Ex-Goldman Sachs prop trader Lex van Dam knows where his bread is being buttered: family offices. And what’s better than one family office? A whole bunch of family offices together.
Working for a single family office called Rinkelberg Capital, van Dam had the idea of group together more family offices and create a club to “bolster their dealmaking opportunities,” according to Bloomberg. So van Dam started the London-based SFO Alliance, which sets out to be “a forum to discuss common problems and find investment solutions to match [family office] idiosyncrasies.”
Keith Johnston, chief executive officer of SFO, said: “Single family offices are a unique set of long-term, often even multigenerational investors.”
The company is going to host private events where offices can come together to discuss things like private equity deals, real estate and direct investments in businesses. Family offices have been increasingly considering private debt, with the number of offices active in the asset class more than doubling since 2015.
Van Dam joined Goldman Sachs in 1992 and ran one of the bank’s prop desks before going to work at Rinkelberg. One might also recognize van Dam from the UK show “Million Dollar Traders“.
On SFO’s website, he is quoted as saying: “I have worked for a family office for over 15 years now. Most of us come across the same companies and funds and we could save ourselves a lot of time, effort and money if we had our own informal curated network of high quality single family offices where we share our experiences.”
And entry into the alliance seems to be exclusive. SFO’s website says of the alliance:
“We are successful by adhering to a strict membership policy. Each member is individually vetted by the SFO Alliance board. The vast majority of our members are personally referred by existing members.”
“Because our founding members are single family offices we understand the importance of peer-to-peer discussions, relevant external content, and a solicitation-free environment. We serve the interests of our member family offices only. The club is not for profit and free to members,” it says.
Family offices had, on average, $1.3 billion in assets last year and their investing setups are as sophisticated as any investment bank on Wall Street. In fact, months ago here on Zero Hedge, we reported about how some family offices were getting direct lines to the trading desks at investment banks.