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Wren Investment Office opens for UHNW family business

By James Beech

Wren Investment Office launches in London today with the backing of US company WE Family Offices and Spanish based MDF Family Partners.

The firm announced it was catering for individuals and families who required multigenerational wealth management from its team of independent and experienced best practice wealth managers.

Michael Parsons, chief executive, said Wren was structured to match the multigenerational requirements of clients with “strong incentives” to attract talent and a succession plan was being “hardwired” into its shareholder agreement.

The launch coincided with the Global Family Office Report by Campden Wealth, in association with UBS, which found just two in five respondents have personally experienced a successful transition of a family office. However, 43% of family offices expected a generational transition in the next 10 years.

Wren reunites the former investment committee of Lord North Street and staff worked together at Sandaire Investment Office, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last week.

Daniel de Fernando, of MdF, is chief investment officer of Wren. He joined Parsons and Head of Client Relationships Drew McNeil, Head of Investments Eirian Jones, Chief Operating Officer Stephen Doherty and Christopher Kemball, as the independent non-executive chairman.

Mel Lagomasino (right), Non-Executive Director at Wren and Managing Partner at WE Family Offices, said the launch of Wren Investment Office was “an exciting development for WE  and introduces the philosophy of sustaining wealth by managing it like a well-run company to ultra-high net worth families in the UK.”

WE  was named Multi-Family Office Team of the Year by Family Wealth Report. It was listed among the Financial Times' Top 300 Independent Advisors in the US in 2016.

As of 30 June 2016, WE advised on about $5 billion and reported on an additional $1.8 billion for a total assets under advisement or reporting of $6.8 billion. WE worked with 71 families in the US and abroad.

Multi-family office MdF Family Partners was started in 2008 by a group of investment professionals with long experience in private banking and asset management as well as law. The founding partners were: de Fernando, Daniel Gómez, Jose María Michavila and Javier Muguiro.

A component part of the business formed by MdF in the first instance was Gestefin, one of the oldest multi-family offices in Spain, which was created in the early 1980s.

MdF has assets under management and advice of about €1.5 billion serving more than 30 clients from its offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Geneva and Mexico.