These are heady times for the world’s richest clans.
Family offices scored average returns of 15.5 percent last year, up from 7 percent in 2016 and 0.3 percent the prior year, according to UBS Group AG and Campden Wealth. Those in Asia led the way with a 16.4 percent return in 2017, fueled by soaring stock markets and private equity.
This is the fifth annual survey from UBS and Campden, providing insight into the discreet world of family offices, which manage the fortunes, tax affairs and often lifestyles of the wealthy.
While the Rockefeller family set up one of the earliest versions in the 1800s and European families were early adopters, they’ve proliferated this century, partly because of the boom in tech billionaires.
Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen created Vulcan Capital in 2003. A few years later, Alphabet Inc. President Sergey Brin started Bayshore Global Management, and former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt set up Hillspire.
Brin’s Los Altos, California-based firm has employed ex-bankers, philanthropy experts and a former Navy SEAL for security, while Schmidt’s Palo Alto-based family office controls a 20 percent stake in hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. The trio have collective fortunes valued at almost $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.