Publications

- February 1, 2020: Vol. 12, Number 2

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Wealth and prosperity: How real estate can deliver compelling capital growth and long-term income streams for family offices’ multigenerational ambitions

by Dr Thomas Wiegelmann and Dr Morten Bennedsen

Family offices exist for the purpose of investing and managing funds to sustain the family’s long-term wealth and prosperity. The wealth controlled by billionaires worldwide is estimated to be roughly US$9 trillion (see chart, page 6). There is limited knowledge about how much capital is managed through professional family office structures; The Economist provided an indication of US$3 trillion to US$4 trillion in a December 2018 story titled “Family offices become financial titans: The growing ranks of billionaires’ in-house investment teams”. It is estimated that there are about 5,300 single-family offices, of which three-quarters are in North America or Europe. In addition, there are many multifamily offices that service up to hundreds of wealthy families.

Strategic allocation to real estate

Even 200 years ago, banker Nathan Meyer Rothschild stated that one should wisely invest a third of one’s assets in property. Today, in times

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