Why be more transparent as a family office? Access to better investments

Johan Andresen - presents a strong argument for family offices to be more transparent.   Photo: Olav Heggø / Ferd 

Johan Andresen - presents a strong argument for family offices to be more transparent.   Photo: Olav Heggø / Ferd 

As a follow-on from last week’s article on transparency, here’s another very sound argument for family offices to be more transparent. And it comes from someone who is at the top of his game when it comes to family investment groups - Johan Andresen, the owner of Ferd, one of Europe’s biggest family investment companies.

I believe that cannot be achieved without proactively telling the outside world about who you strive to be, who you hope to attract, and where you can use your comparative advantages to make a difference, impact - and return - wise.

Here’s what he had to say on transparency: “Family offices, or at least those who actively seek to do direct investments, are dependent on three things that the big fee and bonus-spenders take for granted: that they attract the best talent; that their advisors put their best people on their doorstep; and, that the deal-flow is of high quality and according to their strategy.

“For a family investment company or a family office, I believe that cannot be achieved without proactively telling the outside world about who you strive to be, who you hope to attract, and where you can use your comparative advantages to make a difference, impact - and return -wise.”

As a caveat, Andresen adds: “Is there a flipside to that strategy? Of course. There is a flip side to any strategy.”

The entire statement is powerful - and as family offices increasingly do more direct investing, Family Capital reckons that many of them will be listening to Andresen’s advice.

Here's a more in-depth interview with Andresen by Family Capital, where he talks more about his thinking on transparency as well as other issues.