Trends of the Wealthy

Let’s talk about some trends that are changing how private investors and especially the ultra-wealthy families worth $100 Million plus are allocating their capital.

While the mass affluent and billionaires are studied and talked about relentlessly in the media and by the general public, there are very few resources or facts available on those who are worth $100 million up to $2 billion.

These individuals are sometimes called Centimillionaires, a term rarely used.  This was similar to the use of the term “family office” used prior to 2000, and I think in the future the mass media, wealth managers, and dozens of other types such as industry service providers are going to sit up straight and realize that while there are only around 3,000 billionaires depending on what sources you trust, there are between 40,000 and 60,000 centimillionaires.

The families in the $100 million to $2 billion range need a lot of help, do not have as many gatekeepers as other 2 plus billionaires, and are less “famous” so they aren’t being pinged hundreds of times an hour with offers, pitches, requests and other inquiries.

Below are two trends we are seeing among Centimillionaires:

Transferring of Values (Not Capital): While the general public talks about baby boomers and the transfer of that wealth being central to their aging, Centimillionaire families seem to worry more about transferring values, responsibilities, family stories, and know-how being passed on to the next few generations.  Transferring of wealth in a tax efficient matter is important, but not much of that matters if the family tears themselves apart, wastes the money, embarrasses the family name, and squanders what past generations worked so hard to build as a family culture and legacy.  Many families are afraid that their family stories, governance structures, experience, etc. in creating the wealth is going to get lost between generations, and the true loss is either the family staying connected and/or the principles that lead to the wealth being created in the first place.  The wealth is truly transferred within the family values – not just a “warm fuzzy family emotions are more important than money” approach, but truly the only preservation and growth of the capital long-term is via the values/mission of the family.

Outsourcing: Most family offices are realizing that the only thing they should be doing in-house is what they did to create their wealth in the first place, the space where they believe there is great cross-over in a rising tide opportunity, using their experience and skills where they actively want to be 100% focused.  Trying to “recreate the wheel” just does not make sense.

Many single family offices, whether they hire a private bank or multi-family office or not, are leaning towards full outsourcing of their managers/stock/bonds/market exposure, a full in-house deployment of their investment back into the niches where they are playing offense, and then an in-between strategy of going through independent sponsors and some direct investments when it comes to real estate allocations.

This outsourcing trend with varying levels of accountability, control and transparency is likely to continue increasing with those with over $100 million in assets.

At NAMCOA we focus on adding real value, resources and peer connections to centimillionaires is one of those areas where those positioning now, building relationships now, and adding value now will do well long-term just as they will in the growing family office space.

 

Author: Paul McIntyre

Chief Compliance Officer

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