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Families of wealth converge on Dubai for inaugural Campden Global Owners & Family Office Congress

Scenes from the inaugural Campden Global Owners & Family Office Congress
The inaugural Campden Global Owners & Family Office Congress brought together multi-generational families of wealth from around the world to discuss lessons of the past and plan for the future.
By Glen Ferris

More than 235 Campden Member families with a combined net worth of over half a trillion US dollars gathered in Dubai for an inspiring week of thought leadership, investment idea sharing and community building at the inaugural Campden Global Owners & Family Office Congress.

The Congress, presented by Campden Wealth and co-hosted by Dubai Chamberswelcomed 17 visiting dignitaries, delivered more than 46 content sessions, organised four off-site private family briefings and presented three ‘Investment live’ showcases. Each evening, the families were entertained at iconic Dubai venues for private networking receptions, culminating in a gala dinner hosted at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

This week-long experience further cemented Campden Wealth’s reputation as the world’s foremost family-owned, global membership organisation providing education, research and networking opportunities to families of significant wealth.

Held against the backdrop of multiple global crises, the Congress explored how the impact investment strategies, values and decision making of the world’s most prominent families can ensure a better future for all.

Beyond investment, the Congress also addressed key issues, such as succession and longevity, structuring a global family office and the role of wealthy families in the fight against climate change, while welcoming an esteemed speaker faculty of pre-eminent families from across the globe to discuss their challenges and successes.

Reflecting Campden’s wider mission to connect families of wealth, share knowledge, discuss opinions and provide insights that support critical decision making, the Congress provided an exciting new destination point for Campden Club's global community of members who travelled from 32 nations.

Dominic Samuelson, CEO of Campden Wealth
Dominic Samuelson, CEO of Campden Wealth

“The most successful families don’t just focus on today but look to the future. They know their sons and daughters are the key to maintaining the family’s name, prosperity and reputation,” said Dominic Samuelson, CEO of Campden Wealth, in his Congress opening. “A family is only as good as its next generation.”

In addition to attending the content sessions hosted at the Mandarin Oriental, delegates were also given oversight of a number of investment opportunities in the technology and digital assets ecosystem in an event held at the breathtaking Museum of the Future and real estate assets presented at the new Palm being constructed in Jebel Ali.

The gathered international families were also privileged to participate in a series of immersive off-site Family Briefings, where prominent UAE families opened their doors and showcased their operations, Family Office structures and extraordinary philanthropic ventures, informing and educating the delegations about their family legacies and genesis of their business longevity and success.

The week also showcased the enormous potential of Dubai as a city, not only for investment but as an inspirational venue focused on becoming a centre of excellence for Family Offices. Dubai has positioned itself as a leading global financial hub managing family wealth efficiently within a robust regulatory jurisdiction, while its strategic location serves as a bridge between the East and West, making it the premiere hub for international trade and investment.

The first-ever Campden Global Owners & Family Office Congress took place at Dubai's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, with social networking events held in some of the city's most iconic venues

Key themes that emerged during the five days were the importance of building trust, maintaining good inter-familial communication, the professionalisation of governance structures and investment processes within Family Offices, coherent alignment between families around deal opportunities, the shift in bias from VC to PE, the growing significance of a regional hub, and the importance of acquiring expertise – namely, evolve but don’t experiment.

The Congress played host to an esteemed speaker faculty – including the likes of His Excellency Yahya Saeed Ahmad Lootah, Chairman of the Lootah Group; Jamie Cornell, Managing Partner, Fiduciary Wealth Partners; Khalid Al Zayani, the Chairman of Bahrain’s Al Zayani Investments; Marie-Amelie de Leusse, Board Chair, Remy Cointreau; Jamie Cayzer-Colvin, Family Principal, Caledonia Investments; Mishal Kanoo, Chairman of Kanoo Group; Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises; Amit Patni, Founder and Director of Raay Global InvestmentsGarvin Brown, former chairman of Brown-Forman; Victor van Luc Luong, CEO of Nanoco Group; and even an insight into the possibilities of investing into space and space infrastructure in an intriguing session delivered by Matt Kuta, the co-founder and president of Voyager Space. 

The opening day was chaired by Jamie Cayzer-Colvin (top left) with Garvin Brown, retired chair of the Brown Forman Group (bottom right), giving the first presentation in a week of high-quality insights and discourse

“This is more than just a networking event; of course, it creates great opportunities for networking and growth, but it is also a perfect opportunity to learn,” said His Excellency Yahya Saeed Ahmad Lootah, chairman of the S.S. Lootah Group, and chair of The Campden Global Owners & Family Office Congress

“By sharing experiences and ideas within our family businesses and family offices – including family dynamics, continuity and methodology of operations, attention to innovation through investments in research and development, and, of course, leadership and succession – we can learn from the successes, the challenges, and even the failures we have all faced.

“Such a unique conference will surely result in not only an increase successful cooperation, but also demonstrates the immeasurable value of wisdom and experiences shared, which will result in further efficiencies, growth and sustainable success for all the families that have attended the congress.”

“In addition to gratitude, one of the strongest contributors leading to happiness is a sense of belonging to a community,” said an attending Campden Club member. “I have to say that Campden has created an extraordinary Congress and sense of belonging, and I have benefitted from it hugely this week.” 

In 2024, Campden Wealth and Dubai Chambers will once again play host to the second Congress of international families of wealth and their offices in Dubai. For more information, click here.

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