A new report exploring how sustainability, ESG priorities and effective governance are playing out in the UHNW space has been published today by Wealthbriefing, with support from Jersey Finance.

‘Virtuous Circles: Sustainable Family Governance Models in an Evolving Environment’ is based on a global survey of practitioners and a period of research and interviews with an array of family office experts and highlights emerging best practices in the ESG and governance space, as well as real-world examples illustrating what forward-thinking families are doing to create lasting legacies.

In particular, the report underlines the focus families are placing on developing clear and robust approaches to governance and reveals how enterprising families are increasingly aware that the management of their businesses, their investment strategies and their interpersonal relations are inextricably linked.

Findings in the report include:

  • a clear majority (61%) of advisors believe that enterprising families should have a formal governance programme in place by the time they have £50 million in assets;
  • around three-quarters (74%) of advisors believe a formal business succession plan is absolutely vital as part of a family governance programme, followed by an internal communications policy (63%) and a family council (61%);
  • the majority (62%) say that families simply are unsure as to how to proceed when it comes to succession planning; and
  • 68% of advisors think that philanthropy and impact investing objectives will become increasingly intertwined.

Robert Moore, Director – UK, Jersey Finance, said:

“There’s no doubt that the pandemic has served to accelerate thinking and best practice in the sustainable finance and ESG space and, as we emerge from the pandemic, it is an opportune time to analyse how attitudes to sustainable finance are changing and ask some fundamental questions about what that means for private wealth professionals.

“This is a long-term trend and advisors will need to ensure they are at the top of their game in sustainable finance if they are to remain relevant to their clients. The findings of this report will provide a robust framework and useful insights into best practice in this area as it continues to evolve.”

The report includes input, including a separate panel session, from a number of expert practitioners:

  • Dr Emiko Caerlewy-Smith, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, KIT Consulting
  • Catherine Grum, Partner, Head of Family Office Services, BDO
  • Richard Joynt, Head of Family Office Services, Highvern
  • Rupert Phelps, Partner – Family Wealth Group, Smith & Williamson
  • Warren Thompson, Head of Family Office and UHNW, Coutts

The report and accompanying one-hour expert panel discussion are available on the Jersey Finance website.

Virtuous Circles: Sustainable Family Governance Models in an Evolving Environment
Produced in partnership with WealthBriefing, our 'Virtuous Circles' research report surveyed and interviewed family governance experts internationally to discover how sustainability and ESG priorities are playing out in the UHNW space.
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