Across Middle East, Family Offices Are Vogue

Family offices now dot the GCC, although the segment is less mature than in the West. One driver is the distrust that has arisen from past wealth-advisory abuses. The downside, however, is that family offices tend to stick to known assets, especially in the real estate or direct investment realm. Diversification strategies suffer. To combat this bias, some family offices bring in professional management to oversee portfolio-structuring activity. But even then, the development of a formal investment framework can be fleeting, either because family members resist selling down primary assets or because internal conflict arises over deal opportunities. The investment team may not be empowered to do their job.

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