BARCLAYS WEALTH INSIGHTS
Volume 3: Risk, Return and Reward In co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit
About Barclays Wealth Barclays Wealth, the UK's leading wealth manager with £126.8bn client assets globally at 30 June 2007, serves affluent, high net worth and intermediary clients worldwide. It provides international and private banking, fiduciary services, investment management and brokerage. Thomas L. Kalaris, the Chief Executive of Barclays Wealth, joined the business at the start of 2006. Barclays Wealth is part of the Barclays Group, a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services with an extensive international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. It is one of the largest financial services companies in the world by market capitalisation. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 127,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for over 27 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays Wealth, please visit our website www.barclayswealth.com.
Foreword At Barclays Wealth, we aim to provide our clients with the means to manage their wealth successfully. For this reason, we are committed to investing in research that will enable us to better understand and forecast the opportunities for wealth creation now and in the future. In partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit, Barclays Wealth Insights is a series of research reports which provide a definitive picture of what being wealthy means in the 21st century. In the third volume of Barclays Wealth Insights, we focus on how wealthy individuals consider ‗risk, return and reward‘ throughout their lives and the role that each plays in their approach to investment and planning their legacy. We have worked with a panel of experts, drawn from academia, industry and financial circles, to provide unique insights into the attitudes of men and women on a broad range of wealth matters. Additionally, through the first survey of its kind, we have consulted with 790 wealthy individuals around the world. We hope that you find Barclays Wealth Insights: Risk, Return and Reward an interesting read, and we invite you to look out for future publications planned in the months ahead. Thomas L. Kalaris Chief Executive Barclays Wealth
Our Insights Panel Jeremy Arnold, Head of Barclays Wealth‘s Advisory business Fergal Byrne, Author of Barclays Wealth Insights Report Professor Randel S Carlock, Ph.D, Senior Affiliate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at INSEAD in France Professor Teodoro Cocca, Chair for Wealth and Asset Management at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Switzerland Professor John Davis, Senior Lecturer in Business Administration at Harvard Business School Grant Gordon, Director General of the Institute of Family Business Lisa Gray, Founder of Gray Matter Strategies and author of The New Family Office Kevin Lecocq, Chief Investment Officer, Barclays Wealth Russ Prince, President of Prince & Associates Michael Sonnenfeldt, Founder of TIGER 21 Catherine Tillotson, Partner of Scorpio Partnership Didier von Daeniken, Head of Barclays Wealth in Asia Felix Wenger, Banking Partner at McKinsey About this report Written by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of Barclays Wealth, this third volume of Barclays Wealth Insights examines how wealthy individuals grow and preserve their wealth. It is based on three main strands of research. First, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a survey of around 790 mass affluent (with at least $100,000 in investable assets), high net worth (with at least $1 million in investable assets) and ultra high net worth individuals (with in excess of $3 million in investable assets). Respondents were spread across a number of key international markets, with the highest numbers of respondents from the United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland. The survey took place between January and September 2007. This was supplemented with a series of indepth interviews with experts on wealth; and a number of case studies of family businesses. Our thanks are due to the survey respondents and interviewees for their time and insight. Key Findings Appetite for risk is an important factor in wealth creation. The wealthier the individual, the more likely they are to agree that a high appetite for risk, or a willingness to take risks, has influenced their ability to generate wealth through business endeavours. Some 60 per cent of high net worth individuals agreed with this statement, compared with 36 per cent who had investable assets below $1 million. When it comes to investments, however, individuals irrespective of investable assets tend to have similar appetites for risk. Interviewees questioned for the report corroborate this, saying that many wealthy individuals often become more risk averse after they have realised their wealth. (See page 5) The reason investors behave as they do is becoming more widely understood. At the intersection between finance and behaviour, considerable work is being undertaken to understand the behaviour and personality of investors. This goes beyond simple discussions of risk to take in broader concepts including composure, financial expertise and even irrational biases. Taken together, these characteristics make up an individual‘s ―financial personality‖. (See page 8) Wealthy individuals have a growing appetite for less traditional asset classes but may lack knowledge to understand them. Asset classes such as hedge funds, private equity and derivatives are filtering down from the institutional to the retail space, with growing numbers of high-net worth individuals seeing them as an important part of their asset allocation.
Despite this appetite for more alternative asset classes, there is a large knowledge gap, with around one-third of respondents questioned for the survey professing confidence in their knowledge and understanding of them. More generally, less than half are confident in their knowledge of more mainstream aspects of personal finance, such as estate planning or retirement planning. (See page 10) Leaving wealth to dependents is seen as important. . . Just under 60 per cent of respondents agree that they want to make sure they can pass money to the next generation. Ensuring financial security for children is also seen as an important motivation for amassing and protecting wealth. Filtering the results for only those respondents who have children, it is the third most important motivation after financial security in retirement and a better personal lifestyle. (See page 18) . . . but many worry about the effect that sudden wealth might have. The desire to pass wealth to the next generation is sometimes tempered by concerns that leaving too much money could cause problems for the benefactors. Increasingly, wealthy individuals are keen to ensure that their dependents receive financial education to prepare them for wealth and, in some cases, are adding stipulations to their wills, such as the requirement that a university education is to be completed. (See page 20)
Introduction Over the years, experienced investors become used to cycles in the financial markets and come to recognise that it is essential to prepare for both good times and bad. A benign climate can turn into a financial storm and back again, and to weather these sudden changes in the environment requires sound planning, expert advice and good navigation skills. Just as market conditions change over time, so do the financial objectives and motivations of investors. An entrepreneur in the wealth accumulation phase of their life may have a very different consideration of risk, return and reward in comparison to someone who has already made their money, and a different consideration again to a retired individual considering their financial legacy. This report examines how risk, return and reward can be applied as investors make the journey through life, from the early wealth accumulation phase through to the decisions they make about passing wealth down the generations. It also explores the challenge of matching financial advice with changing personal circumstances, the role that risk and behaviour play in our approach to investment, and the key considerations when planning a legacy for dependents. Chapter 1: Investments and risk The link between risk and wealth The economist Milton Friedman often noted that there is no such thing as a free lunch. In the world of investment, this means that if an investor wants to generate a higher investment return, they will need to take on more risk and expect to invest over longer periods of time; and if they want to take less risk they need to settle for lower returns. How much risk wealthy individuals feel comfortable bearing and how they feel about risk can determine, therefore, the financial results that they can expect to achieve through investment. The survey shows that wealthy individuals do indeed have an appetite for risk. Some 60 per cent of those with assets over US$1m said that a high appetite for risk had been an important influence in their wealth creation in comparison with 36 per cent of those with assets under US$1m. This finding suggests a clear correlation between levels of wealth and willingness to take risk. ―Willingness to take risk has always been an important factor in the success of the wealthy, particularly the ultra wealthy,‖ says Russ Prince, President of Prince & Associates, a market research firm specialising in private wealth. ―Quite simply, you need to take high risks to generate high returns. At the same time, you need to bear in mind that what constitutes risk for an entrepreneur who has a deep understanding of his business, is different from the risk one takes with investment.‖ Managing Risk Catherine Tillotson, a partner at wealth consultancy firm Scorpio Partnership, agrees that business appetite for risk can be very different to investment appetite for risk. ―We often see attitudes to risk change after people have realised their wealth, through the sale of a business, for example,‖ she says. ―Wealthy individuals tend to become more risk averse than they have been in the wealth creation phase of their life.‖ This is in line with the Economist Intelligence Unit survey, which finds that there is a broadly similar appetite for high-risk investments among investors with assets in excess of US$1m as there is among those with assets below that threshold. In other words, while high appetite for risk is seen as an important influence on the wealth of those at the upper end of the asset spectrum, those same individuals do not necessarily take more risks in their investments once they are wealthy. Kevin Lecocq, Chief Investment Officer of Barclays Wealth, points to different risk attitudes that he has observed between newly wealthy entrepreneurs and second or third-generation wealthy. ―The second and third generations tend to be more familiar with market risk, and have seen markets go up and down over long periods of time. Newly
monetised entrepreneurs, on the other hand, tend to be less familiar with the idea of market risk, and tend to have a preference for more absolute-type returns, which aren‘t dependant on directional movements in financial markets‖ he says. Table 1: Appetite for risk – an international comparison % who agree “high appetite for risk” has been an important factor 84 80 63 63 58 56 52 54 52 36 25
How influential do you think that risk has been in helping you achieve the wealth you now hold? South Africa* Portugal Italy Singapore Dubai France Hong Kong Switzerland Spain US/Canada UK * Refers to respondents who live in the country
The survey also reveals some interesting differences between particular countries with regard to their willingness to take risks. For example, respondents living in South Africa are most likely to agree that a high appetite for risk has been an important factor helping them achieve the wealth that they now hold. This may well reflect some of the social and economic problems the country has faced in its development, as well as the burgeoning entrepreneurial culture that is now becoming established there. More developed countries, such as the US, Canada and the UK appear towards the bottom of the list. One reason for this may be that these countries have more established market cultures where a greater proportion of people acquire wealth through less risky paths, such as income from a job, inheritance or marriage, in addition to the entrepreneurial route. Behavioural approaches to risk Any discussion of risk needs to bear in mind that there are many anomalies in the way people generally think about risk. Studies suggest, for example, that losses loom larger in people‘s minds than gains; that people are not good at understanding what happens when you add risks together; and that people tend to be systematically overconfident in their financial abilities. Perceptions of risk also vary according to culture. For example, Professor Teodoro Cocca, Chair for Wealth and Asset Management at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz in Switzerland, notes that Swiss investors are heavily weighted towards Swiss equities, which they tend to see as lower risk than US government bonds, even though, in principle, they should be higher risk. In this case, as with many other examples that depend on cultural differences, it is the perception of risk that is different. Scorpio‘s Ms Tillotson argues that many different aspects of an individual‘s life and personality influence their attitude to risk. ―You need to think about where people are in their life and the wealth cycle,‖ she says. ―You also need to take into account a variety of personal and emotional issues. Just looking at risk is pretty old-fashioned. We are now seeing some cutting-edge research in behavioural finance to understand different dimensions of what some people call an investor‘s ‗financial personality‘.‖
Until recently, the intersection between finance and behaviour was rarely explored, but new research is now being undertaken to look at a broad range of psychological influences on financial decisions. By taking into account more irrational approaches to decision-making, researchers have been able to develop a nuanced analysis of an investor‘s financial personality. This goes beyond traditional risk models, which often made unrealistic assumptions about people‘s attitudes to risk. In addition to an assessment of how much risk an individual may be willing to bear, a financial personality profile also includes other aspects, including composure (how nervous or comfortable people are with their investments); perceived financial expertise; and willingness to delegate financial management of their affairs. In pursuit of diversification Notwithstanding volatility at the time of writing, the past few years have seen a dramatic increase in the scale and distribution of wealth. Buoyant financial markets, the ongoing process of globalisation and greater accessibility to investment tools have all contributed to a strengthening investor culture around the world. The increase in the number and accessibility of different types of assets is transforming the world of investment and the possibilities available to wealthy investors are now greater than ever before. In recent years, investors have been able to take advantage of a growing number of asset classes, with hedge funds, private equity funds and derivatives all becoming more accessible to retail investors. Wealthy investors are now better able to spread risk more widely by adding different types of assets to their portfolios. By giving themselves exposure to a wide range of assets, investors aim to achieve greater levels of diversification and obtain the same level of return for a lower level of downside risk. Experts say that wealthy individuals often have a good understanding of the benefits of diversification, but have more difficulty putting it into practice. ―I would argue that most wealthy people are certainly aware of the general concept of diversification and its benefits,‖ says Felix Wenger, Banking Partner at McKinsey management consultants in Zurich, ―but are often uncomfortable with how to apply it or do not know what the exact implications are.‖ Michael Sonnenfeldt, founder of TIGER 21, a New York-based high net worth group with more than US$8bn in total assets, points out that diversification can be a difficult concept to grasp. ―You have to understand what you are trying to diversify,‖ he explains. ―For example, some investors may think they are diversifying when they buy ten stocks, rather than one. But, if all the stocks are driven by the same fundamental factors, they won‘t actually achieve any diversification.‖ Experts agree that part of the challenge is that people are not naturally good at assessing mathematical relationships, or correlation, between different assets. They find it difficult to see the big picture and understand the impact of combining many small investments. With this in mind, the next section examines the extent to which investors are diversifying their portfolios, and looks at some of the asset classes they are considering to help them achieve the right mix. An appetite for alternatives Each individual‘s investment preferences and future investment plans are personal, but collectively, these preferences reveal some interesting trends. The survey compared the assets in which respondents had invested over the past three years with their planned investment over the next three. Two trends stand out. First, there is a move away from equities. Second, respondents expressed a desire to increase their exposure towards less traditional asset classes, such as hedge funds, private equity, structured products and derivatives. Taken together, these results suggest a preference by some wealthy investors to reduce exposure to market returns, which depend on general directional movements within financial markets, towards a more stable return profile.
While 48 per cent of respondents say that they planned to invest in stocks over the next three years, this is much lower than the 64 per cent who had invested in this asset class in the previous three years. This finding is corroborated by other research. The members of TIGER 21, for example, reduced their equity investments from 37 per cent of their portfolio in 2005 to 30 per cent in early 2007. Table 2: Investment over time – asset classes of choice
In which of the following vehicles have you invested in the past three years and, in which of the following do you plan to invest in the next three years? Individual stocks and shares Property Personal pension Investment trusts Bonds Private equity/co-investing Hedge funds Commodities (eg, gold) Tracker funds Derivatives (futures, options, CFDs etc) Currency Structured products Alternative assets (fine wine, antiques, art etc) Gilts Credit/leveraging
Past three years Next three % years % 64 41 42 20 26 11 20 17 23 10 11 8 12 9 7
↓48 ↓35 ↓35 ↓19 ↓20 ↑15 ↑21 ↑18 ↓20 ↑11 ↓10 ↑9 ↓11 ↓8 ↓5
The only assets in which respondents expect to increase their investments are private equity, hedge funds, derivatives, structured products and commodities. Indeed, these are areas where wealthier individuals have already made significant investments in recent years. Respondents with assets in excess of US$1m are more likely to have invested in hedge funds, derivatives and private equity in the past three years than those with assets below that threshold. Respondents with assets over US$3m were even more likely to have invested in these vehicles. One reason for this is structural – most of these investments carry a minimum investment that is sufficiently high to restrict them to the top wealth brackets. Didier von Daeniken, Head of Barclays Wealth in Asia, says that Asia has very shrewd investors who have a tendency to be very involved in investment decisions. "Investors in Asia have strong appetites for many of the more exotic investment vehicles, such as structured products," he says. "They also have a good understanding of the way in which these instruments can help them to actively manage risk." Rising levels of wealth in Asia have fuelled demand for banking services, and the sophistication of local investors means that levels of service offered must be high. "Private banks in Asia need to ensure that bankers in the region have a good understanding of the impact these instruments can have on an investment portfolio," says Mr. von Daeniken. In the Middle East, research conducted by the EIU has also revealed a growing appetite for structured products, derivatives and private equity among the more sophisticated investors. Of particular interest in the Middle East are
products that are Shariah-compliant. The region has seen huge development in the Islamic finance sector in recent years and this is rapidly filtering through to the asset management arena, where considerable product development is now taking place. Table 3: Past investments – a comparison by wealth
In which of the following vehicles have you invested in the past three years? Individual stocks and shares Property Personal pension Investment trusts Bonds Private equity/co-investing Hedge funds Commodities (eg, gold) Tracker funds Derivatives (futures, options, CFDs etc) Currency Structured products Alternative assets (fine wine, antiques, art etc) Gilts Credit/leveraging
Assets under US$1m % 55 42 52 14 20 5 19 11 24 4 9 5 10 5 7
Assets between US$1m and US$3m % 68 38 36 23 29 13 21 20 22 12 11 8 13 12 7
Assets over US$3m % 77 48 40 27 36 21 25 23 23 19 14 16 15 12 7
The search for diversification is another factor that is contributing to the popularity of these assets. Adding some private equity, hedge fund or derivative exposure to a portfolio can help to reduce overall levels of risk by spreading it across a wider range of assets. More interestingly, these specific financial instruments can deliver financial returns that are not so closely aligned with the behaviour of markets as a whole. Instead, they aim to generate a specific rate of return regardless of what the market is doing. The extent to which investors have appetite for absolute and market returns portfolios varies. ―Intuitively, absolute returns make a lot of sense and we see that more wealthy individuals are thinking in those terms,‖ says Mr Lecocq. ―Assets like hedge funds, which are an early example of an absolute return investment, derivatives and structured financial products, can all be used to manage risk, reduce volatility and stabilise results.‖ Knowledge and understanding of finance With the pace of financial innovation continuing to accelerate, decisions about portfolio allocation can seem extremely complex, even for an experienced business person. ―There really is an enormous range of investment possibilities,‖ says Mr Sonnenfeldt of TIGER 21. ―It‘s hard to be on top of everything, no matter how smart you are. We see former entrepreneurs, who don‘t understand derivatives and people coming from Wall Street, who might be world-class traders, but don‘t understand private equity.‖ Fewer than half of the respondents questioned for the survey are confident in their knowledge and understanding of key aspects of personal finance – the least understood are private equity and venture capital (36 per cent), bonds (34
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per cent) and hedge funds (27 per cent). With private equity and hedge funds attracting growing interest from sophisticated investors, it is clear that, in many cases, knowledge has not yet caught up with appetite. Table 4: Revealing the knowledge gap How confident do you feel in your knowledge and understanding of the following? Retirement planning Estate planning Funds and other collective investments Stock market Tax planning Capabilities of private banks Investing in private equity and venture capital Bond/debt market Investing in hedge funds % who are confident
49 47 45 40 39 39 36 34 27
It is easy to understand why many wealthy investors are confused about hedge funds. There are about 10,000 hedge funds currently operating worldwide. Hedge fund assets have risen almost threefold in the past five years to US$1.75 trillion, according to consultancy firm Hedge Fund Research. Originally, the concept behind hedge funds was that they aimed to generate positive results whether the market went up or down. They achieved this largely by offsetting risk, or hedging, against market falls. Over time, however, hedge funds have become increasingly specialised with many different trading strategies. ―You can‘t really look at hedge funds as an asset class per se,‖ says Mr Prince. ―You have to look through to the underlying investments and strategy in each fund. Financial education can play a key role here. The better and more financially educated the investor, the more likely he or she is to include hedge funds and alternative asset classes in their portfolio.‖ Interestingly, the survey suggests that both older and wealthier affluent individuals tend to be more knowledgeable. This corresponds to experts‘ views that the financial sophistication of investors tends to increase with wealth. Part of the reason for this is that, as they grow wealthier, they are more likely to be in contact with personal advisers and private bankers. Financial education has historically been an integral part of the service that private bankers provide for the wealthy. In this new and more complex environment, the educational role has become even more important. Today, it can include everything from the regular communications on market developments and products, to more tailor-made and specific workshops on particular financial assets, such as private equity or derivatives, with presentations given by key players in these markets. According to research from McKinsey, knowledgeable and sophisticated investors also tend to take more responsibility for the management of their financial assets and delegate less. Mr Wenger makes a distinction, however, between perceived and actual levels of financial knowledge. ―You find that some people who say they do not understand enough have high levels of financial knowledge and vice versa,‖ he says. ―Interestingly, delegation behaviour is driven by perceived sophistication.‖ One area where some private banks are getting increasingly involved is in educating the offspring of the wealthy. Some, particularly in the US, organise so-called ―wealth bootcamps‖, where teenage and older sons and daughters convene with their peers to learn about their financial responsibilities. Some argue, however, that the most important work needs to be done at a much earlier age, and that an appreciation of money needs to be instilled during childhood. As they start to tackle the challenge of passing wealth down the generations, this is just one of the considerations that the wealthy must take into account.
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Chapter 2: Wealth and the family Wealthy individuals have always sought to pass wealth down the generations, but it is nevertheless an area that is fraught with difficulties. How does one prepare dependents for sudden wealth at a young age, and does this course of action preclude benefactors from making their own way in life? Is it perhaps a better idea to leave the bulk of a fortune to philanthropic causes? These are issues that the wealthy must grapple with as they consider their responsibilities to the next generation, and they form the basis of the remainder of this report. In an era in which entrepreneurship and enterprise are becoming increasingly well-trodden routes to wealth, and in which ultra-wealthy individuals such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have stated their intention to leave the vast majority of their estate to philanthropic causes, it is tempting to conclude that the desire to amass and protect wealth for the next generation is becoming less prominent. Our survey would suggest, however, that the motivation to ensure financial security for children is still important, although there is a recognition among some survey respondents that it is not a good idea to leave large sums of money to dependents. High profile cases aside, philanthropy seems to be only a moderate motivation for amassing and protecting wealth. Keeping it in the family Almost three-fifths of respondents agree that having enough money to leave to the next generation is a key motivation for securing their wealth. Filtering these results for respondents who have children, the motivation of financial security for dependants becomes a higher priority. Almost two-thirds of respondents (66 per cent) consider it to be an important motivation, ranked behind only financial security in retirement and a better personal lifestyle. Table 5: Wealth creation – the motivations What are the main motivations for you to amass and protect your wealth? Financial security in retirement A better personal lifestyle Ability to enjoy the finer things in life Being able to travel extensively Financial security for children Ability to retire early Being able to afford a large property in a good area Private education for children Enjoyment of making money Being able to help others (eg. through philanthropy) Status Being able to afford more than one property % who think important 82 78 66 60 56 54 53 51 48 47 45 36
―I often ask financial advisers to the wealthy: ‗What do you think is the most important goal for wealthy people?‘,‖ says Mr Prince. ―Most advisers say diversification. Well, diversification is certainly important but, in my experience, the central preoccupation for most wealthy people is their families. Transferring wealth to their family has always been one of their most important concerns. And it probably always will be.‖ Important it may be, but Mr Prince believes that often the wealthy are not dealing with this issue well. ―Many wealthy people are doing a less than good job at transferring wealth in an efficient way,‖ he says. ―You have to remember that talking about death and dying causes discomfort to a lot of people. So the tendency is to avoid the question. Plans aren‘t updated enough to take into account changes to the law, tax or lifestyle. And, of course, by definition very few people know if their plans were any good.‖
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Experts say that it is important to first build a good communication process and focus on the family‘s goals. ―We find a lot of people focusing on the vehicle, such as a trust, to transfer the wealth when they really should be focusing on defining the family goals,‖ says Lisa Gray, Founder of Gray Matter Strategies, a US wealth consultancy. ―The first priority should be to put in place the right governance structure – to make sure that they have the right process to communicate and set goals for the family. If that‘s done properly, then finding the right legal and financial vehicle to transfer wealth becomes much more straightforward.‖ Inheritance not always a good thing Among the wide-ranging economic phenomena Adam Smith addressed in his seminal book, An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations, is the question of how to transfer wealth across generations. ―Riches, in spite of the most violent regulations of law to prevent their dissipation, very seldom remain long in the same families,‖ he wrote. Despite the best of intentions, family fortunes rarely survive across many generations. Some experts believe that only one in ten family fortunes make it to the third generation. A recent American adage captures this insight: ―From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.‖ One key reason is that inheriting great wealth can cause great problems for the recipients. The survey reveals that some wealthy individuals are increasingly aware of the potential problems of leaving their children great wealth and suggests that they no longer automatically assume that their children should be their prime inheritors. More than one-third (34 per cent) of those surveyed agree that it is not a good idea to leave large sums of money to dependents. The whole question of passing on wealth can be a fraught one, argues Ms Tillotson. ―It‘s a very difficult area,‖ she says. ―Many children just find it difficult to deal with inheriting great wealth. It raises all kinds of questions. With wealth comes responsibility and, unfortunately, it‘s not easy to teach responsibility to young people. We are definitely seeing an increased incidence of the wealthy not leaving money to their children for this reason.‖ Children in wealthy families can experience some common problems, says Randel Carlock, Senior Affiliate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at INSEAD in France, who has also worked as a consultant with family businesses. ―A feeling of unworthiness is common,‖ he says. ―Children often ask themselves: ‗How come I have so much money? What have I done to deserve this?‘ Children in wealthy families can also suffer from low selfesteem if they feel that much of their success is due to the wealth they have inherited, rather than what they have achieved themselves.‖ This question of achievement through one‘s own endeavours is particularly important for the members of the TIGER 21 high net worth group, who struggle with finding the ―right‖ amount of wealth to pass on to their children. ―This is one of the things we discuss most,‖ says Mr Sonnenfeldt. ―Our members are very conscious of the potential to deprive their children of the challenge and gratification of creating success if they leave them too much money. Still, many members would like to share the fruits of their own success with their children and grandchildren to help cushion their financial future.‖ These comments echo Warren Buffett‘s view about how much money to leave to his children: ―Enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.‖ One response to this question is to put stipulations in a will defining the circumstances under which assets will be transferred to the next generation. A recent survey by PNC Wealth Management in the US suggests that wealthier people are more likely to put stipulations in their will when it comes to transferring their assets. Some 57 per cent of those surveyed with US$10m or more in assets attach conditions before their heirs can inherit. For example, some say that their children must complete a college education, hold down a job for a particular amount of time or reach a certain age. One option for wealthy individuals concerned about the impact that sudden wealth will have on their offspring is to turn over the bulk of their fortune to philanthropic causes. This is a course of action that has recently received
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substantial press coverage thanks to the actions of very wealthy, high-profile individuals such as Bill Gates, Pierre Omidyar and Warren Buffett. In Asia, billionaire philanthropist Li Ka Shing shared his hopes on this subject at an awards ceremony last year. ―In Asia, our traditional values encourage and even demand that wealth and means pass through lineage as an imperative duty,‖ he said. ―I urge and hope to persuade you, especially all of us in Asia, that if we are in a position to do so, that we transcend this traditional belief.‖ Whether this highlights a trend towards greater philanthropic activity is a contentious point. While the actions of Mr Gates, Mr Buffett and others are certainly huge in scale, one should not necessarily conclude that bequests to charitable causes are becoming more frequent. Philanthropy has gone hand in hand with wealth for centuries – consider, for example, the Victorian entrepreneurs Andrew Carnegie, Joseph Rowntree or Jesse Boot, all of whom considered the support of charitable causes to be an essential responsibility of their wealth. Family Inc. Passing ownership and wealth down the generations in a family business environment poses a distinct set of financial and management issues. ―In our experience, as ownership is passed from one generation to the next, family shareholders proliferate and decision making can become more difficult,‖ says Jeremy Arnold, Head of Barclays Wealth‘s Advisory business. Some family members may not want to work in the business and seek to sell their shares such as in the instance of the Wates family (see the accompanying case study). In addition, there will come a time when the family can no longer provide suitable managers for the family business. The emotional undercurrents in a family business can also be very strong, says Professor Carlock. ―Freud said that the two important dimensions of a successful life are work and love. We try to have important work relationships and important relationships. In a family business, all your eggs are in one basket, so it is much more intense. You are dealing with very powerful human motivations and human needs and this should be ignored at peril,‖ he says. Families need to recognise that some family members may be unsuitable to manage the family business, or that they may have other aspirations. ―Families, by their nature, tend to be hopeful institutions – they tend to have faith that things are going to work out,‖ says Professor John Davis of Harvard Business School, who also works as a family business consultant. ―But parents need to be realistic about their children and to consider who is really capable of being in the business and who is not. I tell families that it is unlikely that all their children will be enthusiastic, capable and co-operative. More than likely at least one will not want to be part of the family business.‖ He adds that families tend not to plan about this issue. ―It‘s not unusual to find that family businesses have 80 per cent or more of their aggregated wealth totally tied up in their family business. And most family businesses cannot be easily divided or sold. Families need to think about building other assets besides the family business. At the moment, this is not on the radar of most families.‖ Grant Gordon, of the Institute of Family Business, emphasises the importance of stewardship in transferring a business successfully. ―It‘s vitally important that the next generation has a sense of responsibility in terms of ownership and that there is an ethic of responsibility,‖ he says. ―It‘s one thing to have skills that relate to financial management and accounting, but the softer issues are also important, such as fostering emotional ownership in the next generation. Without this sense of stewardship, it‘s hard to continue a journey together as a business-owning family unit.‖ Case study: Legacy Advisors Ltd For the Chen family, a single family office provided control over their assets and a more efficient approach to investment. And in the wake of the Asian financial crisis of 1997, it also showed that it could offer good performance.
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In 1995, when James Chen joined the family business, Wahum Group Holdings, he was on a mission. He wanted to transform the way the family was looking after its wealth. Mr Chen was worried that if the family didn‘t pay more attention to managing its assets, their financial future could be at stake. ―Like many other Asian families, we had become so focused on improving the efficiency of the business that we weren‘t paying enough attention to managing and preserving our wealth,‖ he explains. ―We had a very conservative, passive approach to investing, simply dividing up the pie among several different private banks, with only casual oversight. The situation was very inefficient.‖ Wahum Holdings is a third-generation Hong Kong family business that manufactures consumer products, building materials and corrugated cardboard packaging. Over the past seven decades, the company has grown successfully, opening up manufacturing sites in several African countries. Mr Chen judged that a family office structure would offer the family more control over their assets. ―My initial goals for setting up a family office were primarily financial‖, he says. ―I wanted to consolidate the different investments, centralise the information and management of the assets and generally improve the asset management side of the business. I also thought that a family office could serve as a platform to facilitate and promote communication and financial education among family members.‖ He explored two alternatives: either setting up an independent single-family office that would be dedicated to the needs of the Chen family alone, or joining an existing multi-family office in which a team worked on behalf of several families which had placed financial assets within their custody. The family dedicated a lot of time to discussing the plans and, ultimately, decided to set up a single-family office, called Legacy Advisors Ltd. ―I could see the attractions of the multi-family office—the idea of being able to share costs across more families, achieve more weight with more assets,‖ explains Mr Chen. In the end, however, the family opted for a single-family office, on the grounds that it would give them greater control and that the professionals working for the office would always be dedicated to the needs of the family. The financial crisis that swept the Far East in 1997-98 offered confirmation that the family had taken the right decision in adopting the family office approach. While financial markets around the region took a battering, Mr Chen calculated that Legacy Advisors‘ risk-adjusted rate of return handsomely outperformed the returns that would have been yielded through the earlier, less-efficient approach. Over time, Legacy has gradually taken responsibility for a widening range of family affairs. It now provides services for family members including tax planning and reporting, trust planning, corporate secretarial services and so-called concierge services (bill paying, balancing chequebooks, travel bookings, and so on). In 2003, Legacy also took over the administrative and accounting support for the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that the family set up named after Mr Chen‘s late father. Mr Chen is in no doubt that Legacy has been right for the Chen family – particularly in financial terms. But, he argues, a family office is not for everyone. ―If not managed carefully, a family office can easily become bloated and expensive. Also, investment returns from family office mismanagement can result in wealth destruction rather than wealth preservation, particularly if you don‘t have the best investment team.‖ He concludes that the most important issue is family consensus. ―If a family does not have or cannot maintain consensus to work together as a family, or if the family office idea is forced on family members by the patriarch or matriarch rather than through a consensual approach, it can be a disaster. A family office is certainly not the solution for every wealthy family and perhaps only relevant for the relatively few ‗healthy‘ families in each society.‖
This section is based on a case study developed by Professor Randel Carlock at INSEAD.
Case study: The Wates family story
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Just 10 per cent of family businesses make it to the third generation. For the Wates Group, a UK-based construction firm, reaching the fourth has been made possible by a combination of strong governance and a commitment to the business. Queen Victoria was celebrating her Diamond Jubilee and Bram Stoker had just published Dracula when Arthur and Edward Wates opened a furniture shop in Mitcham, England, in 1897. Today, 110 years later, Wates Group, as the business is now called, has a turnover of more than $1.71 billion and employs 2000 people. What began as a simple furniture shop has evolved into one of the leading UK construction groups, a highly profitable business in an industry renowned for low margins and high levels of bankruptcy. Ownership of the business has remained within the Wates family throughout this time and is now passing from the third to the fourth generation of the family. The odds of a family company surviving to the fourth generation are not good. Estimates of the survival rates of family businesses suggest that about 10 per cent make it to the third generation. Recent research suggests that family businesses outperform their rivals and achieve higher returns—in part due to the longer-term management focus. But family businesses also face particular challenges: dispersed ownership across generations, which means that it can be difficult to get decisions made; the desire of some shareholders to sell their shares; and questions of succession and transfer of ownership, which can raise emotional and financial issues. Several years ago, the Wates family faced some of these problems when Sir Christopher Wates, then CEO, was looking to retire. Sir Christopher, together with other third-generation family members, decided it was time to pass ownership to the next generation. The problem was that not everyone was interested in working for the business. At the outset, the family needed to have some honest discussions about different family members‘ needs; what existing shareholders wanted to do with their wealth, and the aspirations of the next generation. ―You have to be able to have open discussions,‖ says Andrew Wates, Chairman of Wates Family Holdings. ―It‘s really important to give everyone in the family space to express what they really want, even if it‘s not always what you want to hear.‖ The discussions also extended to the question of succession. The Wates family had provided leaders for the business since the foundation of the company. Over the years, ownership and succession had been interlinked, with ownership traditionally passed to male family members working in the business. ―We began to distinguish between being owners and being managers of the business,‖ says Mr Wates. ―This was a major change in perspective. The focus changed to becoming great owners, and developing the skills to do this. As far as management is concerned, our principle is that family members only get promoted to their level of competence.‖ The Wates family also needed to develop a process to help make decisions and decide priorities for the family itself. ―Before we could really deal with the transfer of ownership, we needed to address the question of family governance,‖ says Mr Wates. ―We had a strong board for the business and a good board culture, but we didn‘t have a vehicle to express the family‘s agenda, set priorities or make decisions as a family.‖ This governance process now consists of a management committee for the family and its interests, called Wates Family Holdings. This incorporates a charter that covers the family relationship with its trading activities and acts as a guideline for the relationship between the family and the business. All the Wates family shareholders, together with three non-executive directors, sit on Wates Family Holdings, which meets monthly and agrees a five-year strategy against which the Wates Group directs its business. The Wates Group is currently led by Paul Drechsler, a nonfamily member. In 2003, Andrew Wates and his two brothers bought out the members of the family who did not want to be involved in the business. In addition, a separate, financially ring-fenced investment pool has been set up to diversify the family‘s assets, although the bulk is still accounted for by the family business.
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Mr Wates says that the family‘s values, particularly its commitment to stewardship of the business, has been a crucial factor in the success of this process. ―We worked hard to make sure that we had the buy-in and support from every member of the family, that everyone was involved in the process, and that it respected the family values of openness and transparency,‖ he says. ―We carried our non-executive and executive directors through every stage in a process of complete transparency.‖ Looking to the future, Mr Wates expects to continue to build upon the foundations the family has built in recent years. ―This is an ongoing process of family self-discovery,‖ he says. ―We have done the groundwork and are already seeing results. But there are no quick fixes. We are at the beginning of a journey.‖
Conclusion The investment options available to wealthy individuals are broader than ever. Globalisation and the emergence of new asset classes have enabled investment professionals to construct highly diverse portfolios, while new investment strategies focused on absolute, rather than market returns, provide reassurance that wealth can be preserved whatever the market conditions. Decisions about investment strategy and asset allocation will depend on the circumstances of the investor, as well as their financial personality. Considerable work is being done to conceptualise this complex set of nuanced characteristics, which has long since moved the argument beyond straightforward notions such as appetite for risk. Multiple dimensions are now taken into account, including composure, financial expertise and even irrational biases. Our survey suggests that financial security for children remains a fairly important consideration for the wealthy, although there is recognition that sudden wealth at an immature age can cause problems. Many people are giving more thought to these issues, for example by ensuring that wealthy benefactors receive financial education, or setting stipulations in their will. It is still all too common, however, for people to shy away from making decisions about what happens after their death. This can be a serious mistake. As recent market turbulence has shown, the world of investment is an unpredictable one. But by ensuring that they are well-educated and have access to the right expertise and advice, investors can do a great deal to protect themselves against the destruction of their wealth. While every investor is different, and has his or her own unique ―financial personality‖, the desire to preserve wealth for the future is universal. Appendix Appendix 1: The Economist Intelligence Unit This report was prepared by Barclays Wealth in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit. As part of the research, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted in-depth interviews with a range of industry experts; created the wealth forecast used in the main report and analysed the findings. Appendix 2: Methodology Written by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Barclays Wealth, the report examines wealthy individuals‘ approach to risk and identifies how they prioritise around wealth preservation and their major considerations for passing it on to future generations It is based on three main strands of research: a global survey of around 790 mass-affluent (those with at least $100,000 in investable assets); high net worth (those with at least $1 million in investable assets) and ultra high net worth individuals (those with in excess of $3 million in investable assets); a series of in-depth interviews with experts on wealth and family, and a number of case studies.
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Please note that in some cases percentages used in the report may not equal 100, as survey participants were asked to select three choices. Survey demographic The 790 survey respondents were recruited from EIU databases of individuals around the world. The survey was undertaken between January and September 2007 by the EIU. Geography: The highest number of respondents came from Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United States (100 each). France, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland were represented by between 30 and 50 respondents each. An additional 116 respondents were generated from elsewhere in the world. Net worth: 20 per cent between $20,000 and $500,000 in liquid assets; 20 per cent between $500,000 and $1 million; 30 per cent between $1 million and $2 million; 20 per cent have more than $2 million in liquid assets; 10 per cent have more than $3 million in liquid assets. Legal note Whilst every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, neither The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. nor Barclays Wealth can accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this report or any of the information, opinions or conclusions set out in the report. This document is intended solely for informational purposes, and is not intended to be a solicitation or offer, or recommendation to acquire or dispose of any investment or to engage in any other transaction, or to provide any investment advice or service. Any information within the report pertaining to the Wates and Chen families has been published with their express permission.
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