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March 28, 2012

The family office of eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll is to invest €25 million in equity in a property club. 

The family office of eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll is to invest €25 million in equity in a recently launched property club.

At a press conference on 28 March, Stephen George, co-founder and chief investment officer of Capricorn Investment Group, said the firm has decided to join the Family Office Real Estate Partnership in a bid to “get back to basics”.

March 25, 2012

Hedge funds haven’t covered themselves in glory in recent years. Underperformance, fee structures and redemption restrictions have all angered investors – many of them family offices. Chris Owen reports

Mention hedge funds to an investment specialist at a family office three years ago and the response was more than likely to have contained a few expletives. That’s because for many very wealthy investors who had been early converts to the hedge fund investment phenomenon, the period from the collapse of Lehman Brothers in late 2008 to at least the end of 2009 represented the worst ever experience they had ever had with hedge funds since their inception.

March 21, 2012

Family office technology has come a long way since the days of spreadsheets. Paul Golden looks at family offices’ move towards cloud computing, outsourcing and customised software.

The telecoms crisis of 2001, a far larger crash than the dotcom bust, didn’t just bring influential companies such as Global Crossing and 360networks to their knees. The crash also saw a number of family offices lose far more money than they had ever anticipated.

March 15, 2012

More than six in 10 family offices want to increase their investments in the private equity market this year, but hedge funds are proving less popular.

More than six in 10 family offices want to increase their investments in the private equity market this year, but hedge funds are proving less popular.

These are the main findings of a survey of 32 single and multi family offices, managing an average of more than $500 million (€382.9 million), by London-based family office adviser Somerset Capital.

According to the research, more than half of participants plan to decrease their allocations to cash and 63% want to invest directly in businesses.

February 23, 2012

The family office sector in Asia-Pacific looks set for strong growth, as the rise in wealth in the region, fuelled by strong economic expansion and liberalisation, continues, according to a study by Campden Research and UBS.

The family office sector in Asia-Pacific looks set for strong growth, as the rise in wealth in the region, fuelled by strong economic expansion and liberalisation, continues, according to a study by Campden Research and UBS.

Although the number of billionaires in the region has soared – in China, this has gone from virtually zero 10 years ago to nearly 150 in 2011 – the family office sector has not grown at a similar pace. There are only an estimated 100 family offices in the region.

January 26, 2012

Defining who is actually a family member is often a minefield – is it just blood relatives or does it also include in-laws? The definition has long since been debated but to no avail. However, this could be about to change as a US regulatory body has attempted to answer the age-old question of what defines a family member.

Defining who is actually a family member is often a minefield – is it just blood relatives or does it also include in-laws? The definition has long since been debated but to no avail. However, this could be about to change as a US regulatory body has attempted to answer the age-old question of what defines a family member. 

January 19, 2012

Single family offices in Europe and the US anticipated the financial crisis, and were well prepared to ride out the worst period of 2008.

Single family offices in Europe and the US anticipated the financial crisis, and were well prepared to ride out the worst period of 2008.

That’s according to a new study of 40 single family offices, with a median asset size of more than $500 million (€388 million), by asset advisers Cambridge Associates.

January 5, 2012

The number of single family offices offering security services is growing, as wealthy families feel increasingly worried about trusting the wrong people and suffering identity theft, says research by financial services provider Rothstein Kass Family Office Group. 

The number of single family offices offering security services is growing, as wealthy families feel increasingly worried about trusting the wrong people and suffering identity theft, says research by financial services provider Rothstein Kass Family Office Group.

According to the study, in 2011, 80.8% of single family offices provided personal security services – such as background investigations, hacker-proof computer systems and protection personnel – compared to 59.8% two years ago.

January 3, 2012

Collaboration between family offices is likely to become a big feature of 2012, as they look to reduce risk in the current volatile market environment, according to Family Office Management Consulting. 

Collaboration between family offices is likely to become a big feature of 2012, as they look to reduce risk in the current volatile market environment, according to Family Office Management Consulting.

The London-based advisory group said structures that allow family investors to share knowledge and co-invest, such as investment committees and roundtables, will become more commonplace this year.

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