As family office executives set up a family office or review an existing family office, it is important to make sure the privacy and cybersecurity concerns are addressed and the governance and information security infrastructures are set up to get it right from the start. Working with a family office means personalised and tailored services are delivered that take into consideration a family’s entire situation, including their assets and liabilities, as well as wealth transfer, intergenerational and philanthropic objectives.
The benefits and uses of Bermuda segregated accounts companies (SACs) to ring-fence assets and liabilities in insurance and investment fund structures are well-known and well-tested. The Bermuda Supreme Court has consistently upheld confidence in, and strength of the statutory segregation and ring-fencing of assets and liabilities in a SAC.
Family offices are increasingly popular in Asia. In addition to helping plan the vehicle structure, professional trustees can provide even more value. Family office is a term yet to acquire a definition, but generally represents a platform (sometimes a separate entity, and sometimes a unit within a family business) to deal with the financial and other matters of an ultra-high net worth family. This concept has been prevalent in the United States and Europe for some time, and is becoming increasingly popular in Asia as the number of ultra-high net worth families surge and their demand for wealth management, family planning and other related services gets more complex. Depending on the tax and regulatory environment and the actual needs of the family, a family office can be structured with different vehicles.
Dominic Wheatley explains the island’s popularity as a destination for family offices. There is growing appreciation of the products and services that international finance centres such as Guernsey can provide to high-net-worth individuals, particularly as regards family office solutions.
For most family offices, engaging in direct investment PE deals really means finding the right partner, and the diligence required to find the right PE partner for direct deals is much more involved, and probably less of a metric-based exercise than selecting a good asset manager.
Gen2 Partners (Gen2) is one of the leaders in customised Asian Hedge Funds for Institutional Investors and Family Offices, in addition to being a trusted partner to help manage investors’ exposure to Asia across all Asian alternative strategies.
It seems that change is the new norm in many areas of the financial services world, largely as a result of the current challenging economy in which legislation, regulation and risk management are all shaping the way in which we work and advise our clients.
The offshore world is no exception to this and there are a number of developments that are exercising family offices and their offshore providers or partners.
As the pace of business in the Middle East and North Africa accelerates, family businesses are looking to raise funds, sell out, restructure or offload non-core assets. Deregulation is opening new opportunities for Greenfield investment. Governments are increasingly willing to divest assets in privatisation sales. The list goes on.
Going forward, this means a growing number of private equity deals will originate from situations in which trust, transparency and good corporate governance are vital. As origination streams diversify beyond the usual sources, savvy industry players will embrace the reality that the full alignment of interests of all parties is becoming the key to sustainable growth.