Alternative funds, technology solutions and fast-growth start-ups guides 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.
Supporting VentureRock with their capital raise and strategic partnerships with both the public and private sectors has been The Private Investment Group, a Dubai-based company that works with funds and families in the GCC but also throughout Europe, the US, and Asia. Founder and CEO of The Private Investment Group Alastair Lidel said “What VentureRock has built is the next generation of ecosystems. A system that allows the incredible depth of knowledge they have to be coupled with some of the most innovative minds in the world. Working in partnership with Xander and the VentureRock team has always been exciting and a privilege and we are delighted to have supported them in this venture and look forward to continuing this impressive journey. Director of Business Development at The Private Investment Group Obediah Ayton said “I am excited 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 professional 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 on what happens when a Family Office takes the VC model: Why Raise Money from Family Offices: The long-term nature of their capital. Family offices have private capital to be preserved across generations, unlike venture capital firms which have contractually short term horizons. Strong alignment of the founder with the entrepreneur. Owing to the entrepreneurial DNA of the founders of most family offices, younger, more inexperienced entrepreneurs stand to benefit tremendously from the insights and connections of the family. This functions much like a successful venture capital fund but without the ego and aggressive nature to perform substantial returns.
Alongside this monumental shift in wealth, we are witnessing a modernisation of family offices here in the UAE. Family offices are not only selecting business models that allow for more control and greater returns but are also expressing a heightened interest in “impact investing”. Typically, this means investing in small or medium-sized organisations that are purpose-led and have a focus on sustainable or ethical business practices. As the number of UAE family offices and the pool of wealth amassed by them increases and is passed on to a new generation, the way they conduct themselves is evolving rapidly, investing in innovative, creative and socially conscious ways. SMEs should take note of this enthusiasm and use it to their advantage.
Obediah Ayton about how to raise money from family offices: Biggest advice: – To let the Family Office understand that you’re interests are aligned with theirs. That you’re in this for the long term, not just a few transactions. Even if they’re great deals. Intelligence is a commodity. Integrity is not. To do: Listen. Add value at all times. Ask about their goals and objectives. Be authentic. Ask about what they are currently looking for. Do what you say you’re going to do. “Trusting is hard. Knowing whom to trust, even harder.”
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 on the new definition of a billionaire is not the net worth but in achieving change in a billion lives: We have seen family offices become much more engaged in discussions about sustainable and impact investing over the last 12 months. This is no longer seen as a ‘side project’ or preoccupation of the Next Gen, but a priority for the family as a whole. Many products are now recognised by family offices as fully-fledged investment tools that can generate good returns. New technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptocurrency, blockchain and even gaming have made their way onto the family office radar and into their budgets.