#Entrepreneurs — 14.07.2019

The Single Family Office Space

Discover the recent trends in the Single Family Office space, globally and in Asia, with Remi Frank, Global Head of Key Client Group, BNP Paribas Wealth Management


Which recent trends do you observe in the Single Family Office space, globally?

Very clearly, the investments made by the Family Offices are more and more outside of the classical listed markets whether it's in equity, in bonds. They are looking for some other type of asset classes, the unlisted equities, the private debt, the real estate.

These are trends we have been seeing for the last, I'd say at least 5 years, and it's amplifying because the markets are more and more difficult to read.

And as such, they prefer to have some more tangible assets to invest in.

Which key differences, if any, have you observed between Western and Asian Family Offices?

Originally, the Family Offices were in the U.S. and then they moved to Europe, and finally to Asia.

But today I would say that there are less and less differences.

I think the Asian Family Offices have caught up very quickly and today, when I compared the type of people I'm talking with, in Asia compared with Europe or the U.S., and the professionalism of these people in Asia compared to the western world, I don't see many differences.

I think they have reached an excellent level, which is absolutely comparable, and I think that people who are working for Family Offices in Asia could be, today working either in Europe or in the U.S. the same way they operate here.

What would you say are the key attributes required to optimally service the Asian Single Family Offices today?

I think to give the right set of service you need to have a very broad range of capabilities.

And that's where we can make a difference at BNP Paribas because, as we are a universal bank, we are present everywhere so we can originate ideas either in Asia, but also in Europe or in the U.S.

Also we have a very strong corporate & investment bank, where we can also find ideal solutions for these clients.

And on top of it, it's not only on the investment banking side, but we also have a real estate department, where we can propose to our clients, for instance in Asia some buildings in London, in France, in Germany. We have very strong asset management capacities, we have very strong custody.

So, that's the global reach of BNP Paribas whether it's geographically, or in terms of businesses, which can make us an unique provider for the Family Offices.

And that's why we have more and more clients who are using our services today.

How do you approach the way that you interact with Single Family Offices and the Next Generation?

We have been maybe the first, or among the very first, banks to address this criteria of clients very specifically, and around two type of events, one is what we call the Single Family Office Forums. The other one are the NextGen events.

For the Single Family Office Forums, this is something we started in Paris, which is our headquarters, it's every year, the flagship event in June, always chaired either by our CEO, or our chairman, who are coming to speak to this very unique population.

And with the success of this event in Paris, we have decided to multiply it, and to localise it, like today in Hong Kong, but also we had in Singapore, in Luxembourg, Dubai, and we have plenty of other events that will take place over the next months.

Simultaneously, for the last ten years, we are also dedicated some events to the next generation of our clients. To educate them, and to inspire them.

And what is very interesting is that we see more and more convergences between these two types of events between the Single Family Office and the NextGen.

Because many of the nextgeners are working in the Family Offices of the family.

And as such, I am very pleased to see sometimes some of the nextgener will who attended an event either in Paris, in Hong Kong, in Silicon Valley, now attending the Single Family Office Forum as well in these various jurisdictions.

We will continue to have those two dedicated events, but the more we see overlaps between the two populations, the better it's going to be.