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Top financiers, their family offices, and what they invest in

Family/private investment offices often invest in the same sectors the family/entrepreneur made their money from in the first place. But that’s less common when fortunes were made from the financial sector. Instead, often billionaire financiers diversify their investments into more physical assets like real estate and non-financial businesses. Maybe that’s because of the ephemeral nature of the world they originally made their money from, or maybe it’s because they’re often better than other billionaires at diversifying their risk. 

Family Capital looks at family/private investment offices owned by some of the world’s top financiers and what they are investing in. 

CAM Capital

Investment themes: biotech and healthcare

Hedge fund titan Bruce Kovner’s CAM Capital is a hybrid hedge fund/family office, so it’s very much involved in hedge fund strategies even though Kovner’s Caxton Associates, the hedge fund he ran for nearly 30 years, was closed down in 2011. 

CAM Capital has diversified its portfolio into direct investments, particularly at the level of venture investing. And much of this has been driven by investments in biotech and healthcare companies. Notable investments include GTx (which is now part of Oncternal Therapeutics), Antios Therapeutics, and last April CAM Capital backed Satsuma Pharmaceuticals in a Series B funding round worth $62 million with 11 other investors. 

Cohen Private Ventures

Investment themes: education

Steve Cohen is best known for his hedge fund group Point72 Asset Management, but he also has a private investment group called Cohen Private Ventures that’s run by him and his brother Andrew. The Stamford, Connecticut-based office backed a cryptocurrency fund last year called Autonomous Partners.  It has also invested in Laureate Education, the biggest for-profit higher education network in the world – more about this here

Crosby Advisors/F-Prime Capital

Investment themes: hotels

Crosby Advisors manages the money of  Edward “Ned” Crosby Johnson who owns along with his daughter Abigail Johnson the asset management group Fidelity Investments. Based in Salem, New Hampshire, Crosby appears (SEC filings often mention both Crosby and Fidelity Investments as the owners) to have a holding in the InterContinental Hotels Group, which among other hotel brands, owns the Holiday Inn brand. 

The Johnson family also own the venture group F-Prime Capital, which raises outside money, and has invested in more than 100 businesses with a portfolio value of more than $2 billion. F-Prime tends to focus on healthcare and biotech.  

Dalio Family Office

Investment themes: gold

Hedge fund multi-billionaire Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates, which is still one of the world’s biggest hedge funds after it was set up way back in 1975. His family office might be adding gold to its portfolio given what Dalio said in the summer about the precious commodity and other assets. But known investments include a number of venture-type businesses, including an employment software group called Rimeto, and a crypto-currency group called eCurrency Mint. 

Declaration Capital

Investment themes: real estate

Declaration Capital is the family office of private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, who’s best-known for co-founding The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s biggest private equity funds. Only launched last year, Declaration has been very active in direct investments, particularly in real estate. It has bought with other investors a number of apartment complexes across the US. Declaration has also backed a number of tech businesses, including a conference platform, a healthcare group, and an esports platform.

Duquesne Family Office

Investment themes: public equity

Stanley Druckenmiller first made serious money working for George Soros and his Quantum Fund. Later he set up his own hedge fund Duquesne Capital, which he converted into a family office in 2010. Since then, Duquesne Family Office has bought numerous minority stakes in listed businesses, including Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, Netflix. Actually, Duquesne Family Office’s 13F filings read a bit like a list of companies on the S&P 500. 

In the private equity/venture space, Duquesne Family Office has taken various positions in businesses, including Addepar, a finance reporting performance platform, Relationship Science, a technology solutions business, and Oscar Health, a healthcare insurance company. 

E.L. Rothschild

Investment themes: data/information

The family investment group of Evelyn Robert de Rothschild and his wife Lynn de Rothschild has a number of high profile direct investments, including owning a stake in The Economist Newspaper Group and IHS, which makes communication towers throughout Africa. E.L. Rothschild is also one of 21 family offices that have backed The Radcliff Companies, which makes investments on their behalf. New York City-based The Radcliff Companies is a shareholder of a blank check company called Pivotal Acquisition Corp, which earlier this year acquired KLDiscovery, an electronic discovery and data recovery services provider. 

Elysium

Investment themes: restaurants

Private equity billionaire Leon Black’s family office, Elysium Management employs around 20 people in its New York City-based offices, but it’s pretty private about its investments. Although last year Elysium bought the American casual dining franchisor Huddle House. 

Freemark Partners

Investment themes: restaurant chains

Freemark Partners is the investment office of Howard Marks, best known for his asset management group Oaktree Capital Management, which he co-founded in 1995. Freemark did well early this year when a business it had a stake in called Cambridge Franchise Holdings sold its ownership of 166 Burger King and 55 Popeyes restaurants in the US to Carrols Restaurant Group. The deal also gave Freemark and other family office investors a share in  Carrols Restaurant Group, the biggest Burger King franchise in the US. 

Early this year, Freemark also acquired a stake in Pixel Union, which designs custom themes for online platforms and offers a range of web-based services. 

JS Capital

Investment themes: packaging

Jonathan is the son of George Soros and he worked for Soros Fund Management before setting up his own private investment office, JS Capital Management, in 2012. The investment office has backed a number of businesses including recently a blank check group called One Madison Corporation, which last year acquired packaging group Ranpak. Through that deal, JS Capital owns 43.8% of Ranpak, according to SEC filings. 

M.Safra & Co

Investment themes: real estate

The Safra family are among the great banking dynasties and members of the family have been linked to numerous finance houses based across the world since the 19th century. M.Safra & Co is the private investment group set up by the now-deceased Moise Safra and now run by members of his family. 

A few years ago, M. Safra purchased a 40% stake in New York’s General Motors building for an estimated $1.4 billion. The family have acquired commercial property around the world, much in prestigious locations like London’s Bond Street.

Moore Strategic Ventures/Kendall Family Investments

Investment themes: fusion energy

Louis Bacon, a hedge fund billionaire known for the firm he founded called Moore Capital Management, has been diversifying into other investments for some time. His private investment group Kendall Family Investments co-invested with Steve Cohen’s family office in Laureate Education. 

But Bacon’s really interesting investment was through another private investment group he owns called Moore Strategic Ventures. Last July, Moore invested in Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which is at the forefront of developing the cleanest and safest energy known – nuclear fusion. 

TOMS Capital

Investment themes: food

Noam Gottesman is best known for co-founding hedge fund group GLG Capital in 1995, which was later sold to the Man Group. His private investment office, TOMS Capital, has been active in a number of areas. Its biggest profile investment is its holding in the UK frozen food group and acquisition company, Nomad Foods. TOMS also owns shares in a number of high profile listed businesses, including Microsoft and Colgate Palmolive. It also backed a few years ago a fashion lifestyle group called Into The Gloss.

Witter Family Offices

Investment theme: cryptocurrency infrastructure

Witter Family Offices is owned by Michael D. Witter and Sherry Pryor Witter. Michael is a descendant of Dean G. Witter, who founded Dean Witter & Co., a stock brokerage house, which was bought by Morgan Stanley back in the 1990s. Witter Family Offices early this year took a stake in Silvergate Bank, in advance of the bank’s Initial Public Offering announcement. Silvergate is a provider of financial infrastructure and services to participants in the digital currency industry.  

 

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