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Are family offices starting to eat VCs’ lunch?
With companies staying private longer and the number of listed companies decreasing, family offices are turning their interest towards venture capital, compelled by the investment opportunities in innovative technologies and new business models. So how will this increased influence from family offices affect an already shifting venture ecosystem?
A new inheritance mindset that reveals more value to heirs
Some of the greatest wealth transfers are currently happening through inheritance. By viewing the concept of inheritance out of the money-asset-property framework, inheritors are able to gain a whole new wealth landscape, revealing a wider understanding of its value potential.
The irreplaceable aspect of trust and network in the family office space
While the increasing presence of technology has made some things significantly easier, there are still some aspects of operations that benefit from a human element, especially when dealing with families of a more traditional background. In these instances, here's how to marry technology with the classical handshake-based business model that these family offices are comfortably accustomed to.
A family office strategy for navigating the new normal
The second year of a pandemic has meant shifting from survival mode to re-establishing a new business strategy. By putting stronger systems in place, identifying and rectifying weak points, and confidently moving the business into the digital age, one expert shares how family offices can make the most of the turbulence of the past two years.
Next-generation transition: how to prepare to pass the family business on
Business transitions from one generation to another are nothing new for family enterprises. In some cases, these handovers have been brought about by specific needs, whereas others have simply recognised that it’s time for a change. Preparing the next generation to take over the family business might not be the easiest process, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. However, before it can begin, there are a few crucial questions to answer to ensure the family is on the same page and that the next generation actually wants, and is ready for, this responsibility.
Is investing in electric vehicles really a good business decision?
Why have combustion engines become so unpopular, and why do we all think that electric vehicles are the future? Is it possible that this trend has been created by regulators who have been pushed into a one-way street as a consequence of global warming issues?
The case for interdependence in a family business
Interdependence, where there is mutual reliance on other family members, signifies that there is an inclusive mindset with a clear understanding of the family's shared purpose, vision and mission. It is often also what sets a family business apart from other organisations.
Late-stage venture investing: running with unicorns and tigers
As many of the world’s fastest-growing companies are waiting longer to go public, late-stage venture investing is having a whirlpool effect on private markets, drawing in traditional public markets investors, private equity firms and early-stage venture capitalists. Brendan Murphy double clicks on why family offices should also be thinking about investing in late-stage ventures.
How to become an impact investor: an expert's guide
Sustainable finance has become something of a buzzword recently, yet there's a difference between responsible and sustainable finance, and impact investing. For those looking to get involved in impact investing, here are some tips for getting started.
Introduction to neuroeconomics for the family office: a toolkit for success
We all want to be able to make more empowered choices to live the life we want. Yet, the more choice power we have, the more vulnerable we become to their effects on our lives and happiness. For family offices making high-stake decisions, senior leadership should be encouraged to increase humility about what they think is best. The research of neuroeconomics is thus crucial to both protect them from being bitten by their success and drive and to keep them on a path that balances happiness and success distinctions.
The ownership advantage
The role of an owner in a family enterprise has shifted from that of previous years but remains key in transgenerational wealth creation. While operational involvement in a family business has declined in some cases, there's been an increase in active ownership roles collaborating with external executives. For a family business to continue to be its best, so too must the owners be the best they can be. Developing a routine for an owner strategy can help guarantee the best owner, or steward, of its business legacy from generation to generation.
The science of neuroplasticity and change
The ability to effect change is essential for individuals, families and their enterprises to thrive. We all know that change is difficult – but why is it so difficult? To answer that question, we need to understand more about the science of neuroplasticity and how the human brain works.
Why VC should be part of any family office impact portfolio
Family offices have a history of putting their money towards causes that they care about, usually via philanthropic activities. But as a new generation of family members takes the reins of these investing and giving activities, the boundaries between positive impact and returns are gradually merging.
Swiss family offices and Sparks: what the SIX segment means
SIX recently introduced Sparks, a new SME-focused segment on the stock exchange that appeals to smaller businesses interested in going public, but there could also be some benefits for Swiss family offices and businesses, too.
How family offices can deal with death in the family
The hardest part of dealing with death is realising that all you have are memories of yesterday and that the promised future with your loved one no longer exists. In that moment of reality, no amount of wealth can replace your loss. However, the wealth left behind becomes the centre of the family storm and this has to be dealt with.
Multigenerational wealth preservation: What you need to know
By a general estimation, 90% of affluent families tend to lose a large portion of their wealth by the third generation. By considering the potential threats to family wealth and taking appropriate preventative measures, the risk of wealth erosion can be mitigated. Here are five key factors that often serve as the foundation for wealth erosion and the steps family offices can take to preserve multi-generational wealth.
How family offices can get the most out of venture capital partnerships
Most family offices choose to invest at least part of their venture allocation via venture capital funds, but how they approach these partnerships can have a big impact on how much they get out of them – both in returns and experience. Here we discuss some of the key considerations to bear in mind.
What we can learn about family business succession through a famous feud
Known as the family behind a behemoth entertainment and broadcast empire, the Murdochs appear as something of a TV drama themselves. We're going beyond the tabloid headlines to find out what this famous feud means for Rupert Murdoch's legacy and the succession of his family business.
The luxury asset market – What does the future hold?
As with every sector, the luxury assets market has been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, just not in the way you might think. We take a look at what that market looks like now, and where it looks like it's headed in the future.
Managing conflict within a family business
Conflict and turbulence within a family – and a family business – are nothing new. If not properly managed, these issues can have serious implications for the governance and even succession of the family.
Building trust and relationships within family office networks
The secret to nurturing trust in your family office network starts by acknowledging that there are three types of value to be maintained, not two. We often ask those in prominent positions for their time and their money, which we value highly. However, the third type of value comes from honouring these relationships and a different approach to these interactions only serves to benefit any future ventures.
Deciding on family office software? Here are 4 steps to take first.
In today's digital world, it's never been easier to streamline business operations through the use of intelligent software. Deciding which software is right for your family office can feel daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Here are 4 easy steps to take that will make choosing software a much simpler process.
An introduction to emerging market investment in Eastern Europe
It has been 32 years since the transition began in post-communist countries. This peaceful uprising led by Poland in 1989, ended after two years when Mikhail Gorbachev acknowledged the unification of West and East Germany. Despite this transformation, however, there’s still a large discrepancy between Eastern and Western Europe. This is especially apparent in the investment sector, where investors are either hesitant to get involved or are entirely unaware of the exciting opportunities that exist within the Eastern European market.
A process for understanding the value of possessions beyond just numbers
Adopting an insightful process for valuing your possessions and valuables that can lead to more personal fulfilment, deeper appreciation of your things, better estate planning and successful generational wealth transfer? We explore a process, which reflects the new value shifts of the next generation and which goes far beyond, “What is the market value of our possessions?
Why purpose-led investments require long-term thinking
For family offices, aligning investments to a greater purpose is more relevant now than ever before. In the current tough economic times, these investments need people who understand their values. We explore why aligning investments to values affords investors a longer-term view, making them a better longer-term fit.
Why conscious ownership is critical for future-focused family enterprises.
In order to transition their enterprises beyond generations, family businesses must embrace what is known as conscious ownership. To do this, they must move from being conscious operators to conscious owners. We explore how families can deliberately focus on ownership to future-proof their enterprises.
How the largest family offices preserve wealth through generations
Wealth management within one lifespan is already challenging. And making sure that this wealth will both last throughout generations and continue to grow for future one's lifetimes, is an exponentially complicated task that requires experienced and sophisticated expertise. There is already so much to take into consideration and then when you add the complexities of family politics into the mix, the task becomes that much more ominous. But as with most tricky terrains, with a thoroughly considered, pre-emptive, and future-focused-thinking, there is no reason why future generations' wealth should come under threat each time generational change is on the horizon.
The importance of sustainable networks for family offices
Most family offices can agree that networking is an integral part of their business, something that opens doors to many opportunities. Despite this, many family offices still don’t seem to invest in developing proper networks. What should family offices look for when networking and what are the benefits of a sustainable network?
What are the biggest challenges family offices face when venture investing?
Family offices are increasingly involved in venture investments and this interest is only growing as new generations come to the fore. Not only does venture offer the promise of outsized returns and the diversification of the family office portfolio, but many firms are passionate about supporting entrepreneurial founders.
The impact of matriarchal and patriarchal roles in family business
Most families have an anchor, often identified as a matriarchal or patriarchal figure. A dominant personality who keeps the family aligned and acts as the glue that holds them together. Identifying this individual, celebrating their role in the family and the growth of the unit is fundamental. We explore how understanding the impact of a family leader not only provides alignment but further creates a shared history, values and inevitability vision.
The role of regenerative business in modern value creation
For businesses looking to engage in more responsible and ethical practices, pledging sustainability isn't enough anymore. Instead, regeneration is the way forward – for the environment and society, as well as the business itself. What are the fundamentals of this principle? And what does this mean for measuring value creation?
Innovate or die: How family businesses can maintain their entrepreneurial spirit
Within the family business industry, the mantra of ‘innovate or die’ is well-known. Many times we’ve heard the anecdote that the first generation creates the business, the second generation develops it and the third reduces it to dust. We explore this simplification and discuss how a family business can safeguard its entrepreneurial spirit.
The unique governance challenge of mixed culture families
Globalisation has seen the world become a global village. In this global village, a new complexity has arisen especially for families of wealth –that being the complexity of interfaith, intercultural, and interracial marriages. We explore what happens when working with families with diverse heritage.
Sun Tzu’s lessons for protecting real estate assets during a pandemic
Sun Tzu’s 'The Art of War' has inspired military commanders from around the world to succeed in battle, since being written some 2,500 years ago by the master tactician and philosopher. How can we apply his learnings to the “battle” we face today, as we defend and prepare our real estate portfolios for the continuing onslaught of the pandemic, and help to mitigate the risks that will ensue?
Venture investing: which model is best for family offices?
Every year, thousands of startup founders set out in search of funding for their business ideas, offering the promise of substantial returns for family offices. We explore how family offices can mitigate risk and avoid pitfalls by taking a diligent and considered approach to venture investing.
The future of the family office wealth advisor
Family offices come in many shapes and sizes, as do the advisors who serve them. Increased competition, technological changes, and an increasing desire for niche investment opportunities are changing the way that family offices work with wealth advisors. We explore what the future might hold for this market.
Passing on family wealth: bitcoin vs. gold
Gold has long been seen as an effective way to pass on family wealth throughout generations. However, bitcoin is quickly becoming a worthy competitor. As we continue to move into a digital world, family offices are no exception to this and must embrace digital value.
Empowering women in family offices through learning, governance and allyship
Family offices today must embrace diversity, inclusion, and empowerment of women, if they are to thrive. Our twenty-first-century business world is highly disruptive and challenging, and diversity of thought is key to navigating these successfully. We explore how families can involve female members in wealth decision-making.
How to co-create an impact thesis with a family office
All investments deliver impact. However, in order for a family office to really drive impact, they need to clearly define it and then propose how they plan on achieving it. An impact thesis gives family offices a higher chance of achieving the intended impact – both financial and non-financial – through a process of co-creation.
From heiress to owner: disrupting private wealth through female leadership
As 2020 has shaken the world and with fundamental assumptions being challenged, many female leaders have been celebrated for their ability to successfully manage successfully the crisis. Within the private wealth space, self-made women are becoming the fastest-growing segment. How can these changes be leveraged to create a more integrated and balanced approach to leadership?
Why your family business should become a generalist
Family businesses are built with a core vision that, which has continuity, renewal, longevity, and legacy of the enterprise in mind. These visions are oftentimes built around a specific competency or industry which is intimately tied to a family's identity. But in an ever-changing marketplace, how might family businesses embrace generalism for strategic advantage?
Successful on and off the stock exchange – governance practices in family firms
The stock exchange and family firms – two irreconcilable terms upon first glance. Going public seems to mark the beginning of the end for family firms and to entail an entirely different type of governance. But the book “Successful on and off the stock exchange – Governance practices in family firms” written by Dr. Sonja Kissling and Dr. Bianca Braun shows that this is not true.
Family offices from the banking perspective
Banks are often the institutions that operate closest to family offices. For this reason, family offices also look to banks more frequently for guidance to ensure they're equipped to facilitate the growth and sustainability of the family enterprises that they serve. But what do banks believe family offices should focus on?
Seven governance risks that could impact your family office
The need for privacy and more control over wealth and assets has seen the number of family offices grow. Research reported that by the end of Q2 2019, there were 7,300 offices worldwide – a number that has continued to grow. However, family offices may be plagued by unseen governance risks that could seriously jeopardise their future.
Five reasons why Europe is the future of startup investing
European startups have come a long way in the last 10 to 15 years. Back in the 1990s and 2000s, when many of the world’s biggest tech companies, such as Amazon, Google and Facebook were founded, Europe didn’t even feature on the global tech landscape. But with European startups now making their mark on the global stage, the time is right for family offices to get involved.
How can the next generation turn pre-contemporary art into meaningful wealth
As the greatest wealth transfer in history is underway, noteworthy heirlooms such as important art collections, historic real estate are being taken over by a new generation. Can these inheritors embrace their new ownership and find ways to make it a meaningful relationship – or will the family jewels be destined for the auction houses? We explore some options.
Co-creating values aligned agreements with founders for impact investing
2020 was the year we all became suddenly aware of the interconnectedness of our global challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how climate change, health disparities, racial discrimination, housing injustice, population displacement, and other factors all act and interact in complex adaptive systems. How might investment and design principles embed value in impact investing from day one?
Protect and grow family wealth through investment time-horizons
For family offices looking to protect and grow family wealth, a time-horizons’ tiered approach to wealth management is paramount. For those charged with financial decision making, these time projections are arguably the most sensible strategy to preserve, grow and transfer wealth within a family context. We look at how pine nuts, pine trees and oak trees can secure wealth for future generations.
How can a family office practically invest in bitcoin?
After 11 years of its existence, bitcoin has gone from a fringe to a mainstream concept. A recent wave of corporations and HNWI’s have been buying bitcoin as a way of combating the inflation that central banks are currently producing. So, how can family offices navigate the bits and bytes in the ether?
Genomics and epigenetics: new tools for promoting family legacy
Imagine a seemingly healthy 35-year-old family member assumes the CEO position of a core global family enterprise. On the second day of his tenure, he sustains a cardiac arrest and dies immediately. Could the risk of his tragic death have been mitigated using currently available actionable DNA medical science of genomics? The answer is resoundingly yes.
How to gain a birds-eye view by understanding family office services
Service Provider Selection
Family offices rarely think about their operating costs in basis points – surprising when such a measurement is a common component of determining expense vs value when comparing investments. Navigating your supplier universe can help you gain a much-needed system overview.
Women on board: enhancing leadership in family firms
Over the past 5-10 years, there has been an increasing focus on the importance of women in leadership positions, including on boards. Aside from the obvious reason of legal equality, why is a policy of mixed-gender board representation important?
How service design can transform the family office structure
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man (or woman)." Within the private wealth space, this is especially true with no two family offices being the same. Service design makes an ideal bedfellow for family offices looking to move beyond 'palace politics' and re-engineer their family office structure to meet the changing needs of the market.
Venture investing can deliver high returns in uncertain times
Economic uncertainty and stock market volatility mean family offices are reviewing their investment strategies with a view to safeguarding their portfolios for the future. Covid-19 has thrown all the chips in the air and, while the arrival of a vaccine gives hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight, nobody knows where the pieces will eventually land, for the public markets, property and other mainstream investment classes.
How psychodynamics can drive better decision making in family businesses
A changing set of realities, norms and values are underway in the face of an accelerating climate crisis. Within the family wealth space, the next-generation are particularly attuned to these changes and placing demands on family business leaders to act. A new family governance method which targets a family’s collective unconscious could be the key to successful intergenerational transition.
Why persuasive leadership is important for the next generation
The next generation today must influence a range of stakeholders if they are to be effective change agents. Family enterprises are facing a 21st-century volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world that has given rise to a new style of leadership. We explore how the next generation can embrace a persuasive leadership style in order to be effective change-makers and propel the family enterprise into the future.
Why family offices should be looking to Bitcoin
Bitcoin and family offices very logically compliment each other. Family offices aim for long-term wealth preservation throughout generations, while bitcoin is a form of money that can’t be inflated and can therefore retain its value over time. We explore how the history of fiat currencies and the recent adoption from UHNW investors presents a compelling case for this new financial revolution.
Blockchain's Potential Within The Family Office
Since it’s capabilities were first promoted to underpin and support Bitcoin over a decade ago Blockchain has experienced a great deal of hype. While the fintech industry remains the blockchain leader, organizations in other sectors including healthcare, technology, media and telecommunications are expanding their blockchain initiatives.
How to overcome technological stalemate in Australian family offices
Though the family office market in Australia continues to go from strength to strength, it is a challenge for software providers to see the value in expanding to a vast country with a highly idiosyncratic financial system. At the same time, there are also challenges to helping established Australian family offices to invest in a high-performing tech stack. We explore solutions to this technological stalemate.
Why emotional intelligence is the key to intergenerational succession
Intergenerational succession represents a significant challenge to family business. Though a common problem, misalignment between generations needs to be addressed for businesses to thrive into the future. Emotional intelligence could well be the key to bridging the gap. We take a look at how mentorship – and increasingly mindfulness – are helping family businesses to cross the chasm.
Five approaches for engaging the next-generation
For many family offices, succession is the most complex and significant challenge faced over the course of their life cycle. Next-generation engagement is fundamental in ensuring that their legacy continues well beyond their tenure. Here are five approaches to aid next-gen engagement.
Emerging risks in the family office sector
Today’s business leaders are having to navigate an increasingly complex risk environment. Although not traditionally, a focal point in company reporting and board room discussions, risk assessment has received the renewed focus of late. This in response to the fast-evolving business landscape and the new disruptions and threats that have emerged. For companies to remain sustainable and resilient, a holistic and disciplined approach to risk management is required, one which goes well beyond the traditional considerations of investment and operational risk.
Why family offices should focus on 'soft' assets
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) have been credited by many as the backbone of business management. But how do these metrics fair in a rapidly evolving world? Research suggests that a focus on soft (as well as hard assets and predictive technology is the answer.
Is impact investing a risky business?
As a growing number of asset owners question whether they can manage their assets for more than financial returns, impact investing receives mounting attention. In spite of this, many still believe that impact investments constitute higher risks. We explore how by reframing their relationship to risk, family offices can take bigger bets and win in the long run.
How Asian family businesses respond to four global challenges
Although certain business challenges are universal to family offices across the globe, the way in which Asian family businesses experience, prioritise, and tackle them is unique. We deep dive into four key global family office challenges and how they are experienced within the Asian context, reflecting upon the unique set of underlying influences that shape the Asian response.
How to create a family brand the primal way
In this day and age, content is king. Brands in the 21st century have more cultural and social capital than ever before. With the rise of influencer marketing and the proliferation of social media platforms, branding has become an ever more important aspect of business. 'Primal branding' offers family businesses with a guide on how to get started.
From family business to business family
The transition from a family business to a business family is not an easy one. Without a clear, strategically implemented plan to preserve both its wealth and legacy, the family faces a progressive dispersal of its assets. We outline the key factors that spark a transition from family business to business family – and offer advice on how to handle this.
6 Tips for family offices to start with impact investing
Impact investing has caught the attention of families, family offices, and private investors alike in recent years. In spite of this impact-led zeitgeist, there exists uncertainty on how to approach this field. How do you begin? Here are a few points to consider.
5 lessons for family offices from HBO's Succession
HBO’s mega-series Succession follows the decaying empire of a dysfunctional media family - a template on precisely how not to run your family office. Here are five lessons that we can learn from Succession, before putting them into practice in the process of running family offices.
Legacy and succession planning trends and advice
Only 3% of family-owned businesses survive until the fourth generation and beyond. There appears to be a cross-generational disconnect with family owned business succession. We explore past and present trends and cast a glance to the future regarding successful planning to help ensure legacies live on and thrive.
Finding & funding investments with high return
It would appear that some Family Offices are now showing a predilection for direct investing to diversify portfolios and build new equity investment. Whether investors are motivated by high returns or other factors, it begs one important question: how best to enter the deal flow slipstream?
Companies with foresight stay ahead of the curve
Remaining relevant and competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace is no mean feat. Whilst innovation methodologies and speed-to-market are fundamental business tactics, how do we ensure we’re solving the right kind of problems? Foresight and trend analysis provide us with the necessary tools to do so.
Cyber crime, the greatest threat to family businesses?
Statistics reveal that cybercrime is becoming one of the biggest commercial and reputational risks to family offices, a threat that is expected to grow well into the future. With businesses shifting more into the online and digital space, cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods.
How to engage the next generation through a clearly defined purpose
Globalisation, digital transformation and climate change have transformed the way we live, work and conduct business today. Inheriting this radically transformed world are the millennials, a new generation with distinct priorities from their baby-boomer predecessors. Their north star? Purpose.
A brave new world of brand: Three frameworks for family businesses
Gone are the days of the 'Five Forces Framework', the Four P’s of 'the Marketing Mix' and the 'Seven C’s Compass'. It's time for brand frameworks which are reflective of, and adaptive to, an ever-changing business climate. We've selected the top new-age frameworks for developing a cohesive brand for your family business.
Opportunities & obstacles for African family offices
Africa marches to her own rhythm. Besides her unrivalled natural beauty, the continent is blessed with numerous natural resources and knowledge power. Despite these riches, even the wealthiest African cities are home to the greatest numbers of people living in poverty worldwide. The emergence of a healthy Family Office ecosystem remains lacklustre.
Why video is the way to connect with the next generation
Video content is dominating the digital media space, with 100 million hours of video content watched on Facebook, 10 billion videos watched on Snapchat every day with countless more on Instagram and TikTok. What better option is there to really speak with the next generation of owners?
Family owned hotels and the future of hospitality innovation
Running a hotel is very much like running a big family. Every day there will be something new. Perhaps today the internet is down, tomorrow you’re awarded some prestigious award, next week an unexpected family member is arriving where the hotel is full, or one day the police are at the door to speak to one of the family members.
Prepare your family business for the digital age
Many family businesses are born of the practice of merely "doing something," like tackling a problem or seizing an opportunity. It's often a matter of an entrepreneur spotting a gap and taking it.
What can tech startups teach family businesses about exits?
The Mitsubishi model of a company built to last the ages still exists, but with the advent of the tech industry and the accompanying startup culture, many old-school concepts of a generational business lineage, past and future, are harder and harder to find.
Identify & build human capital in your family business
In an exercise reminiscent of “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” imagine that tomorrow you go to your place of business but there’s no one at the front desk, no one at the phones, no one in IT, no one filing or filling orders, no one manufacturing or selling your widgets… If there’s no one to run it, would you have a company?
Running your family office like a silicon valley startup.
Service Provider Selection
Family offices have evolved from the mega-money-centric, often hidebound institutions of a bygone era (by which we mean a few decades ago). Today the services offered by an energetic family office more closely resemble those of a life coach/creative director/spin-doctor, than a financial advisor.
On building modern and future-ready family offices
The common misconception is that the family office asset management style only suits ultra-high-net-worth individuals and companies. But how about the less-high-net-worth ones? Here are a few suggestions on implementing top-notch financial management practices on a business of virtually any size to take a load off your staff and enhance productivity.
How branding can put family-owned businesses and family offices ahead of the pack
While most successful families consider heritage branding extremely beneficial, not everyone takes full advantage of this extraordinary marketing tool. According to statistics, only one-third of the top 100 family businesses focus on their brands as family-owned, even though purposefully highlighting your multi-generational story comes with a solid set of bonuses.
Simple solutions for complex times.