Technology in Family Offices — Susan Schoenfeld

Inspiration And Insights
4 min readOct 3, 2023


Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Susan R. Schoenfeld, CEO and Founder of Wealth Legacy Advisors LLC, serves as a ‘thought partner’ to families of wealth through personal attention and human spirit. Susan is an award-winning Thought Leader; she provides guidance on legacy, next-generation, stewardship, governance, leadership succession, and philanthropy. She recently spoke on Family Governance at Opal Group’s Family Office Forum.

On the topic of the use of technology in family offices, we cannot fail to mention what we just lived through for the past three years.

We could not have survived during the pandemic without technology. The platforms of Zoom, Teams, GoToMeeting and others made family meetings possible at a time when it wasn’t safe to gather and to meet in-person and to travel.

During the heart of the pandemic lockdown, I facilitated a series of family meetings with an international family, and I never met them in person. Every six weeks, we had a virtual family meeting to address different aspects of, and explore potential solutions for, a looming crisis in their co-ownership of a multi-billion dollar family business. This was a time-sensitive matter; it couldn’t wait until it was safe to gather in-person and travel, and so the use of technology during the pandemic was an absolute game changer.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t talk about the primary risk of using technology, which of course is cybersecurity. Beyond the obvious risk to your financial assets and family office from cyber-fraud and phishing, if family members post photos on Facebook that “my family and I are on vacation,” the bad actors now know that your home is vacant, and even that you’re a potential kidnap target.

I don’t represent them, but there are products out there that provide private portals for families to use, that are safer than putting out on Facebook that “my family’s going on vacation” to a country where there might be a physical security risk, an invasion risk to your home, or a cybersecurity risk to hack into your system.

You need to be thoughtful and intentional about your use of technology and counsel all members of your family and all team members of your family office about safe and careful technology practices.

And so technology was a huge blessing during the pandemic but it can also present a huge curse if the family is not vigilant.

Susan Schoenfeld, a public speaker & thought partner to families of wealth and their advisors, is an award-winning thought leader. Susan’s switch from successful estate planning attorney and CPA to a trusted family advisor and thought-partner was inspired by families of wealth asking her searching questions beyond estate tax planning. As a conflict-free advisor who provides no investment, tax, or legal advice and sells no product, Susan shares her insights directly with wealthy families and with financial services experts. She is active as a keynote speaker and a leader of break-out sessions and workshops at conferences throughout the US.

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