Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sidestepping Private Equity With a Family Office

We like Family Offices with a caveat. The positive is very positive: everybody's interests are aligned.
The negative is: the management talent can be as mediocre as anywhere else in finance although some families can get around that problem. See below and after the jump.
From the Wall street Journal's Total Return blog:
What can you do if you’ve got a family office?

Besides having your financial affairs, charity work and wine collections taken care of, you can also have access to investment opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach.

Through family offices, some families—or teams of families—invest directly in privately held, middle-market companies, sidestepping the expensive fees charged by private-equity firms which hold similar investments. 
In the Weekend Investor cover story , we explored that capability, called “direct investing,” which proponents say gives families a chance to exercise their operational know-how in addition to getting a leg-up on fees.

Take Tony and J.B. Pritzker, brothers in the family that once owned the Hyatt hotel chain. The pair hired Paul Carbone last year from Baird Private Equity—the buyout and venture-capital arm of Robert W. Baird & Co.—to expand their direct-investing business. The direct-investing firm is part of the Pritzker Group, their family investment firm.

The firm recently invested in Peco Pallet in Yonkers, N.Y., which rents pallets to consumer-products makers, such as Kimberly-Clark and Kraft. Peco tries to distinguish itself with well-maintained pallets that don’t damage goods, says J.B. Pritzker.
Pritzker. Alrighty then.
Here's another name you'll know:
Monday, July 23, 2012
You Know Your Charity Is Big When... (MOS)
...You can hire these guys.

From Institutional Investor: 
Allstate Alts Head Seeks Greener Pastures
Christopher Vogt, the head of alternatives for the $95.6 billion pension and insurance fund Allstate Investments has told friends and colleagues that he is leaving the fund to join the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies foundation, where he will serve as director of equities. Vogt will join Shawn Wischmeier, former CIO of the $72 billion North Carolina Retirement Systems, who was appointed CIO of Margret Cargill philanthropies. Vogt will report to Wischmeier.

Based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies comprises three grant-making groups founded by the late Margret Cargill — Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Anne Ray Charitable Trust and Akaloa Resource Foundation. The fund, whose asset base of around $6 billion makes it one of the largest foundations in the country, is now in the process of building its investment portfolio....MORE
We looked at the Philanthropies in early 2011:
Insta-Charity: $4Billion from Mosaic Deal Moves Margaret Cargill Foundation into Top 15 Philanthropies (MOS