An explorer, an artist and a do-gooder were just some of the exciting career paths that I dreamed of as a young girl – and what I have become a few decades later is a Fund Selector. But please do not stop reading just yet, with a bit of imagination I can easily say my work is a combination of all three. Let me give you a short tour to the World of Family Offices and show how!
It all starts with a blank canvas…
Just like an artist starts with an empty canvas, we have pretty much the same situation with our portfolios. We try to limit ourselves as little as possible and to see investments as a world of opportunities. We are driven by absolute returns, work on a global mandate and invest in all Asset Classes. This freedom is what I find one of the beauties of working for a Family Office, you do not have to limit yourself to a certain Asset Class but rather have a holistic view on the world around us. This has proven to be especially beneficial during the time of the pandemic and we have also entered some brand new areas, such as litigation finance, which did not tick any of our traditional boxes.
…brings you into unknown waters…
Thus, a Fund Selectors job is also about finding your inner Indiana Jones – jumping to the unknown and discovering new areas of investments. We are heavily invested in Emerging and Frontier Markets, which requires us to understand not only the local markets but also cultures. Covid has forced us to rely more and more on online meetings and in-depth due diligence at our desks, but in Fund Management business travel can never be fully replaced. You can only understand a market when you spend time there and long-lasting relationships are built equally around dinner tables as well as meeting rooms. My last business trip pre-pandemic was to Mumbai, where I observed Indian urban consumers but also spent up to 9 hours with some Managers. It was time well spent as these investments turned out to be some of the best in our portfolio last year. As soon as the situation allows, I will travel to Ruanda and Togo to get an in-depth understanding of the Solar Solution business we have invested into and how it changes the daily lives of people who have previously lived without electricity. Keeping an open mind and letting your curiosity lead you has been one of the keys to our superior returns.
…and ends up to the next generation
As Family Offices, we also have a strong focus on the next generation: Not only do we want to leave them with wealth, but also a world they can live in. Our actions will determine their future and this is why we have decided to integrate ESG into all of our investment analysis. We have also chosen investment themes that we believe to solve some of the biggest challenges of our children and grandchildren. We strongly believe Impact will be one of the next megatrends and have identified several investment ideas where we can positively contribute to topics such as a greener future, equal access to education, social justice and better health.
This article titled the world of family offices was first published in the September 2021 issue of our RankiaPro Europe Magazine, you can download the full issue here.