Matchmaking capital and ideas for global Family Offices

Stephen Fern, chairman for more than five years of G9, an independent and private network of family office investors, talks about G9X, his latest project to match capital and ideas.

InvestmentEurope: How has your G9 family office network evolved this idea for “match-making” capital and ideas?

Stephen Fern: One of the paradox’s of the Family Office world which I witness in my role as chairman of the G9 is the disconnect which exists between the family office as a source of investor capital and the pool of emerging hedge fund talent which is searching for entrepreneurial capital to enable it to move forward from concept to fledgling fund.

The root of the problem, which is to blame for many of the difficulties faced by Family Offices, is that in setting up gatekeeper barriers to protect the family from being carpet bombed by thousands of investment ideas created every month by an bloated financial services industry, many principals miss the very opportunities they seek.

IE: How did you develop the concept?

SF: When I first looked at this space it was the heyday of fund launches, with dozens of offshore hedge funds offered every month. We explored the issue of introducing G9 families to managers in the very early stages of launching their hedge fund. It was clear there was significant demand for early stage introductions. Many families have strong appetite to ‘have some skin in the game’ or a ‘piece of the action’.

Start up capital as well as initial seed funding can provide an extra layer of interest which whets the appetite of families looking for something more than a routine investment.

Investing families are often excited by opportunities not yet available to others and in many cases retain the entrepreneurial spirit which was the foundation of their own wealth. Early stage managers can provide this by being introduced in a private and confidential forum to families, where the idea is simply formulated as dialogue.

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