Fall FOCIS Forum 2023 - McDermott Will & Emery

Fall FOCIS Forum 2023


McDermott’s Family Office Capital & Investment Strategies (FOCIS) group hosted the inaugural Fall FOCIS Forum on September 27 in New York City, bringing together more than 90 family office principals, CIOs, investment teams and other executives to network, exchange ideas and explore investment opportunities in both public and private markets. Structured as a series of informal conversations, this invite-only event featured 20 panelists from single family offices, institutional investors, financial institutions and investment banks, a professional sports league and operating companies sharing their collective insights on the latest investment trends impacting single family offices.

Discussion topics included:

  • Playing to Win: Investing in Professional Sports: As enterprise valuations of professional sports teams continue to dramatically increase and leagues become more open to non-traditional investors, many family offices are considering control and minority investments in professional sports franchises. This panel explored the current environment in the world of professional sports from a family office investor lens.
  • Direct Investing, Public Markets and Everything in Between: Many family offices currently hold large amounts of capital in Treasuries, municipal bonds and cash as they play “wait and see” with the public equities and private markets. Direct investing in control or minority positions continues to be a popular approach to maximize after-tax investment returns over long periods of time. This panel discussed the current landscape of family office investing across a broad spectrum of investment opportunities, including direct investing.
  • You Can Buy Dirt: Trends in Real Estate Investing: In uncertain financial markets, real assets present both opportunities and unique challenges for family offices. This panel explored the current state of real estate investing considering the current credit market and the “new normal” post-COVID.
  • State of Play in Credit Investing: Some believe that credit strategies allow family offices to supercharge investment returns in the current interest rate environment. This panel discussed credit as an asset class from both an institutional and a family office perspective.
  • Tax-Efficient Investments and Investment Structures: Structuring investments to reduce the tax burden for family investors and family office investment teams is a priority for family offices and their external advisers. This panel explored various strategies for optimizing tax efficiency at all three levels of a family office’s investment structure: family investor, family office and investment.
  • CIO Plus Who: Building a Family Office Investment Team: Family office CIOs often grapple with the question of whether to build out an internal investment team to source and execute direct investments or to adopt an asset allocator model and a focus on manager selection and macroeconomic trends. This panel evaluated the pros and cons of each approach.

About Family Office Capital & Investment Strategies (FOCIS)
FOCIS is a multi-practice team that draws on the experience of our private client, tax and finance lawyers to provide creative and holistic solutions across all levels of a family wealth structure. By taking a comprehensive, multi-level approach, we aim to achieve “tax alpha” for families, creating incremental investment returns that would otherwise be lost when working with external advisors with a narrower lens. Learn more.

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