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Wealthy families reveal scepticism about advice

Wealthy families reveal scepticism about advice

Family offices are becoming more sceptical of taking wealth advice, according to research by Sanlam.

The company carried out in-depth interviews with 15 families for a report titled Family Fortunes, which found some were worried advisers attempted to apply the same set of solutions to every family.

This made them more resistant to seeking external wealth advice for their family office.

The report said advisers should instead be able to assess each stage of the family's journey and offer tailored advice.

It also highlighted the importance of making families aware of, and understand, any decisions advisers take on their behalf.

The report also raised the possibility that younger generations might want to invest their money more ethically, but also highlighted there could be a demand for income.

Penny Lovell, chief executive of Sanlam UK's private office, said: "The report's qualitative angle provides us with a much more personal and in-depth insight into the main trends and struggles faced by family offices.

"The views expressed reflect the changing nature of the industry, especially when it comes to the transfer of wealth and how the next generation want their money to be invested."

The report also revealed increasing concerns among families around new digital technologies and how they can tighten security to protect themselves and future generations.

Those in charge of family offices stressed they did not want someone who agrees with everything they suggest because it is the family which will suffer from any poor decisions.

Instead, they expected fair advice, based on honesty, integrity and transparency.

The report was carried out with Global Partnership Family Offices, a networking community for family offices.

Michael J Oliver, co-founder of Global Partnership Family Offices, said: "We are proud of our work during the past months and believe the report will help shed light on the concerns, threats and opportunities for family offices over the coming years.

"In a time where the level of inheritance is unprecedented it is crucial for families to consider how they can help support the successful passing down of wealth to future generations.

"Family offices are in a unique position – very often working with multiple members of the same family over a number of generations – and as such are well placed to help wealthy families navigate the increasingly complex and challenging economic and technological environment.

"Our report helps surface how the industry is starting to heed this opportunity."

damian.fantato@ft.com