The Enterprising Family Office
19th July 2011
London is becoming home for an increasing number of family offices. A family office generally refers to a private company that manages investments for a single wealthy family. The company's financial capital is the family's wealth, often accumulated over many generations
At a recent gathering of the IFB Family Office Forum owners were privileged to hear from author and consultant Mark Daniell who wrote Strategy for the Wealthy Family and other acclaimed books. One of Daniell’s themes is why only one of the 30 wealthiest families in the first edition of the Forbes “Rich List”, the Rockefellers, is listed today whereas the other 29 families have dropped away.
At the heart of growing the family’s wealth, and not just preserving it in the family office, is the need to maintain the entrepreneurial zeal and appetite to innovate and grow in each generation. Keeping this flame burning begins by instilling behaviours into the next generation that will encourage them to take entrepreneurial risks and make their own mark. The best family offices foster core values in the family such as dignity, accomplishment and responsibility.
Whether family office investments are made up of operating, or financial assets, the key to longevity is the positive engagement of the next generation. If the family business has been sold there could, of course, be a loss of identity so agreeing common values among owners and a shared mission becomes critical in order to retain unity and a sense of purpose. Recent IFB Next Generation Forum speaker Ben Goldsmith, who now chairs his family office, also highlighted the importance of strong leadership as another vital ingredient.
On September 28th when the IFB hosts its annual Family Office Forum Roundtable families will share their own experiences on how enterprising businesses manage to keep the entrepreneurial flame burning and grow their wealth. The debate goes on….