Philanthropy Impact is pleased to be a promotional partner of Prestel and Partner's annual Family Office Forum. Here, Astrid Naujoks talks to us about the upcoming forum
There are many events for Family Offices out there. Some say too many. And it can be annoying, time consuming and expensive to find what you are looking for! I am in the business of conference organising myself and you may find my statement a little odd, given my line of business. But from my experience I find that many events that do not deliver spoil it for everyone, last not least for the event organisers themselves.
Allow me to explain: we are focusing on one client group only – Family Offices. They have a genuine need to keep up to date with everything that is close to their hearts and minds: examples are family security, how to include the next generation in the family business, how to keep everyone safe and connected, wherever they are across the globe, how to make good and sound investment decisions, and, very importantly, how to invest in a way that passes on good things to others. They want to share their experiences with their peers and are thirsty for new ideas and input from others. What they do not want is to be approached by hundreds of service providers who want to push their products and concepts. Sadly, that is exactly what happens on too many occasions.
They key to the solution is to turn things around and let the Family Offices decide the content of the event and, furthermore, to invite them to share their experiences with their peers by asking many of them to present their ideas to the audience and to actively take part in panel discussions. No one likes to be preached at from the outside. But most people want to hear from their peers – they want to share their findings and experiences with people who are in a similar situation to their own.
That is why we listen very carefully. And then listen some more. The result is an event that reflects the input and wishes from many of our close Family Office contacts. We also strictly limit the number of service providers and select from the many only those who are relevant to our Family Offices. And we are also very careful who we include among our guests: to us, a genuine Principal or Family Office has at least GBP 100 million of assets (usually it is much more), these assets are from only one or few families / wealth owners, and the Family Office is working for one or few (not as a solution provider to many third parties). It is that simple, really, yet it requires time and experience to get it right.
For our next event in London the overwhelming demand from our Family Offices was to get more information on all aspects of philanthropy – how can they combine doing good with sound investment solutions? There are many questions in a rapidly evolving investment environment that need urgent answers – please see our London Agenda for more details.
As always we are guided in our concept and agenda by Family Offices for Family Offices. The emphasis for our London Family Office Forum on 15th and 16th September therefore lies with philanthropy, Family Governance and Family Operations.
We believe that success comes only with listening to the needs of our clients – nothing is more important than taking the time and trouble to attend to the smallest detail with the same professional focus as to the biggest challenge and we see our role solely in creating a platform in bringing together, and creating unique access to a range of specialist contacts, knowledge and opportunities.
Our Family Office Forum is made by Family Offices for Family Offices. One of the guiding principles that lie behind our events is to closely involve Family Offices right from the start. From the beginning of our research via the design of our agenda right through to the actual presentations and discussions during the Forum: it is truly an event shaped by Family Offices for Family Offices. Our topics therefore always reflect what is close to the hearts and minds of our Family Offices – from Family Governance to Operations to Philanthropy – and the discussions are “real”, heartfelt and always up to date. For our previous events please see our London Report with an overview of the structure and background of our participants. For this year’s programme and registration details please click on Agenda 2015.