Family Capital

Things are changing in the world of family offices. Single family offices are increasing in number as more people gain enough wealth to make it worthwhile setting one up. At the same time, multi family offices are changing. 

Before 1990, most of China’s many family-owned firms were wiped out, appropriated by the state. But since the country embraced capitalism a host of new family firms have sprung up. Here are five to watch. 

Patrick Thomas spent his entire career at family-owned firms, including Pernod Ricard, where he became CFO at 33, German cosmetics firm Lancaster and William Grant & Son, and most famously Hermes. He says that family firms should get better at lobbying politicians. 

Turkey’s Ulker family have bought the firm that makes British biscuits such as Jaffa Cakes and Hobnobs, proving that if you know your stuff you can build a vast family business empire around the most modest of products. 

British hotelier Sir Rocco Forte has entered into a deal with the Italian government to open hotels in tourist hot-spots. The deal should secure the troubled group, and bring in some much-needed Chinese money.  

The property arm of the Safras, a Brazilian banking dynasty, has bought iconic London office building The Gherkin. The family has been on something of a global spree of picking up famous addresses in the past year. 

Family-owned bank Fleming has joined forces with multi-family office Stonehage, the latest in a series of consolidations in the sector. But when does a family office stop being a family office? 

It might not be a household name, but Sweden’s Kinnarps is one of Europe’s biggest furniture makers. It combines a strong family tradition, roots in the town where it was founded with financial success. We met its non-family CEO. 

Europeans are often gloomy about their economy, but Chinese firms are on the lookout for businesses there, which often have deep traditions and a ready-made market. Here are five family businesses that sold out.

Most family offices are private, but a small handful are incredibly well-known. As competition for deals hots up, more might follow their lead. We take a look at the best-known, from Exor and Virgin to Berkshire Hathaway.