Money and time are both precious commodities at family offices, and Fidelity Investments’ 140 single-family office clients were looking for ways to help their clients get on top of the administrative tasks involved in doing good.
So Fidelity Family Office Services, a division within the Boston-based custodian, has formed a partnership with Foundation Source to offer back-office services to the asset custodian’s 140 single-family office clients. That group of clients oversees more than $25 billion in assets.
Foundation Source, based in Fairfield, Conn., offers services via an online platform to make it easy for wealthy households to establish and operate private foundations. Some of Fidelity’s family office patrons had already been using Foundation Source outside of the partnership to help their wealthy clients manage private foundations, so Fidelity decided to offer the service to all the others, said John Eidson, a spokesman for Fidelity said in a telephone interview.
“We were hearing that the diverse complexities involved in running and creating a foundation were making it harder for family offices to focus on their charitable goals,” Eidson said. “One of the reasons that we chose Foundation Source was because we had heard great things from our clients who were already using them.”
Fidelity, which offers its own charitable services through its Private Foundation Services and the Charitable Gift Fund, already has family clients tapping into the services.
The new partnership offers advanced foundation planning. Family offices receive expertise on charitable best practices like program development, coaching for executive directors and social change strategies. They will also receive tax, legal and accounting support services, and back-office administration. The latter includes transaction processing, compliance monitoring, federal and state filings. Clients can access all of these services through a Web-based platform that allows them to conduct due diligence on IRS-approved charities, flexible grant making, and expense tracking options. There is also an online reporting system, to allow for daily reports on the private foundation’s activities, as well as for storing, organizing and sharing foundation documents.