Wealthy families are investing directly in private companies through single-family and multi-family offices in rising numbers as these offices become more sophisticated, according to a study released on Friday by Fintrx, a Boston-based data and research firm.

More than half of the approximate 3,500 to 5,000 family offices around the world invest directly today, according to the study, which draws on the firm’s database of more than 3,000 individual family offices globally and the 13,000-plus direct investment deals they have tracked.

The direct-investment trend is “consistent with broader trends we’re seeing in the ultra-high-net-worth market toward greater transparency, greater control of investments, and lower fees,” says Paul Ferguson, managing director at Schwab Advisor Family Office, which sponsored the study.

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