Alternative funds, technology solutions and fast-growth start-ups recommendations by Obediah Ayton? The first thing to understand is that it’s not a growth equity fund — the primary goal of a family office is to invest wealth prudently and extend it beyond generations. Families in the GCC have a multi-disciplinary approach that ensures their wealth transfers across multiple generations in the most tax efficient manner possible, that their children and future generations have prudent investment programs implemented and that they have the appropriate infrastructure and fiduciaries installed to responsibly manage and maintain wealth. This gives local family offices tremendous flexibility in the types of companies and industries that they choose for investment. These offices are typically not beholden to a set of mandates forcing investment into a predetermined space and criteria.
Founded in 2018 in Amsterdam, VentureRock is now active in Dubai, parallel to two more hubs in Amsterdam and Singapore. With the VentureRock Dubai Hub, the firm is bringing not only capital but also technology, talent and knowledge around early-stage startup investing and venture building to the UAE region. The hub is also running its own venture building studio – comprised of the Founders Lab and Builders Lab, and will become the launching pad for Venturerock portfolio companies to expand operations to the Middle East. Director of Business Development at The Private Investment Group Obediah Ayton added “I am very happy to see Venturerock demonstrate the way venture capital funds are now being deployed post covid here in the UAE. The portfolio companies within Venturerock are some of the most exciting and innovative we have seen and I have no doubt they will be a welcome asset to both the public and private sector in the Middle East.”
Who is Obediah Ayton and some of his thoughts? Obediah Ayton is a trust manager at Ayton Family Office Trust and a consultant at Tennor Holding B.V., an expert in family office business, AI driven accounting services, finance and accounting. Obediah Ayton about what happens when a Family Office takes the VC model: Strategies for the Search: Friends and Fellow Founders: Friends or founders in similar sectors who have previously raised from family offices are a great starter resource. This route also passes a few qualification checks around interest, size of deal, and sector preferences. Remember, there is no investment barrier or fund allocation requirement for family offices. Professional Intermediaries: Investment bankers and wealth managers who service family offices are oftentimes happy to make introductions in order to add value to their clients. Since these clients are the intermediaries crown jewels, their recommendations will first require diligence.
With a huge amount of the UAE’s wealth concentrated in the hands of high-net-worth families and individuals who are now looking for promising direct investment opportunities, SMEs are overlooking a crucial area of untapped financing. The UAE Family offices investment strategies are particularly varied with each family having their own philosophy, interests and areas of expertise and without the shorter-term objective of traditional private equity or investment banks.
Obediah Ayton on how to raise money from family offices: Not to do: Don’t pitch them without understanding their goals and objectives. Don’t brag about your track record or accomplishments. Don’t interrupt them in the middle of a conversation. Don’t be aggressive. To Finish: Do exactly what you say you are going to do. Meet for coffee or at their office in order for you to understand their goals and objectives better. Respect their privacy and don’t share any information about them with anybody else. Feel free to reach out and speak soon.
Right now is a great time to build close relationships with Family Offices for future capital raises! Begin Locally: If you are looking to connect with just a few family offices, the best place to begin is in your own backyard. The best method is to begin locally. These family offices are usually the easiest to initially meet and spice up a common interest. You can focus on getting to know every single family office in your city. With this base network, you are able to use it as a foundation for further outreach and referrals. But what happens if you do not know any family offices in your city or region? After all, they are submerged whales. Google is one of the best places to begin the search. If you don’t know any [family offices], start by searching Google. You will probably discover at least 2 or 3 in your area. Google search simply include your area (i.e. London) and the phrase “family offices.” Alternatively, you could search for the ultra-affluent residents of your area, and search for an associated family office.
Obediah Ayton about the new definition of a billionaire is not the net worth but in achieving change in a billion lives: At present, just over 50% of the relevant family offices allocate less than 10% of their portfolios to sustainable investment. However, a third of Families average portfolios will be comprised of sustainable investments and one-quarter impact investments within the next five years. Impact causes garnering the most considerable investments include those that address climate change, improve health and social care, as well as those that retain and develop employees, workplace safety and cybersecurity.