Family offices are about more than money. They help families maintain a sense of their identity and their values across generations. The best family offices serve as gathering places, where family members who rarely see each other—and may not agree on much—come together to affirm their shared bonds.
A family office needs instruments that grow both the family’s wealth and its sense of identity. Biograph’s storytelling technologies help create community and connection within families. With Biograph, you can proactively create records for future generations—and retroactively reflect on important moments in the family’s history.
Biograph integrates seamlessly with existing legacy projects. Let’s say you hired a writer to create a biography of the family patriarch. Instead of having to painstakingly schedule interviews with 30+ people, scattered across time zones and generations, Biograph allows them to contribute to the book on their schedule and at their convenience.
Every biograph is private by default, so you don’t have to worry about prying ears. Instead, you can use the app as a private space to share stories, collect memories, and articulate values.
And Biograph is here if you seek professional expertise in telling and preserving your story. We take pride in our work: check out a sample.
Family offices face a challenging, changing world. Biograph helps bring families together, so they can grow their wealth and their sense of identity—and prepare to thrive together.
Meet the Lockhards
Patrick Lockhard made a fortune trading options in the 1970s and 1980s. He founded his family office in the 1990s to help manage the family’s wealth. Over the years, the Lockhard Family Office became one of the main venues for the family to gather, discuss, and reflect. After meetings of the finance committee, his sons, Jonathan and Richard would often head out for a beer at the Billy Goat Tavern and reflect on their old man’s accomplishments; after the philanthropy committee wrapped up its business, his granddaughter Felicia would call up her cousins for impromptu dinners in the West Loop.
As the family moved around the U.S. and the globe, managing their wealth became more complicated and difficult. The Lockhards had different visions for the family’s future, in part because they had different visions of the family’s past. Family Office manager Louis Forrester used the Biograph app to help the family find its way again. Uploading pictures from key moments in the family’s history, he invited family members to share the memories and reminiscences that the pictures provoked. As they did so, other family members would jump in, their memories jogged. “We started to recognize that our differences were a lot less important than we thought,” Felicia reflects, “and the ties that bound us together were more durable than we imagined.”
Check out our interview with Gary Plaster, principal of the family business strategy group at Baker Tilly on Preserving generational wealth through intergenerational storytelling.