FAMILY OFFICE FOCUS: Where there is wealth

These past few weeks, PERE has been spending more time talking with family offices than is usual – that usual being hardly ever.

As a set, they remain distinctly private and do not typically volunteer to reveal all their investing secrets or indeed talk about them at all. However, for this special focus we bring you a variety of stories that demonstrate the different touch-points family offices have with real estate and some have come out of the shadows.

In the first place, we bring you a profile of Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors (KAREA). This unusual firm from Florida has a family office as its principal investor alongside many other families and high-net-worths. Not only do we catch up with the firm in question to find out more, but we also spoke to a family office investor and an investment professional who advises some 101 families in Kayne Anderson funds. Click here for the full story.

Then we take a look at how family offices sometimes like to roll up their sleeves and develop their own real estate projects. The billionaire Dart family that made a fortune from insulated foam cups of all things, has found a passion for real estate development down in the Cayman Islands. Our (lucky) intrepid reporter had the arduous task of checking out the progress and the results can be seen here.

But let us be honest. What we are dying to know is just how much wealth there is in family offices and ultra high net worth individuals generally and are they putting much of it to work in real estate overall, and where? Well, Megan Walters, head of research within the Asia Pacific Capital Markets team at Jones Lang LaSalle has the answers. In her commentary later in the section, you can discover the mind boggling-figures involved, broken down by geography.  

Finally, at PERE’s Global Investor Forum in Los Angeles in late April, three professionals from the world of family offices took to the stage for a revealing hour of discussion. They explained how they think about real estate investing and offered insight into the dos and don’ts if you are a firm looking to introduce a deal. 

All in all, it is a fascinating package. But if you take away nothing else, the central lesson never to forget when confronting this impressive investor set is “be prepared”.