Despite steadily increasing family wealth over the past 10-15 years, no multi family offices existed in Norway. Their core hypothesis is that the next generation of wealth owners will ask for more than financial return. The opportunity arose to bring their hands-on experience to more families, leading them to establish Oslo Family Office in 2020.
What services does Oslo Family Office offer?
Most Family Offices value an investment background type of thinking. That has to be in place, but running a successful multi-family office is so much more than financial return. We focus on five pillars: 1. Setting an ambition & direction, 2. Professionalizing governance & ownership, 3. Enhancing the value of existing business, 4. Finding new investment opportunities and 5. Defining & fostering the family’s DNA. We help them answer ‘where are we going and why?’, look at how ownership is distributed, and then explore how we can enhance value in the existing operations. We work with families who are active owners of businesses, as we think the real purpose and value lie in that space and enjoy working with the families to develop it. This is about finding common projects, interests, and ideas that contribute to the strong bonds within a family making the multi-family office the best place to keep their share of the assets.
Tell us a bit more about what differentiates you from other Family Offices.
Prior to working with families, our co-founder Sigurd had a background in management consulting. We bring that kind of strategic thinking and a focus on both hard and soft values into our work, aiming to take our clients beyond the typical wealth management.
It takes more than a return on investment to keep a family together. It’s as much about the energy that will take them into the future, as the family history and traditions. We want to figure out how families not only work together but stay together. To achieve this it’s important to take a holistic approach, focusing on the big picture and the long-term.
What is your perspective on next-generation involvement?
We’re a catalyst for facilitating a cross-generation conversation, which is a part of the work we really enjoy. In some families, the older generations have this perception that the younger generations can’t take over unless they’re gone through years of a particular program or training. They don’t see the value of involving them in strategic discussions. But it’s really a gift if they want to be involved. Change is happening faster than ever before. Next-generation perspectives are important on so many levels. In third or fourth generation families, we see that these discussions can be more dynamic as there can be a 15-year gap between members of the same generation. Looking at the business operations from all angles is crucial.
Tell us a bit more about how you approach your client relationships.
We take a boutique approach when working with our clients. We sit on the board to make sure we have ongoing engagement. But it’s important for us to be independent of other suppliers because it means their success is truly our success. We’ve started small working with a handful of families with plans to scale it. It’s also incredibly important we mirror our clients in terms of diversity and the scope of our work – we should be representative of the families we are working with.