidentiality, and want to optimize the impacted business’ performance.
Wealth Accumulation: Pre- and Post-Liquidity Scenarios
Families who have accumulated wealth (i.e., business, employment, investment, inheritance, lottery, etc.) and/or either had a liquidity event (and need some sort of organizational design and structure) OR have a pending liquidity event (and are being proactive to plan ahead) to support and manage their new reality, complexity of life, wealth, and legacy.
Trusted advisors who serve these complex and sophisticated families yet do not have this specialized knowledge and family office operating experience.
We have a unique combination of “firsthand” family office experience to develop and implement strategic plans that can be operationalized. Our team has experience through multiple lenses: growing up in a family office, leading, managing and advising others’ family offices (of all types), serving as both inside and outside general counsel to family offices, and owning and operating portfolio companies of family offices.
Independent, Unbiased, Objective
Xylogenesis is truly an independent resource and offers no other services to family offices and does not accept or receive payment for the referral or recommendation of other trusted advisors or service providers. We sit on the same side of the table as the family at all times allowing us to ask the critical questions that the family either does not know to ask or prefers us to ask. Our approach and philosophy allow us to be completely client-loyal and focused on the needs of our clients 24/7.
Candid & Direct
Due to our personal and professional family office backgrounds, we appreciate how challenging it can be to have difficult conversations with family members, family office principals and their leadership teams. Family dynamics and long-term, loyal employees often experience difficulty in saying “no,” and confronting sensitive topics and legacy matters. At times, broaching difficult topics can be considered taboo, perceived as breach of loyalty, or, even worse, insubordination or loss of trust which could lead to disenfranchisement of a family member or result in an employee’s or professional advisor’s termination. Due to our outside perspective, we also have the ability to see and say things that others within the organization lack experience, comfort or confidence in doing or have become desensitized. Our candid and direct perspective and knowledge of best practices from other family offices can add fresh energy and help to create higher performing organizations.
We provide strategies to navigate the complexities of multigenerational relationships, family and non-family working arrangements, and the interplay between the family – family office – operating businesses, philanthropy, and other endeavors. Integral in our work is also establishing trust and coordination with the family’s external trusted advisors to leverage their expertise in a collaborative, efficient manner.
We are the “Swiss Army Knife,” providing family offices with a versatile range of services and resources that empower family offices to achieve durable family harmony, financial prosperity, and operational excellence.
“Rich’s comments to the family office documents were the most thoughtful and meaningful comments blending technical concepts with family values. Never seen this magic before. We asked the family client if we could use his work as a template for other family office clients.”
3 Core Xylogenesis Benefits for Your Ever-Evolving Family Office
Clear Perspective & Insight
Our baseline assessment tool will create stakeholder alignment and clarity on the satisfaction of your family office, will identify and prioritize which items to address and in which order, and will develop a smart monitoring tool to measure ongoing performance. This roadmap will help with organizational alignment, performance standards, and overall organization satisfaction. Our annual sustainment reviews and audits, thereafter, can help reinforce and ensure that your family office remains on track in a healthy, sustainable, and resilient manner.
Organizational Design & Operational Integration
Once the baseline is established and a pathway chartered, the organization design can be confirmed, slightly modified, or totally reimagined. This will then lead to operationalize the functions and family office team (internal and external) to define and achieve goals that are actionable with assigned accountability and comprehensive integration.
Peace of Mind
We provide an unfiltered, non-conflicted, and objective assessment of your family office, and create and implement strategies for the present and future. Your family and family office is too important to ever wonder if you are being provided with advice you “want” to hear, instead of the candid advice you “need” to hear.
Meet Rich Wolkowitz
Founder, Xylogenesis Family Office Advisory
Rich is Founder of Xylogenesis | Family Office Advisory and serves as a family advisor with 25+ years of first-hand, inner working experience of multiple family offices (of all types). Rich’s background is in law, business, independent board of director service, management, operations, financial services, and professional service firm leadership with a focus on serving multigenerational families and their full business and life continuum of needs. Rich began his legal career in The White House, and then joined an AM 100 law firm where he was an Equity Partner, Chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee, and practiced international and domestic M&A and business transactions, serving as outside general counsel and consigliere to public, PE/VC-backed, and family enterprises.
Rich then joined his own family’s third-generation enterprise before managing two different single-family offices as non-family leader. Prior to founding Xylogenesis | Family Office Advisory, Rich managed a global family business consulting firm. He now consults for family offices, whether existing or in concept, supporting the family and their family office staff, and team of multidisciplinary trusted advisors. Rich graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M, International Transactions and Comparative Law with distinction), Gonzaga University School of Law (JD, cum laude and Editor of The Law Review), and University of Illinois – Champaign-Urbana (BS, Agriculture Economics with honors) and resides in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.
The Xylogenesis Name
Xylogenesis is a metaphor for multigenerational families. Look inside a tree and you’ll discover the beautiful Xylogenesis effect. The tree rings record a rich history of the tree’s growth, health, sickness, and even trauma, a reflection of both natural, organic growth and external factors, such as weather and environmental conditions, disease, insects, lightning, and more. A family and their enterprise evolve organically too and is also impacted by external factors such as birth, death, divorce, business cycles, and industry changes that can strengthen and weaken the family system.
Like tree rings, the family core begins very close and has even concentric circles. But over time the tree rings grow uneven, develop individual characteristics, and spread further apart. Families need not chase the perfect concentric tree ring circles as that may not be realistic or attainable; setting that as your goal may lead to frustration, disappointment and unhappiness. Instead, healthy families embrace their uniqueness and imperfections to learn from and to grow and create a healthier family future. A correctly designed and evolving family office structure will protect and enhance a family’s personal and financial system.