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7 Family Offices Behind Silicon Valley's Tech Billionaires

by trusted insight posted 7years ago 25520 views
Wealth Management
By any measure Silicon Valley has exerted an outsized influence on the tech industry and the world as we know it. Today the valley hosts nearly 40 companies on the Fortune 1000 list, a hundred private ‘unicorn’ companies valued at more than $1 billion and thousands of fledgling startups striving to be the next company to change the world.

This concentration of corporate success has created a vast network of high net worth founders and executives. In fact, 41 of the richest Americans on the Forbes 400 reside in Silicon Valley, and given the positive outlook on the 2017 IPO market, that number will surely grow. 

Below Trusted Insight profiles the family offices managing the fortunes built in and around Silicon Valley.

Cascade Investments
Established: 1994
Family Associated: Bill Gates
Source of Wealth: Microsoft, Inc.
Key Investment Professionals: Michael Larson, Alan Heuberger

Cascade is the family office tasked with overseeing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ personal wealth, the Bill and Melinda Gates Investments (BMGI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. Chief Investment Officer Michael Larson, who was hired by Mr. Gates in 1993, has taken a diversified portfolio management approach, investing across alternative asset classes and geographies. While asset allocations are a closely held secret, Cascade has more than $28 billion invested in public securities and bonds, real estate, timber assets and private equity, according to a Wall Street Journal article from 2014. From 1995 to 2014, Larson delivered a compound annual return of around 11%, according to a Financial Times article.

Iconiq Capital
Established: 2011
Families Associated: Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker, Reid Hoffman, Drew Houston, Sheryl Sandberg 
Source of Wealth: Facebook, LinkedIn Corp., Dropbox, Napster
Key Investment Professionals: Divesh Makan, Chad Boeding, Michael Anders, William GriffithMatthew Jacobson

Iconiq is a multi-family office that was founded in 2011 by financial adviser Divesh Makan and partners Chad Boeding, Michael Anders and William Griffith. Iconiq was launched in part to manage Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth, but now boasts $16.7 billion in assets under management. The client list is a who’s who list of Silicon Valley, including Sean Parker, cofounder of Napster; Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn; Drew Houston, Dropbox; and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook. In part because of this extensive network, Iconiq has been able to participate in investment rounds in 11 unicorn companies, including, Uber, Flipkart, The Honest Company and Apttus. 

Established: 2006
Family Associated: Eric Schmidt
Source of Wealth: Google, Inc.
Key Investment Professionals: Chuck Chai, Scott Olle, Lauren Pressman

Hillspire manages more than $5 billion of Eric Schmidt and his family’s wealth. Mr. Schmidt is the former CEO of Google from 2001-2011 and current executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc. Hillspire is managed by Chuck Chai, a former Treasury official and hedge fund executive.

AME Cloud Ventures
Established: 2012        
Family Associated: Jerry Yang
Source of Wealth: Yahoo!, Inc.
Key Investment Professionals: Nick Adams, Chihyu "Wretch" Chien, Jeff Chung

AME Cloud Ventures was founded in 2012 by Jerry Yang, the founder and former CEO of Yahoo!, Inc. Mr. Yang is the sole LP and the firm invests in seed- to late-stage tech companies that build infrastructure and value chains around data. “Ame” is the Japanese word for rain, a nod to the firm’s investment thesis that data will be the leading growth catalyst in the next generation of companies. AME investments include Treasure Data, a cloud service for big data; Zymergen a biotech firm; and Ozlo, an AI assistant.

Bayshore Global Management
Established: 2006        
Family Associated: Sergey Brin
Source of Wealth: Google, Inc.
Key Investment Professionals: Marie Young, George Pavlov

Bayshore is the family office tasked with managing Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s wealth. Brin who has a net worth of $36.8 billion, launched Bayshore in 2006, two years after Google’s IPO. The firm’s name stems from the North Bayshore section of Mountain View, California where Google is headquartered. 

Emerson Collective
Established: 2011
Family Associated: Steve & Laurene Powell Jobs 
Source of Wealth: Apple, Inc.
Key Investment Professionals: Brad Powell

Emerson Collective is the family office tasked with executing the philanthropic vision shared by Laurene Powell Jobs and her late husband, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The office is set up as an LLC rather than a traditional philanthropic non-profit or trust, to allow for the ability to invest in private companies, non-profits and contribute to political campaigns. The LLC-philanthropic family office model has been replicated with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative which serves as the investment vehicle for Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic efforts. Emerson Collective has made 12 early-stage venture capital investments across various industries. Investments include FreshGrade, an education technology company; Politico, the political online news outlet; and Color Genome, an affordable genetic testing alternative. 

Vulcan Capital
Established: 2003
Family Associated: Paul Allen
Source of Wealth: Microsoft
Key Investment Professionals: Chris Orndorff, Abhishek Agrawal, Steve Hall, Ben Kolpa

Vulcan Capital is the multi-billion dollar investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s private company Vulcan, Inc. Formed in 2003, Vulcan Capital focuses on venture, growth, public and fixed income investments. Vulcan typically invests between $10 million and $100 million in tech, life sciences, energy, mobile and internet industries. Vulcan has offices in Seattle and Palo Alto.
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