List of 3 large single family offices in California
In order to get an impression of the single family offices included in the list, we introduce you to three interesting single family offices from California. The introduced family investment firms are located in Newport Beach, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
1. MIG Capital (Newport Beach)
The investment firm, whose offices are located in Newport Beach, California was founded in 2002 by the Merage Family members. Paul and David Merage created their world leading microwave-food-business “Chef America” in 1977. The company was sold in 2002 for $2.6 billion, which made the family one of the wealthiest families in the United States. Today the single family office “MIG Capital” is led by Richard Merage, son of David Merage and mainly invests in funds, real estate and capital markets where they follow a long/short- strategy. The philanthropic needs of the family are backed up by “The David and Laura Merage Foundation”.
Update 2023: The Merage family office remains active on the real estate market. In July 2023, a $61M complex in Costa Mesa was acquired.
2. Medley Partners (San Francisco)
Medley Partners was founded in 2004 and manages the private wealth of the James „Jim“ Harris Simons family. Jim Simons was born in 1938 and has been working as a mathematician and hedge funds manager. He imposed the Renaissance Technologies investment fund and became one of the richest hedge funds managers worldwide. San Francisco based Medley Partners invests primarily in limited partnerships across the private asset classes, including buyout, growth equity, venture capital, real estate and credit in the United States, Europe and Asia. Siva power is one of their most important investments, which they are funding since Series A (today: Series E). Siva power is an innovative solar company, that develops ultra thin solar panels.
3. Karlin Asset Management (Los Angeles)
Karlin Asset Management is the financial vehicle of Los Angeles spinal surgeon Gary Karlin Michelson, who in 2005 received a $1.4 billion settlement in an intellectual property suit with medical device-maker Medtronic. Michelson was ranked 258 with a net worth of $1.3 billion on the latest Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. His Los Angeles based family office currently invests heavily in public equities, real estate, commercial finance, and mortgage lending. The firm also includes an evergreen venture capital funds “Karlin Ventures” that focuses on local tech-start-ups with an investment ticket size of $100.000 to $1 million. One of their recent investments this year is “Embrace”. The start-up from Los Angeles built a performance monitoring and debugging platform for mobile apps.
Update 2022: In the beginning of 2021, the family office also invested in Getlabs, which offers digital medical services. Other investors in the $3M round were Rosecliff Ventures and CityLight Capital. In 2023 Getlabs announced a partnership with Nice Healthcare Partner in order to expand further.
California’s family office database
Familyofficehub is the leading international family office portal. Through yearlong research and our extensive family office network we built up our database of American single family offices and European single family offices. The list of single family offices in California is a subset of the American list. The list includes various interesting SFOs and detailed information about their investment focus.
Highly valuable data: contact details, family background, investment focus
Our list is a must-have for everyone who works for and with single family offices. The list includes a wide range of helpful data points. From contact details (e-mail, phone, address, etc.), to executive details (names, roles and LinkedIn profiles of CEO’s and Chief Investment Officers) to detailed investment information (focus on private equity, venture capital, real estate, financial markets) and exemplary investments. If possible, we also disclose which family is behind which family office – and how their net worth is.
Disclaimer: due to the secrecy of some family offices, we are sometimes not able to provide you with email addresses or other pieces of information. In case we don’t know the exact investment focus, the specific column is marked as n.a.
Family investment vehicles between tech and tradition
There is no other state on the Forbes richest list with more billionaires than California. The pacific state with almost 40 million inhabitants is also home of more than 60 important single family offices – the investment firms of high net worth families. California is the heart of the United States’ tech scene. Also, many family offices earned their fortune through tech companies or investments in tech companies. One Palo Alto-based single family office from our list manages the investments of a famous hedge fund founder. Another California-based family office invests on behalf of a tech billionaire who sold his company. In Los Angeles, on the other hand, there are many „old money“ single family offices or those of media and film millionaires and billionaires.
Headquarters in San Francisco and the Bay Area
San Francisco is the city with the highest billionaire density in the world, a report of Wealth-X found out. Many of the 75 billionaires also have their family investment firm in one of the Bay Area’s cities: San Francisco, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Menlo Park or Redwood City. The area combines a unique mix of world class universities (Standort, CalTech, University of California Berkeley), leading tech companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber) and startups. It is obvious, that many Californian single family offices are also passionate startup investors – either through direct investments or through funds.
Traditional investments in financial markets (stocks, bonds, hedge funds, etc.) and real estate
Although venture capital investments are more common for Californian single family offices than anywhere else in the U.S., traditional investments in financial markets and real estate are still making up for the biggest part of the typical „Californian single family office portfolio“. While some family offices are „picking stocks“, many diversify between different external asset managers and also invest in hedge funds. Traditional investments in real estate are also common. One family of our list even made its wealth through project developments and real estate investments in the Silicon Valley area.