Once a family or individual attains a certain degree of wealth, the benefits of establishing a single-family office, solely dedicated to perpetuating family values and fortune, far exceed that of traditional multi-family wealth managers. This is true of the Silicon Valley elite; Hong Kong’s new money and old money; and the world’s richest you may have never heard of.
Far less common is a wealth so vast that it requires two or more single-family offices to preserve capital across generations and time. While this sounds redundant, there are a few main benefits of this strategy.
First is the human element. Descendants of the wealth creator often have varying financial needs, philosophies and risk tolerances from one another, warranting the creation of a unique entity catering to individual needs. Second, is the desire for diversity of strategies and specializations. Families may want to deploy concentrated, contrasting strategies, which might be best executed by a different asset class expert in a separate legal entity.
Presenting five billionaire families that manage a total of 12 single-family offices with an estimated aggregate of $192.4 billion in wealth:
The Pritzker FamilyFamily Wealth: $29 billion
Primary Sources of Wealth: Hyatt Hotel Corp., Marmon Group
The Pritzker family is one of the wealthiest families in the United States and is widely known for entrepreneurship and philanthropy. The family rose in wealth after Jay Pritzker founded Hyatt Hotels Corp. and selling the Marmon Group, a manufacturing conglomerate, to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. In 2011, the family completed a split of its investment holdings into 11 pieces worth $1.4 billion apiece.
Family Office: Tao Capital Partners
Key Investment Professionals: Matt Bigliardi
Tao Capital Partners is the family office of Nicholas Pritzker, who served as Chairman and CEO of Hyatt. Tao Capital primarily invests in sustainable energy and disruptive technologies. Some of Tao Capital’s notable investments include Tesla Motors, Uber, SpaceX and Aquion Energy, according to PitchBook data.
Family Office: Pritzker Group
Key Investment Professionals: Chris Girgenti, Paul Carbone
Pritzker Group was co-founded by Anthony and Jay Pritzker, brothers and heirs to Hyatt Hotels. Pritzker Group consists of three investment teams: private capital, venture capital and asset management, which focus on investing in middle-market businesses, funding technology startups and diversifying capital across many assets, respectively. Notable investments include Fleetmatics Group, Gogo, and Cleversafe, according to PitchBook data.
Family Office: Blue Haven Initiative
Key Investment Professionals: Ian Simmons, Lauren Cochran
Blue Haven Initiative is the family office of Liesel Pritzker Simmons, daughter of Robert Pritzker. Blue Haven focuses on early-stage investments in emerging markets for real estate, education and energy solutions.
The Walton FamilyFamily Wealth: $132.6 billion
Primary Source of Wealth: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
The Waltons are the richest family in America from their combined 52% ownership (as of July 2016) of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The majority of the current family's wealth comes from the inheritance of Bud and Sam Walton, who founded Wal-Mart in 1962.
Family Office: Madrone Capital Partners
Key Investment Professionals: Greg Penner, Jamie McJunkin, Tom Patterson
Madrone Capital Partners is the family office of Rob Walton, the eldest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. The majority of firm’s investments are in late-stage and private equity energy investments, but it also leads several early-stage energy tech deals, according to PitchBook data.
Family Office: Zoma Capital
Key Investment Professionals: Melissa Cheong
Zoma Capital is the single-family office of Ben Walton, the grandson of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and his wife, Lucy Walton. Zoma invests in sustainable solutions for environmental and social problems, according to Chief Investment Officer Melissa Cheong.
Family Office: Walton Enterprises
Key Investment Professionals: Buddy Philpot
Walton Enterprises was the original family holding company of Sam Walton and the Walton Family. This vehicle owns the majority of the family’s equity in Wal-Mart along with other diversified investments, according to Forbes.
The Hunt FamilyFamily Wealth: $13.7 billion
Primary Source of Wealth: Hunt Oil Company
H. L. Hunt began the Hunt Oil Company in 1934, which held a near monopoly over the East Texas Oil Field, one of the world’s largest oil deposits in the world. Today, Hunt Oil remains a privately held firm operating worldwide. H. L. Hunt's heirs oversee their family holdings in oil, hotels, real estate and sports teams, among other assets.
Family Office: Rosewood Management Corp.
Key Investment Professionals: John Dziminski, G.T. Barden
Established in 1976, Rosewood Management Corporation has diverse global investments and is owned by the trust of Caroline Hunt, the daughter of H. L. Hunt. Its subsidiaries are involved in real estate, natural resources, private equity, environmental conservation, education and financial services.
Family Office: Palette Investment Company
Key Investment Professionals: Elizabeth Lund
Palette Investment Company is the family office of Ray L. Hunt, son of H. L. Hunt.
The Ziff FamilyFamily Wealth: $14.4 billion
Primary Source of Wealth: Ziff Davis, diversified investments
The Ziff family fortune dates back to 1927 when William Ziff Sr. founded magazine publishing business Ziff Davis before selling it for $1.4 billion in 1994. The family’s wealth has since been multiplied tenfold through prudent investments by his sons Daniel, Robert and Dirk Ziff.
Family Office: Ziff Capital Partners
Key Investment Professionals: Katerina McCarthy
Ziff Capital Partners was established in 2015 as the family office of Dirk Ziff, William Ziff Senior’s eldest brother. The firm implements fundamental long-short investing with a variety of sector exposures to technology and energy.
Family Office: Ziff Brothers Investments
Key Investment Professionals: Timothy Mitchell
Ziff Brothers Investments was founded in 1992 and is primarily run by Robert and Daniel Ziff. The fund trades its own money in public equity, fixed income, commodities and other asset classes. The firm also has a dedicated direct private investments team.
The Thiel FamilyFamily Wealth: $2.7 billion
Primary Sources of Wealth: PayPal, Palantir
Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, venture capitalist and political activist. His original sources of wealth are from the sale of PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion, his current stake in Palantir, and his early stake (10.2% at the time) in Facebook.
Family Office: Thiel Capital
Key Investment Professionals: Jack Selby, Eric Weinstein, Bryce Steeg
Thiel started Thiel Capital in 1996 prior to co-founding Paypal. The firm makes investments in the private markets and also provides operational support for Thiel’s diverse investment initiatives.
Family Office: Clarium Capital Management/Thiel Macro
Key Investment Professionals: David Kalk, Kevin Harrington
Thiel first launched Clarium Capital Management in 2002 as a macro hedge fund but transitioned it to a family office after redeeming client capital. Top investment professionals from Clarium Capital are now actively trading Thiel’s wealth at Thiel Macro. The firm has exposure to currencies, interest rates, commodities and equities.
Check out Trusted Insight's collection of articles detailing institutional investment offices across the world.
For questions, comments or story ideas, please contact us at email@example.com
Note: All net worth figures were sourced from Forbes' most recent estimates.