Accessing Private Capital - A Guide for Family Investors
We look after both multi-generational families and entrepreneurs in the early stages of their wealth creation
Few employ a philanthropic strategy despite recent groundswell in interest – Johan van Zyl
Two minutes with Johan van Zyl, Chief Executive, South Africa
We look after both multi-generational families and entrepreneurs in the early stages of their wealth creationPublished on 03 Feb 2021
We deal with a wide range of family wealth. The core disciplines of a wealth strategy include succession planning, investment and asset management, operational and advisory support and risk management. We are equally comfortable dealing with established multi-generational families who in some cases have net worth into the billions, as we are with entrepreneurs in the early stages of their wealth creation. The key for us is to understand what issues keep our clients up at night and where we can apply our experience to help.
Every client is important to us. Day-to-day, our client relationship managers are continually balancing priorities; working out what should take precedence ‘now’ and what can wait until tomorrow. While most families have a ‘head’ – perhaps the business founder – with them come many others including family members and key relationships. We support them all, albeit they receive different service offerings dependent on their circumstances.
There are many misconceptions about our clients. When people think of wealth, they often think of jets, helicopters, yachts or big money divorces. While these are often the things that hit the headlines, the reality is often quite different. Generally, our clients are very discreet and conservative, actively rejecting the idea of being on any kind of ‘rich list’.
Running the affairs of a family office client has much in common with running a business. In terms of size, some families have asset bases that exceed the values of listed businesses and have responsibilities and challenges in common too: governance, reporting, cash flow planning, strategy, administration and risk management. This is where we can help, working with families to bring the tools and resources to ‘professionalise’ the operation.
As a business, we have vast experience of working with entrepreneurs. While many entrepreneurial ventures fail, every wealth creator has to start somewhere. We need the flexibility and vision to recognise that growth potential and use our risk management expertise to guide business owners towards success and protecting their legacy for future generations. It can take some time for a relationship to mature to a point where it makes sense to deliver our full range of services and we recognise that.
The scope of our offering is broader than what much of the wealth management market offers. Over the years, we have listened to our clients and built our offering in response to what they have told us they want and need. Unlike many financial institutions that are product-led, we are family-led and service-led, seeking to understand our clients’ philosophy of wealth as a foundation or starting point for everything. There are many first class businesses in our space, offering specific elements of what families require, but we know of none that has our breadth, experience and geographic reach.
Anton Sternberg is a Senior Partner in our Family Office business in the UK. He acts as a Key Adviser to a number of ultra high net worth international families.