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Investments

Fig 1.1

Overall returns are down sharply

The performance of family office portfolios was down sharply on preceding years. The composite global portfolio of family offices gave meagre returns in 2015. The lower performance reflects generally weak to woeful returns from a variety of asset classes, including the mainstays of fixed income and equity, as well as weakness in commodities and hedge funds.

Private equity and real estate were the two bright spots

Private equity and real estate once again outperformed most other asset classes, and will have saved many family offices executives the indignity of delivering overall portfolio losses to the beneficial owners in the last year. Both of these illiquid assets are core parts of ultra-high net worth portfolios, and in the last few years have ensured that the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest have comparably outperformed their less wealthy counterparts.

Europe produced the strongest performance globally

There wasn’t a great deal of variation in the performance of the regions – they were all buffeted to a lesser or greater extent by the turmoil. Europe came out marginally ahead of North America, Asia-Pacific and Emerging Markets (ex Asia-Pacific).

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