Family ValuesJune 30 2020

Family Values: Take Back Time – Family Office Services

6 mins read

James Fleming

Chief Executive

There are only two things you can invest: time and money. Of the two, time is more important.”

Robert T. Kiyosaki

Money-rich, time-poor is an expression that arose in Britain at the end of the 20th century and, although a blanket statement, can still be found to ring true in today’s society. For many, global travel is quite simply ‘hopping on and off a plane’. Technological advances are fundamentally changing lifestyles, putting strain on businesses to keep up, and dividing generations.

The influence of boundless information is challenging individuals and families looking to find their core purpose – causing them to question the status-quo when addressing environmental, social and governance factors. Life is complex and it is no wonder ‘money-rich, timepoor’ is still an expression that can be found used twenty years later.

At the beginning of this year, Sandaire enhanced the suite of Family Office Services provided, building and enhancing a broader range of personalised family administrative and lifestyle solutions, including managing the day-to-day, customised reporting, helping with life’s milestones, lifestyle management and business support.

With such a breadth of expert services on offer, we introduce this issue of Family Values ‘Alternative Thinking’ by speaking with James Fleming [Chief Executive] and Charlotte Filsell [Head of Family Office Services] on the topic of ‘alternative thinking’, the increasing complexity of living a life with wealth and Sandaire’s enhanced Family Office Services.

James, at the end of 2019 you announced that Sandaire would be enhancing the Family Office Services offering in 2020. What was it that inspired the decision?
We understand the myriad of complexities and challenges faced in today’s world and aim to seamlessly lighten the load of individuals, families and institutions by supporting with the burdens, as well as the pleasures, of living a life with wealth. At Sandaire, we have supported over the years with ‘typical’ Family Office Services from time to time, for example being asked for a recommendation for a private art dealer or security firm. In recent years, however, we have been aware of further appetite within the lifestyle management and passion asset areas in particular, teamed with the ever increasing complexities of living a life with wealth, and realised that our offering needed formalising to ensure that clients are aware of the ways in which we can support their lives, outside of their financial universe.

Charlotte, as the Head of Family Office Services, how will your team manage the enhancement of these services, some of which are incredibly unique and require expert knowledge?
Within and beyond our Family Office Services team at Sandaire, we have a vast amount of specialist knowledge on a wide range of topics, however this expertise will be enhanced through external partnerships. Our aim is to deliver these services to our best ability for clients, using our ecosystem of contacts and network of specialists. Where there is support needed that our in-house team feel requires external expertise, we turn to trusted third party advisers, with whom we liaise alongside you or on your behalf, providing you with the best advice wherever it is to be found. All of our trusted partners [some of which have contributed to this issue of Family Values on thought-provoking topics] are experts in their respective fields. Exploring all possible eventualities as you reach certain points in your journey takes a network of expertise – all looking at the world through your eyes – whose sole purpose is to help make your vision a reality. As with everything we do, this is entirely based on individual requirements.

Charlotte, the requirements and passions of families vary so significantly. Are there limitations to what your team can support with?
In short, our service is as expansive as the solutions you require and I really stress this point – we will always do our utmost to support clients in any way possible, although we will be honest and say if there is an area that is beyond our own expertise. Our Family Office Services team will introduce new specialist advisers where necessary, coordinate with existing advisers and act as the central hub to bring everything together to ensure that both the needs and aspirations of a family or an individual are being met. Our goal is to be impartial and ensure that the highest level of service is being given to our clients, whether by us or by a trusted adviser or partner.

Understanding the intricacies of the lives of our clients is integral to supporting them beyond the financial. Through our family office services we work with clients to save them the most important asset of all, time.

James Fleming

James, what would you see as ‘success’ in regard to this enhanced service?
Quite simply 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. In addition to this, we will be in a position to offer the best advice to our clients, wherever it is to be found and offer increased connectivity to our eco-system of global networks and those on a similar journey. For us, the word ‘enhanced’ is really key here, as this isn’t an entirely new service that we are offering, we have just fine tuned and formalised it to support the communication of this to clients, as well as undertaking due diligence to save time for individuals and families when it comes to making sure that you can ‘trust’ a third party adviser, trust is key with everything that we do.

Charlotte, for those reading this article who may be wondering ‘how can these services help me?’, could you give a couple of examples of where Sandaire has supported clients, broadly speaking, with Lifestyle Management, to give an idea of how a client may utilise these services?
It is difficult to pinpoint only one or two examples, the list of services is not exhaustive. The service provided can be quite extensive in some cases and very simple in others, according to each clients requirements. The need, and hence service delivered, may also differ over time. Examples include administering accounts, assisting with preparation of tax returns, managing expenses and paying bills, preparing consolidated net worth statements, lifestyle concierge services, financial education, establishing family governance frameworks, succession planning and supporting philanthropic activities. The list is endless and entirely flexible.

One recent example, within the ‘lifestyle management’ area, is working with a family to arrange regular security visits of their empty property in London while they were unable to visit. This included weekday and weekend interior and exterior patrols, while paying attention to specific areas of concern for the client to make sure that they had peace of mind whilst they were away. We helped another family recently by simply making an introduction to a private art dealer to sell a piece that they had recently inherited. Using our trusted partners in a number of different areas of the ‘art world’ we made the introduction and left it to the client to continue the conversations, at their own pace and when they were ready.

A final question for you both. This magazine is all about ‘Alternative Thinking’, what trends are you seeing from families when it comes to thinking differently to perhaps previous generations?
An increasing trend and topic that we have seen arising over the past couple of years, but more prominently throughout 2019, both in the industry and internally at Sandaire, is socially responsible investing (SRI). I think it would be fair to say that this is being driven (in most cases) by the next generation but it is beginning to bring together multigenerations and unite families in many cases with a common purpose. In parallel with the increasing client interest, we have also been increasing our efforts on this front as part of our investment process and also with a number of internal charitable initiatives. We have been in discussion at both Sandaire and Board level, alongside Oliver Sargent, a fifth generation member of our founding family, regarding ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors and made the decision to work towards becoming B Corporation certified. We know that this is a topic that is high on the agenda of a number of the families that we support and through this we hope to demonstrate that not only supporting sustainable, longterm 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.

Another increasing trend that we are seeing and speaking with about is security, from personal and household security whether at home or travelling abroad, through to concerns regarding the younger generations staying safe on social media. Technology is ever increasing and along with this comes security concerns. As a result of this, we recently created a security white paper on ‘protecting your family and staying safe’, with the aim to educate and provide information from both Sandaire’s internal experts and our trusted partners across the Home & Property and Security sectors. There is also more on the subject of security within this magazine, looking specifically at social media security.

At Sandaire, we know that you face complex choices and your time is incredibly valuable to you. We like to think that Sandaire is not just any Family Office as we strive to support families with achieving their perfect balance in life, so that they can find wellbeing and relieve as much stress as possible. Family values, as the title of our publication suggests, reflects that this aim, along with the purposeful stewardship of wealth, truly remains at the heart of our business – our reason for existing and our commitment to you.

For more information on Sandaire’s Family Office Services, please click here.