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Pioneering multi-family office celebrates 20th anniversary

By James Beech

The business hailed as the first multi-family office in the United Kingdom celebrates its 20th anniversary this week.

Sandaire Investment Office was launched by Alex Scott in 1996 to manage the wealth of the Scott family after the sale of Provincial Insurance and Exeter Bank. The Scott family owned the bank for five generations, in collaboration with renowned economist John Maynard Keynes.

In March 2014, Sandaire joined forces with Lord North Street Private Investment Office, a similar multi-family office pioneer which had been established in 2000. The enlarged firm is reported to manage assets of more than £3 billion ($3.9 billion) and specialises in tailored investment management services to relatively few families with large fortunes and substantial endowment funds including Oxford and Cambridge Colleges.

The merged firm has 40 employees and offices in London and, from 2012, in Singapore.

Sandaire is a founding member of the Wigmore Association, an organisation of eight family offices around the globe which share ideas and investment research relevant to the dynamics of family wealth.

Alex Scott, fourth-generation chairman, said the firm has seen many changes in the way ultra-high net worth (UHNW) families managed their wealth and approached governance over two decades.

“We formed our vision for Sandaire to offer high-quality, enduring investment advice and an alignment of interest to enable us to be good stewards of the assets built by previous generations and crystallised by my own,” Scott said.

“Our vision was always to do this in conjunction with other families, entrepreneurs, foundations and individuals with similar aspirations.

“After 20 years, all I can say about the future is that we will continue to strive every day to deliver the best service and build the best business we can. But above all, our commitment to family ownership, with its capacity for longevity, far-sighted investment and stability remains firm.”

Alexandra Altinger (pictured right), chief executive since 2014, said: “Notwithstanding the increased complexity of generating high-quality risk-adjusted returns families need in the context of a highly competitive and regulated marketplace such as London, it is really the 'client journey of tomorrow' which continues to drive and shape Sandaire today.”

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