Overview on the use of Family offices in “Les Echos”
Interview of Robert Anthony
Gestion de fortune, la méthode des milliardaires
Overview on the use of Family offices
Interview of Robert Anthony
Published in “Les Echos Week-End”, renowned French financial & economical magazine
Written by Jean-Denis Errard
11 December 2015
Here are some English extracts of Robert Anthony’s interview:
Robert Anthony’s family office, which manages the interests of over a hundred very big international fortunes, holds the same point of view: “For our families which possess the properties in France, the strongest concern at the moment is the French tax system and which causes anxiety.”
“We tell to our clients to keep the maximum of their assets outside France to avoid the French wealth tax and the inheritance tax which are particularly at costly.”
Same approach of Robert Anthony, international family officer established in Valbonne: “Our deep conviction is that high-quality shares or equity funds are the best vehicle for the long-term performance.” It is the striking difference with most of investors who focus, on the short term as the “premium for risk” is now very high.
In Robert Anthony’s family office, the fact remains. “We notice that our clients are more and more sensitive to the idea to investing in unlisted companies/Private Equity. We just associated an expert, Antony Slotboom, titled with a long experience on the subject and who worked in London for ABN Amro and RBS.”
In an economic and geopolitical environment so eventful, everything relies on the importance of the “liquidity”. This means the ease of being able to raise capital. Exactly the opposite in France, where real estate consists of a substantial part of French people’s assets. Family Offices use regularly emphasize the term in their approach. “We recommend maintaining positions in ‘cash’, explains Robert Anthony, according to the good Anglo-Saxon adage ‘cash is king’, to be able to seize any opportunity.”
Moreover, our intermediaries are not inspired by several types of assets. “It is not always beneficial to invest into non liquid assets”: the phrase concerns the purchase of vineyards, forests, and works of art… The British expert has a very clear-cut opinion: “French people like this class of asset by tradition, because it is tangible and there are tax exemptions available. But frankly it is often not very remunerative! ”
With interest rates at their lowest level, it is possible “to obtain debt to diversify ones assets, even to create some leverage with a controlled risk “, recommends Robert Anthony. He suggests investing in high yield bonds of which some seem relatively safe. “These bonds can cover the cost of debt”, he reassures. Also, real estate investments such as the construction of hotels (particularly in Paris) can generate good yields, which are more that 10 %, widely superior to costs of loans which turn between 2 and 2.5 % over ten to fifteen years.