Some are families whose fortunes date back decades. Others are newly minted billionaires. Wherever their wealth came from, family office investors are an important part of the capital provider ecosystem—especially for founder-owned businesses.
But family offices differ from other capital providers, especially when it comes to collaboration and flexibility on financing. To learn more about working with this important investor type, please watch the first of our two videos on family office investors.
Laura Van Peenan
Managing Director, Head of Alternative Private Equity
Now more than ever, family offices are an important component of the capital provider ecosystem, serving as a differentiated funding option for business owners.
Ranging from multi-generational families whose fortunes were created long ago as industrial pioneers to newly minted billionaires whose wealth was generated in the tech and private equity booms, many of today’s family offices have become highly interested in directly investing in private companies.
Family offices generally have long, open-ended hold periods as compared with the typical three- to five-year investment time horizons of private equity firms. This can make a family office an ideal partner for a business owner with a longer-term strategic vision and with a desire to select one capital provider for the long haul.
Family offices work with their own capital, which means they can be extremely flexible, collaborating with each business to come up with the optimal financing solution.
Most family offices are open to both minority and majority investments and to building on their initial investment to support organic growth, acquisitions, and founder/management liquidity.
In terms of the amount of capital family offices have to invest in a given private company, that can range from tens of millions to a billion dollars plus.
As an independent, private partnership since our founding in 1935, William Blair shares family offices’ special appreciation for founder- and family-owned businesses. That uniquely positions us to connect business owners with this distinctive type of investor.