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News Briefs: The SEC and family offices; Appointments at Swiss family office and UK wealth group

SEC scrutiny of family offices

Proposals to force single-family offices to register with the US regulator are likely to be vetoed by the US Senate but could eventually lead to a tightening in their surveillance, according to legal firm Dentons.

On July 22, progressive democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a bill requiring single-family offices worth $750 million, or more, to file reports with the SEC as “exempt reporting advisers”. SFOs managing third party money cease to enjoy exemption from the SEC. Those worth less than $750 million would be exempt from the new disclosure rule unless they were highly leveraged or involved in high-risk activities. People from the financial industry would be banned from family office access. 

Even if the measure passes through Congress, the chances of it getting through the Senate is very slim, according to political analysts.  But it could act as a catalyst for greater surveillance of family offices by the SEC. Ocasio-Cortez has said that she was concerned by the implosion of Archegos Capital Management in March 2021. Regulations have not yet changed following the affair. Dentons warns that the current proposals would invade family office privacy and make it harder for them to finance new ventures, adding that it is critical for family offices to start a pre-emptive dialogue with the regulators.

Directorship for Swiss family office adviser

Family office adviser Simon Minder has joined the board of Key Family Partners, a Geneva-based multi-family office. Key Family was founded by Count Hugues d’Annoux and Morten Kielland whose families made their fortune from steel, textiles, steel, shipping and timber. It is prepared to offer families which sign up equity in their multi-family business.

Minder retains his role as founder and chief executive of M76, his own consulting business. He sets out to advise families in their investment and software needs both remotely and in person. Based in Zug, he is an associate to Global Partnership Families, a support group for ex-family office executives, He served as managing partner at Marcuard Family Office until July 2020. 

UK wealth/family office appointment

Saltus Asset Management of the UK has appointed Andrew Fleming as chairman, hard on the heels of winning a mandate to manage investments for a £100 million family office.

Fleming is an adviser to several wealthy families and chairs investments at the philanthropic Rank Foundation, started by J Arthur Rank, who made money in the flour milling trade, then film production. Rank Foundation is now chaired by his grandson Joey Newton, who found success as a farmer and amateur jockey. 

Fleming will lead Saltus’ wealth business, with a view to strengthening its investment proposition. It was founded in 2004 by managing partner Jonathan Macintosh and manages £1.75 billion in the wealth sector. Its new £100 million family office mandate takes the form of an outsourced CIO arrangement.

Fleming was previously chief executive of investment firm Waverton. Before that, he was chief executive of Kames Capital, a £37 billion institutional investment management business now absorbed by its owner, Dutch insurer Aegon. 

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