At a recent conference at which I was speaking, I was reminded of a quote by educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire, which states that “reflection and action must never be undertaken independently.” As we are fast approaching the end of 2019, there is much reflection being conducted within Sandaire, alongside some news and action in the form of continued developments for the business, enhancing our offering to reflect what we have understood from our clients.
2019 has been an exciting year for Sandaire, albeit a challenging one occasionally with increased market volatility and uncertain political times. Despite this, we have remained diligent, focused and continue to position ourselves carefully and work with our clients to ensure that we have their best interests at the heart of everything we do and every decision that we make.
In the first half of the year we grew our existing offering to match the enthusiasm in the market for further exposure in Real Estate and Corporate Finance and enhanced our Private Equity business. We welcomed Managing Directors Chris Horler (Real Estate), Paul Staples (Corporate Finance) and Michael Mowlem (Private Equity) to work closely with clients interested in diversifying their portfolios in these important areas of investment and, in addition to the introduction of these new businesses, we also welcomed StJohn Gardner as Chief Investment Officer in April.
A term that we use often at Sandaire is ‘more than wealth’. This phrase underpins our understanding that there is much more to life than simply financial capital and we know, understand and care at Sandaire about the burdens, as well as the pleasures that come alongside significant financial wealth. In the second half of 2019 our attention has turned to the increasing market appetite for Family Office Services and so, alongside our four core businesses, 2020 will see an increased focus in this area.
In 2020 we will be enhancing the range of Family Office Services that we believe may be of real value to our clients, building and enhancing a broader range of personalised family administrative and lifestyle solutions. From administering accounts, preparing consolidated net worth statements, managing expenses, paying bills and keeping records, to introducing lifestyle concierge services, providing financial training and internships, establishing family governance frameworks, succession planning and supporting philanthropic activities, as examples.
At Sandaire we have supported individuals and families on some of the above areas in the past, but we have been aware more recently of the increasing appetite within the lifestyle management and passion asset areas. Within our team we have a vast amount of specialist knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, however our strengths will be enhanced through partnerships using our eco-system of contacts and a network of specialists. As with everything we do, this is entirely based on our clients’ requirements.
I hope that through the introduction of these enhanced Family Office Services and offering further alternatives and solutions, we can take away some of life’s administration and help to give back what is considered to be in many cases the most valuable asset of all, time.
Elsewhere around the business, in an entirely different internal capacity, there have been a number of charity initiatives taking place to support our five internally chosen charities of Grief Encounter, Emmaus UK, Snow Camp and Motor Neurone Disease Association. An example of a recent activity was that a number of colleagues, myself included, took part in a ‘Sleep Out’ for Glass Door Homeless Charity in Duke of York Square in October. For this particular event we, along with the generous donations of others, managed to raised £6,335. The entire event raised over £200,000, which will provide shelter to 170 people every night of the winter this year.
Another topic at the forefront of many minds, both in the investment market, world and internally at Sandaire, is socially responsible investing (SRI). We will be increasing our efforts in 2020, demonstrating that not only supporting sustainable, long-term relationships with clients is of importance to us but also increasing awareness and focus on sustainability in the way we invest and within wider environmental factors.
And so, as we enter 2020, the year of clear vision, we will continue to deliver promises to our clients. We know that our clients have choices and we like to think that Sandaire is not just any Family Office. Family values, along with the purposeful stewardship of wealth, truly remain at the heart of our business, reason for existing and commitment to our clients.
I wish everyone a very enjoyable festive season, whether it be with family and friends or otherwise.
With best regards for the New Year,
James W. Fleming