Anthony is a British citizen living abroad. He does not have a family office. Instead, all of his investments are managed by various private banks and third-party fund managers. He wants to greater control over his own investments.
Anthony finds it problematic to assess the quality of his investments. Each bank uses different nomenclature for the same funds. The reporting he receives is unsatisfactory - the benchmarks are inadequate and it fails to justify why certain investments were made or rebalancing was carried out. He suspects a conflict of interest and thinks the service he receives is not worth the hefty 2% fee paid. Put simply, he lacks a transparent view of his investments.
Florence is the head of asset management at a mid-sized single family office in mainland Europe. Her principal has tasked her with keeping the accounts and investments under tight control. Consequently, she is in charge of accounting, monitoring the investment portfolio, researching new funds and reporting on performance on a quarterly basis to the investment committee. The office also uses the services of a multi-family office in Germany.
Florence requires access to a greater universe of funds than those available in the current databases she uses. She wants to be able to research new funds quickly and easily and assess their potential impact on the portfolio.
She also needs more sophisticated reporting: to be able to undertake granular analysis for liquidity schedule, currency effect, asset class arbitrage and new investments. Florence has limited time and needs to reduce menial tasks including manually inputting data.
Jin used to be a private banker in Singapore. After reaching the mid-point in her career, she decided to go solo. She prides herself on offering an independent, objective service to her clients, most of whom she met long ago as a private banker. She shapes her clients’ strategic thinking and helps set their personal goals for investing their wealth.
Managing three family offices on her own is great. However, the increasing regulation and the challenges arising from the next generation coming through is adding to the complexity of her work - not to mention her workload. She wants to foster inter-generational agreements on investment philosophy but also needs to be proactively catering for each principal’s unique sets of demands: the first and third generations do not have the same needs or the same vision! She believes that technology can help, but needs a flexible product that fits with her way of working.
Philip is a Dublin-based independent trustee looking after a wide range of trusts and pension funds. His background is in law but he has sound investment knowledge. His goal is to protect the asset owners’ fiduciary best interests. In order to do this, he reviews reports from fund managers and custodians. He must be equipped at quarterly meetings to understand the portfolio management philosophy and ask pertinent questions.
Philip is aware that he is reliant solely on his providers’ reports on performance. There may be extra information available that he is not privy to or shortcomings in the management approach he would like to know more about. He is also conscious that the benchmarks used to analyse performance do not necessarily reflect the investment philosophy.