Family Office Real Estate

Family offices are upping their investments in real estate/land – but very discreetly

When it comes to investing, family offices nearly always come back to real estate and land. Property is physical, and the very rich have figured out the longest family dynasties all had property as the cornerstone of their investments.

That might explain why two tech billionaires Bill Gates and James Dyson, are among the most prominent private owners of agricultural land in the US and the UK, respectively. 

Of course, there is no reason for family offices to disclose this information and discreet investment vehicles are often set up to buy and sell real estate and land. That’s no different than before

That appeal, whether buildings or land, is as strong as ever. 

But Family Capital has noticed that many of the deals in the sector in recent months are done very quietly, often through third-party investment groups with little or no formal links to the family office providing the money. 

Perhaps that’s no different from the past, but the amount of money circulating in the sector and the international nature of many of these deals may differ. 

Take, for example, the biotech billionaire Thomas and Andreas Strüngmann. The billionaires are the biggest equity holders in BioNTech, the biotech wonder behind one of the main vaccines for Covid-19. The Strüngmann brothers, already multi-billionaires before their investment in BioNTech, have made a killing from the group and are ploughing much of their excess wealth discreetly into real estate.

As Family Capital revealed earlier this year, the brothers back real estate investment group AM Alpha. The Munich-based group bought a wine warehouse in Australia worth A$98 million in June. And AM Alpha is doing many other deals, many of them outside of Germany.  

Another German family-backed investment group based in the US has just bought an office building in Miami for $50 million. The deal was done through New York City-based real estate investment group Greenacre Management. The German family behind the deal isn’t disclosed. 

Yet another investment group linked to a family office in Germany has just put a massive piece of agricultural land up for sale in Queensland, Australia. 

Another deal done very discreetly in the last few days was a French-based family office selling a prime piece of real estate in Paris. But, again, the family behind the deal hasn’t been disclosed. 

Of course, there is no reason for family offices to disclose this information and discreet investment vehicles are often set up to buy and sell real estate and land. That’s no different than before. 

But recent these recent deals indicate that family offices are very active in the property sector – and quick to respond to the upheaval in the sector brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. And many of these deals are more international than in the past. 

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