“The Secret World of Family Offices”

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“Family offices by nature are secretive, but with 30 million people active in the business, it has become a major force in finance. They manage a total of $9 trillion in assets. Here’s a list of the who’s who.

The U.S. publication «Family Capital» compiled a list of the 750 biggest family offices, the most comprehensive such list published. The offices listed are companies that manage the wealth of one family only. The list (an excel spread sheet) makes for interesting reading.

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  • Family offices have become a major industry. They employ 30 million people and managed assets totaling $9 trillion, according to the list compiled in cooperation with PwC consultants.
  • China is emerging as a major power in this business as well. Out of the 750 offices in the list, some 62 are based in China or Hong Kong. China alone has 43 family offices, a figure that is rising steadily. Germany, which is said to have the longest tradition in family office services, some 94 companies made it on the list.
  • Switzerland also has a big role to play, with 23 offices based here. They include the owners of Roche (rank 25), Schindler (178), Swatch (244) and car importer AMAG (421). The list also contains foreign-owned firms with headquarters in Switzerland: Gunvor Group, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company Holding and Bauhaus.

The seismic shift from the (old) West to the (new) East is being mirrored in the family office industry, according to Peter Englisch, the PwC expert on family offices. U.S. firms will continue to dominate the list for some years to come, but Chinese and other Asian firms are bound to compete with these industry giants as the growth of wealth in Asia is much faster than in countries such as the U.S.”

More information: www.finews.asia

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