Dr. Rebecca Gooch (Campden Wealth): rising trends of family offices’

Dr. Rebecca Gooch, Director of Research at Campden Wealth, shares her insights on the increasing footprint of family offices worldwide, their asset class composition and the impact of sustainable investment on their investment strategies.

What are the main takeaways of the Global Family Office Report?

The family office space is growing rapidly. Campden Wealth estimates that the number of single-family offices has risen by 38% worldwide over the last two years. There are now an estimated 7,300 single-family offices globally, with 42% in North America, 32% in Europe, 18% in Asia-Pacific and 8% in the emerging markets of South America, Africa and the Middle East. Private equity and real estate account for over a third (35%) of the average family office portfolio globally, respectively representing the second and third largest asset classes in which family offices invest. These two asset classes were also the top performers of 2019 with direct private equity returning an average of 16%, private equity funds returning an average of 11% and real estate returning an average of 9.4%.

“There are now an estimated 7,300 single family offices globally, with 42% in North America, 32% in Europe, 18% in Asia-Pacific, and 8% in the emerging markets of South America, Africa and the Middle East.”

Which of the main asset classes are a focus for family office activities?

Three asset classes make up over two-thirds of the average family office portfolio globally. The first is equities, which accounts for 32% of the average portfolio, followed by private equity (18%) and real estate (17%).

How is sustainable/green investment influencing family offices’ activities?

Sustainable investing is becoming a very hot topic within the family office community. At present, one in three family offices invests sustainably and one in four invests in impact. While this form of investing is still relatively new within the family office space, it is becoming a bedrock within many families’ investment portfolios. This is being driven, to a large extent, by the next generation, particularly by millennials. Looking ahead, we can expect to see considerable growth in sustainable investment. Within family office S.I. investors, sustainability currently makes up 19% of the average portfolio and this figure is expected to rise to 32% over the next five years. In terms of where we might see an increase in investment, private equity is an important space to watch. In fact, 76% of family offices which invest in impact use direct private equity as their vehicle. This is more than double the second most utilised asset class of real estate (32%).