6th UBS Family Office Forum Luxembourg: Sustainability gains ground as investment choice
More than 100 participants from all across Europe attended the recent UBS Family Office Forum in Luxembourg to gain insights from UBS specialists from London, Zurich and the Grand Duchy as well as independent experts on investment priorities for 2018.
Key client segment
This year’s UBS Family Office Forum in Luxembourg had a particular focus on the Grand Duchy’s efforts to roll out the red carpet for family offices as a sector that complements the country’s expertise in investment fund management and wealth management. Family offices are a key element of the client base of UBS in Luxembourg , which is in addition building on ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide, wealth management clients and financial intermediaries.
Introduced by Paul Donovan, global chief economist for UBS Wealth Management, the forum examined the financial market and economic environment, which combines an upbeat mood among investors with concerns on the impact of the monetary policy evolution on both sides of the Atlantic.
« Sustainable investment is a natural area of interest for family offices »
Benefiting from equities
The forum examined the highlights from the Global Family Office Report 2017, produced by UBS in association with Campden Research. The study shows that last year family offices boosted their allocation of capital to sustainable investments, as well as to real estate and private equity, while reducing their exposure to hedge funds and their cash holdings. 2016 saw returns averaging to 7.0% for family offices, compared to just 0.3% in the previous year, thanks to the evolution of equity stock markets and private equity in developed countries. The report also highlights that family offices’ average expenditure on services remained stable at $10.6m, while CEO and COO salaries in the sector rose by around 10%.
Serving future generations
The forum included a presentation from the UBS Chief Investment Office on the segment of impact investing. UBS has now created a mandate solution wholly devoted to impact investments, which have the particular appeal of making a positive contribution to global wellbeing while delivering long-term solid financial performance. Family office advisory is an important topic for the discussion among family office CEOs, their owners and the beneficiaries of the assets they manage. UBS has published a new brochure, called 'Built for Generations', that explains this process in an easy-to-follow, modular format, and highlights the pitfalls that may arise.
Luxembourg’s value proposition for family offices as a jurisdiction offering a full range of vehicles for holding and managing assets, along with a wide range of service provider expertise, was underlined in conclusion by Tom Théobald, deputy CEO of Luxembourg for Finance. For family offices the legal and regulatory stability as well as the reliability offered over the long term by Luxembourg represent critical components in their investment decision process.