What made family offices in Germany successful and how are they resetting for the new normal? Which ownership advantages do successful family offices in Germany build to increase their ability to create wealth under high uncertainty? Like so many other industries across the globe that are being disrupted by the pandemic, family offices in Germany face unprecedented forces of transformation. We explore how German family offices get ready for a new normal, where disruption is commonplace.
The hinterland of family offices we use to know
Looking back at the period when “Deutschland AG” was dismantled from 1996 – 2005, the German “Mittelstand”, famous for “hidden champions” such as Würth-Group, EBM-Pabst or prominent brands such as Miele and Bosch received little focus from the banking industry. Taking start-ups public on the “Neuer Markt” was more sexy and more lucrative for bankers than figuring out complex succession issues. Hence, families started to switch from mostly buying wealth management services to building inhouse-structures and hiring very selected specialists.