The FamCap Family Offices

The rise of the Black American family office

In the last week, two investment groups owned by wealthy Black Americans were among Family Capital’s weekly list of family/principal investment offices doing deals. In itself, this isn’t particularly significant, but what it shows is a rising trend in the investment world –  the rise of Black Americans becoming significant players in the world of direct investing and family offices. 

In a world dominated by caucasian investors, the rise of Black Americans in the rarefied world of family/principal offices can only be celebrated – even if it still is a slow process. 

Serena Ventures, owned by the tennis legend, Serena Williams, is perhaps the most active when it comes to venture investing, having participated in more than 30 investment rounds…

Much of that rise is linked to Black American sports and entertainment stars, and the fortunes they have made – and like an increasing number of their counterparts they are setting up investment, brand promotional, and philanthropic groups to manage their fortunes and legacies. One of the two investment groups listed this week in Family Capital’s deals is Russell Westbrook Enterprises – the investment group of the eponymous basketball icon. 

The other one on the list is Bronze Investments, owned by San Francisco-based tech entrepreneur and impact investor Stephen DeBerry. Although the sports and entertainments industry is still the dominate source of Black American family/principal office wealth, fortunes springing from entrepreneur efforts like DeBerry within the black community in the US is also driving their growth. 

Notable in this respect is also Troy Taylor, the owner and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, one of the biggest bottlers for the famous drink in the US. Taylor owns Tampa-based Cardinal System Holdings. Also, entrepreneur Robert Louis Johnson and his holding/ investment group, The RLJ Companies. 

Like the sports sector, the entertainment industry, famous and rich Black Americans are setting up family offices. Most noticeable are OW Investments, the family office of Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith’s, the Smith Family Circle, and Shawn Carter’s (JAY-Z), Marcy Venture Partners, which does raise funds from other investors, but is anchored by Carter’s money. 

Indeed, The Smith Family Circle is a classic example of a family office – branded very much as the family’s group – the website shows pictures of the family. It oversees the Smith family’s investment and philanthropy efforts. Interestingly, it just appointed a new CEO – Enoch Woodhouse, who joins the family office from a background of senior positions in public education and a degree from Havard in African American studies. 

Given the prevalence of fortunes made in the sports and entertainment industry, Black American family/principal investment offices have concentrated some of their direct investments into these sectors. Of course, they also invest in many other sectors, as the table below illustrates.  

Serena Ventures, owned by the tennis legend, Serena Williams, is perhaps the most active when it comes to venture investing, having participated in more than 30 investment rounds since it was set up in 2014. 

To access the Table in full, please click on its content and scroll right or left with your mouse. Or scroll down to the end of the Table and use the right/left scroll bar there.

wdt_ID Family/Principal Investment Office Owner(s) Based Notable Investments
1 Bronze Investments Stephen DeBerry East Palo Alto, California Promise
2 LendUp
3 Mosaic
4 Cardinal System Holdings Troy Taylor Tampa, Florida N/A
5 Hornets Sports & Entertainment/Michael Jordan Family Office Michael Jordan Charlotte, North Carolina DraftKings
6 Sportradar
7 Muzik
8 ISIAH International Isiah Lord Thomas III Chicago Cheurlin Champagne
9 OneWorld Pharma
10 Marcy Venture Partners Shawn Carter/Jay Brown San Franciso K-Health
Family/Principal Investment Office Owner(s) Based Notable Investments

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