Family office investment tips with Obediah Ayton? So what does it mean to bring on an individual or family investor in lieu of going the traditional VC route? These individuals often wish to stay in the venture investment game, but desire more transparency to underlying investments than the traditional venture investing experience provides. They also want the ability to cherry-pick the best deals. In addition, they want to avoid paying the typical “2 and 20” — a deal structure that requires investors to pay a 2 percent annual fee (some as high as 3 percent) to the VC firm on top of the 20 percent return on investment. This is why we’re seeing more of the mega-wealthy groups in the region move away from only investing in private equity funds to increasingly working with their family offices to find the right types of direct investments that fit their long-term wealth-generation strategies.
Founded in 2018 in Amsterdam, VentureRock is now active in Dubai, parallel to two more hubs in Amsterdam and Singapore. With the VentureRock Dubai Hub, the firm is bringing not only capital but also technology, talent and knowledge around early-stage startup investing and venture building to the UAE region. The hub is also running its own venture building studio – comprised of the Founders Lab and Builders Lab, and will become the launching pad for Venturerock portfolio companies to expand operations to the Middle East. Director of Business Development at The Private Investment Group Obediah Ayton added “I am very happy to watch Venturerock demonstrate the way venture capital funds are now being deployed post covid here in the UAE. The portfolio companies within Venturerock are some of the most professional and innovative we have seen and I have no doubt they will be a welcome asset to both the public and private sector in the Middle East.”
Who is Obediah Ayton and some of his thoughts? Obediah Ayton is a trust manager at Ayton Family Office Trust and a consultant at Tennor Holding B.V., an expert in family office business, AI driven accounting services, finance and accounting. Obediah Ayton about what happens when a Family Office takes the VC model: A new breed of ultra-high-net-worth families differs from the “old money” of the past. Their accumulation of wealth is typically more rapid and driven by savvy investment management or entrepreneurism. These Family Offices are controlling the venture investment game, but desire more transparency to underlying investments than the traditional venture investing experience provides. They also want the ability to cherry-pick the best deals, meet founding team and operations.
Alongside this monumental shift in wealth, we are witnessing a modernisation of family offices here in the UAE. Family offices are not only selecting business models that allow for more control and greater returns but are also expressing a heightened interest in “impact investing”. Typically, this means investing in small or medium-sized organisations that are purpose-led and have a focus on sustainable or ethical business practices. As the number of UAE family offices and the pool of wealth amassed by them increases and is passed on to a new generation, the way they conduct themselves is evolving rapidly, investing in innovative, creative and socially conscious ways. SMEs should take note of this enthusiasm and use it to their advantage.
Obediah Ayton on how to raise money from family offices: Raising money from Family Offices can be a long process. If not approached in a correct manner. Typically, it’s 100% based on relationships and trust. Family offices are desirable investors, through their evergreen capital structure, know-how and long-term investment focus it makes sense to win them as investors, partners and most of all “Friends”. Sounds GOOD, but there’s a catch: family offices are extremely discreet, emotional and selective. Time is a valuable asset, selecting The Right Single Family Offices For Your Project is key.
Right now is a great time to build close relationships with Family Offices for future capital raises! Begin Locally: If you are looking to connect with just a few family offices, the best place to begin is in your own backyard. The best method is to begin locally. These family offices are usually the easiest to initially meet and spice up a common interest. You can focus on getting to know every single family office in your city. With this base network, you are able to use it as a foundation for further outreach and referrals. But what happens if you do not know any family offices in your city or region? After all, they are submerged whales. Google is one of the best places to begin the search. If you don’t know any [family offices], start by searching Google. You will probably discover at least 2 or 3 in your area. Google search simply include your area (i.e. London) and the phrase “family offices.” Alternatively, you could search for the ultra-affluent residents of your area, and search for an associated family office.
Obediah Ayton about the new definition of a billionaire is not the net worth but in achieving change in a billion lives: Everything can be done remotely today. We only go to the office one or two days a week. The world is becoming more virtual and I think that is a trend that a lot of people still do not understand. ‘Founding partner at a single family office’ Tech-savvy family offices who embrace these trends can harness technologies to not only expand their businesses across the globe but also to leverage global talent pools in various areas of operation where local expertise is lacking. This requires a degree of agility which needs to be prioritized within family offices seeking to advance their reach and grow their wealth.