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NEWSLETTER | 8 Jan 2021  
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Family office values to the fore


The focus is on family offices in the first newsletter of 2021 with a new survey by BlackRock revealing that, despite recent market turbulence and a challenging economic outlook thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the vast majority of family offices have no plans to make material changes to their asset allocation strategies.

The inaugural BlackRock Global Family Office Survey, which reflects the views of 185 family office globally, says long-term event horizons are behind the decision to stick with existing strategies, but that interest in sustainable and responsible investing has increased during the Covid-19 crisis.

"While there is greater interest and pressure from the next generation of family members to better reflect their values, improving education on sustainable allocations and the adoption of a common framework for impact measurement will be key to ensure a more widespread integration of these factors into Family Offices’ investment strategies,” says Sheryl Needham, Managing Director, Head of EMEA Family Offices at BlackRock.

A failure to improve and showcase their ethical credentials means family offices risk being seen as 'second-rate' investors compared to private equity and venture capital firms, according to new research by Transmission Private, which reveals that 'business track record' and 'ethical credentials' are now the two most important determining factors for a company or co-investor when considering whether to work with one investor over another. 

"A family office's commitment to ethical conduct and economic impact gives it a clear market edge in accessing deals," says Luke Thompson, Head of Client Services at Transmission Private.

Access to additional technology meanwhile, will be the key to a Happy New Year for the UK's retail investors who top the league of Europe's tech-savvy savers according to a new report from investment platform eToro and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

The overwhelming majority of Brits say they want new and novel digital ways of managing their cash with some 60 per cent keen to see the growth of fintech, through the expansion of mobile payments, online investing platforms and online banking, compared to just 10 per cent who are opposed.

Good old fashioned financial advice – virtual or otherwise – still has a big part to play for UK investors though, with over two-thirds of advisers and paraplanners currently supporting clients through significant changes to their lifetime plan as a result of the pandemic, according to a new study by Intelliflo and i4C. 

The poll reveals that cashflow modelling technology is the most popular tool for helping clients meet their long-term goals but that a third still only use it once a year rather than making it a regular component of their advice offering. “Although cashflow modelling was built for times like these, there is still some way to go before it is adopted widely and to its full potential," says Gareth Kerr, Head of Sales Proposition at Intelliflo.

And in this week's guest feature, Paul Fairbairn, partner at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, takes a look at one of the options mooted as a potential revenue raiser for the UK government as it looks to rebalance the post-pandemic books, an individual wealth tax. But before you go running for the hills of the nearest offshore tax haven, as Fairburm points out, the Wealth Tax Commission's proposals back in December were little more than an academic exercise, and there's little if anything for wealthy individuals and their advisers to worry about currently.

Wealth Adviser



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Only 23 per cent of family offices planning to change asset allocations despite market turbulence
Fri | 15 Jan 2021, 13:03
The inaugural BlackRock Global Family Office Survey of 185 Family Offices globally, has revealed that despite recent market turbulence and a challenging economic outlook, only 23 per cent of Family Offices intend to make material changes to their asset allocation, largely due to their long-term investment horizon.
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Family offices deemed ‘second-rate’ investors by not giving visibility to ethical credentials, says new survey
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Family offices risk being written as ‘second-rate’ investors when compared with the bigger brand-name private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms by not taking more steps to selectively increase their visibility, better communicate their business track-record, and showcase their ethical credentials, finds new research from Transmission Private.
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