In many cases, 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 and partners. Sounds good, but there’s a catch: family offices are extremely discreet and selective. In this article, we offer a three step guide how to approach SFOs right and thereby raising your chances to get reasonable feedback.
1. Selecting The Right Single Family Offices For Your Project
When you have a specific project or investment opportunity, it is essential to prepare a list of suitable family offices before you contact them. When creating the list, quality always beats quantity. Quality means: you should look for family investment offices which have previously invested in similar projects or are generally known for their open-minded investment style. Simply sending a generic mass mail to hundreds of family offices is rarely successful. While compiling the list already make notes about the SFOs and their investments – this will help you out later. In order to get your own single family office list, you could use your network, your own research or our curated lists of single family offices.
2. Draft Your Initial Teaser Mail
It absolutely makes sense to draft an initial mail with an outline of your proposal. Be clear, state what you offer, what you are looking for and make yourself interesting. Don’t write hundreds of meaningless lines and get to the point, without being to unspecific. You can make yourself trustworthy with common contacts or references “e.g.: I worked in the past for other family offices like XY and helped with the sale of ABC”. Also well-known university or employer names are always a trust signal. Also prepare investment decks and further documents, so that they are immediately available upon request. An absolute must-have is flawless language and grammar.
3. Don’t Send Mass Mails – Invest Time In Individual Approaches
The family office business is a people’s business. So, as stated before, don’t waste your time on useless mass mails. Instead: focus on individual approaches. Research the details and latest investments of the specific family offices and use them as a hook. Even better is to work on personal introductions. Use LinkedIn to find similar contacts with the responsible investment managers and executives. If you don’t know anyone in the specific family office, directly address the relevant executives. After sending your mails, be patient and when there are responses be gentle and attentive.
We wish you good luck with your approaches!
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Picture Source: Annie Spratt
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