Client Case Study: Bringing Strategic Purpose (back) to a Family Office
Significant Wealth Owner Solutions | Stories
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Paul Ashworth, Managing Partner

The circumstances that bring a Family Office into existence typically originate from sustained, well-honed business success. Morphing significant accumulated wealth into a high performing and well-functioning Family Office can come with significant issues not previously experienced. Being aware of the issues is one thing, but knowing how to get back to your family’s core values isn’t always clear. With the help of an experienced strategic planning process and client management team, our client was able to implement strategic order to their Family Office that now delivers peace of mind.
Posted 15 February 2023

Following the successful disposal of the family’s industrial businesses here and offshore, our client established a Family Office, investing primarily in commercial real estate and accumulating structured and private equity investment products distributed by investment banks and fund managers over time. As head of the family, our client was the Chairman of the Family Office.

Over two decades later, the Family Office CEO and management team, which our client established and built, had increasingly lost its independence and developed a number of conflicting relationships with “sell-side” investment houses and investment banks.

Without a clearly defined mission purpose from the family, the Family Office had become overstaffed, ineffective and lacked defined strategic purpose. The management and ongoing reporting of the investments was being ‘glossed over’ with too many exceptions to policies being recommended (and accepted). As a result, a considerable amount of the Family Office’s assets were not being optimally managed and risk management objectives ignored. The Chairman of the Family Office was aware of the issues and wanted to restore a defined strategy, managed with discipline and accountability in the conduct of his Family Office.

“I had come to realize that the Family Office I had established following the sale of our business interests had become wayward. I called upon my long-standing advisor and Partner at Cameron Harrison and he facilitated a Strategic Plan. The priorities became clear and we developed a plan to address the critical issues over an orderly time frame. Today I have in place the responsible structure for the ongoing management and oversight of our family’s wealth.”

Chairman of Melbourne-based Family Office and client of Cameron Harrison since 2013

The Chairman contacted one of our senior partners, a trusted advisor to his family for over 30 years, to assist with a strategic plan for the Family Office. The planning process involved identifying the critical issues for the Family Office and formulating a properly ordered set of actions to address each of the recognised issues.

Developing a clearly defined strategic plan for the Family Office highlighted the need to streamline operations of the Family Office from the organisational structure of its staff to the oversight, management and reporting of the family’s wealth.  Importantly, the plan was prioritised and executed over an orderly timeframe with Cameron Harrison overseeing its implementation with the Family Office Chairman.

With a clear strategic direction, the Family Office adopted a well-defined investment purpose to shift its assets away from the sales focused investment houses and towards a comprehensive asset management team that respected the objectives set by the family.

Once its assets were cohesively brought together, the Family Office was able to streamline its operations with clear organisational structure between internal and external teams. The newly reorganised structure allowed for more effective management reporting and reinstatement of regular management meetings with the Chairman.

With a refined vision and simplified structure, the Chairman now has peace of mind knowing that the Family Office is once again producing optimal outcomes.

Through the course of our ongoing engagement with the Chairman of the Family Office, the services Cameron Harrison have provided are:

  • Strategic Wealth Plan: Cameron Harrison provided facilitation of the Strategic Wealth Plan for the Family Office. 

  • Investment Management: Cameron Harrison led a repurposing of the Investment Policy and its implementation, management and proper feedback loops for risk management and effectiveness. We also provides ongoing asset allocation advice and management of funds for financial assets.

  • Ongoing Reporting: Cameron Harrison facilitates and reports to regular Family Office management meetings. 

  • Governance: Cameron Harrison Senior Partner is a member of the Family Governance Committee. 

Cameron Harrison have been advising business owners and families with significant wealth on asset allocation and intergenerational wealth management for over 50 years. We have demonstrated over a long period our ability to manage investments through both the good times and bad by keeping the client at the centre of our business.

For more information on our approach to investment strategy or any other inquiries, please contact us at +613 9655 5000 or contact our experts here

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