Six Silicon Valley family offices


Silicon Valley is a billionaire factory. Last year, according to Forbes, 23 new billionaires were created in the tech city. California overall had 130 billionaires, with two-thirds of them connected to the technology industry.

Here are six family offices of Silicon Valley billionaires… and what they like to invest in.

Paul Allen, Vulcan

The Seattle-based family office of the Microsoft co-founder oversees much of the Allen family’s businesses including Vulcan Real Estate, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Flying Heritage Collection and the Seattle Seahawks. Vulcan employs more than 400 people and is also involved in private equity, venture capital and philanthropy.

Mark Zuckerberg, Iconiq Capital

Maybe not strictly speaking the single-family office of Mark Zuckerberg, but the Silicon Valley investment house allegedly manages a big chunk of the Facebook founder’s money. Iconiq, which says it’s a multifamily office, but has a website suggesting it’s not trying to attract money from any old billionaire, has around $1.4 billion under management, with holdings in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group – and of course Facebook.

Sergey Brin, Bayshore Global Management

Probably the best known of all the Silicon Valley family offices, Brin’s Bayshore Global Management employs around 50 people in various capacities, including personal security and domestic staff. According to various reports, the Google co-founder has a big part of his Bayshore portfolio in property.

Bill Gates, Cascade Investment

The world’s wealthiest man, with a fortune approaching $80 billion, according to Forbes, has a family office called Cascade Investments. It is the second-biggest shareholder in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, owning around 5% of class B shares in the investment group. It also owns more than 40% of the Four Seasons Hotels group, has stakes in Canadian National Railway, the huge McDonald’s franchise group Arcos Dorados Holdings, and of course Microsoft.

Eric Schmidt, Hillspire

The ex-boss of Google set up his family office Hillspire nearly 10 years ago. According to its website, Hillspire likes investing in long-term plays, but it also likes alternative investments and bought a 20% take in the New York hedge fund D.E. Shaw group earlier this year. Reports suggest it has a portfolio worth around $5 billion.

Peter Thiel, Clarium

The legendary Silicon Valley investor, who famously made a 10% investment in Facebook in 2004, increasingly uses the hedge fund he set up in 2002 as a family office, say reports. At one stage Clarium had around $8 billion under management, but most clients have since left the hedge fund. It has less than $1 billion under management these days.