- Family offices are becoming increasingly institutionalized and sophisticated, with a greater emphasis on long-term investing and risk-taking.
- Family offices focus more on sustainability, including SDGs and soft qualities like gender inclusion and the environment.
- The UAE is emerging as a global advisory hub for private wealth and family offices, with reforms such as simplified personal tax residency and new legislation for single-family offices attracting international families.
- Family offices are becoming more geographically diversified to mitigate geopolitical risks.
- Technology, including blockchain and digital assets, is becoming an essential investment area for family offices.
Investopia 2023 hosted a “Trends in Family Wealth” session in partnership with Northern Trust. The event featured speakers including Nabyl Al Maskari, Founder of Future Positive, Zaid Al-Qaimi, Managing Partner of Patrimium Multi Family Office, Patrick Tsang, Chairman of Tsangs Group, Ismael Hajjar, Partner of Private Business and Family Office at PwC, and Todd A. Goergen, Managing Partner of Ropart Asset Management Funds.
One of the main topics discussed was the evolution of family offices in the UAE and the region. Zaid Al-Qaimi noted that the level of sophistication of family offices has significantly increased in the last decade, with most families transitioning from investing in one asset, such as real estate, to employing investment professionals and diversifying into other assets like private equity and venture capital. Patrick Tsang added that family offices traditionally focused on wealth preservation but have become more interested in venture capital and private equity.
The discussion also touched on the importance of technology and digital assets. Patrick Tsang emphasized that his family office invests heavily in technology and anticipates significant growth in the coming year. Todd A. Goergen of Ropart Asset Management Funds explained the importance of geographic diversity for family offices and stressed that his firm focuses on long-term investing and private markets. In this regard, blockchain technology was identified as an important trend for family offices. Zaid Al-Qaimi stated that his firm has invested in many blockchain companies and uses cases that make sense.
In addition to technological advancements, the speakers also discussed geopolitical risks and regulations. Ismael Hajjar noted that the UAE is becoming a global advisory hub for private wealth and family offices. The government has introduced various reforms, including legislation at the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Dubai International Financial Centre for single-family offices, to attract international families to the region. Hajjar also highlighted that many family offices are embracing the concept of “archipelago” and diversifying their assets across different jurisdictions to avoid geopolitical risks.
Finally, the session addressed the changing nature of family structures and wealth concentration. George Triplow emphasized that family offices are increasingly viewed as institutions and are becoming more sophisticated in their investment strategies. Nabyl Al Maskari noted that his family office focuses on empowering the family without capital and considers soft qualities such as gender inclusion and environmental impact in their investments.
Overall, the session highlighted the growing sophistication of family offices in the UAE and the region and their increasing interest in venture capital and private equity. It also emphasized the importance of technology and geographic diversity in investment strategies and the need to diversify assets across different jurisdictions to mitigate geopolitical risks. The speakers also recognized the evolving nature of family structures and the importance of family values in investment decision-making.