Two minutes with Roelof BothaPublished on 19 March 2019
There are very few family situations we haven’t seen before. We talk about ‘practical wisdom’ - the huge pool of shared learning our clients can draw from. We use these experiences to help inform debate among family members and to suggest solutions where appropriate. It is an important part of our role to facilitate such discussions, particularly when defining the purpose of a family’s wealth or addressing the sensitivities of succession planning. We play a central role in helping family members reach agreement on their core strategic objectives and putting in place a decision-making framework which aims to give a voice to all.
The majority of our clients are entrepreneurial. People who have created their wealth from their own businesses often end up with their personal affairs entwined with their business activities. As the business grows, usually an event such as the entrance of an external shareholder will prompt a review of how they run their affairs which often results in their engaging a family office.
The Family Office is what ties everything together. People would be amazed at the extent of our involvement with clients; we often speak to them several times a day, whether it be on assets being bought or sold, ventures being established or family arrangements being put in place. The team runs these processes, giving or obtaining expert advice when appropriate and providing a range of administration services to implement the decisions made. These may cover the family business, investments, art management, staff employment or philanthropy, to name a few. We deal with the big picture, including but extending far beyond the technicalities of a family’s financial arrangements.
There is no ‘secret formula’. What is right for one family may not be right for everyone. Some clients come to us with some sort of a team already in place. With a number of our bigger clients we collaborate with their in-house teams - we pride ourselves on our ability to work with other professionals. With others, we take on all their family office affairs from day one. The exact permutation of services we offer is fully flexible; a family’s priorities will change and we can adapt to meet such changing requirements.
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