Study: European family offices set to up exposure

Family offices have an 'affinity’ with private equity and more than half are looking to increase their allocations to the asset class, says research from LPEQ.

More than half of European family offices are planning to up their exposure to private equity in the next year, according to research by LPEQ, a group of European listed private equity groups. Of the 50 respondents to the survey, 57 percent are considering increasing their exposure in the next 12 months.  

The research, described by LPEQ as the largest European study of family office attitudes to private equity to date, was carried out by wealth-focused research agency Scorpio Partnership.

Appetite for private equity varies depending on the type of family office, the research said, with multiple family offices and private banks more likely to have a modest allocation. “This reflects their more conservative, institutional approach to asset management,” said an LPEQ statement.

Single family offices, which tend to have “higher risk tolerance and more idiosyncratic portfolios”, have the highest allocations. More than 60 percent of single family offices had a private equity allocation in excess of 15 percent.

Andrea Lowe, executive director of LPEQ, said that families were looking to “buy into the real economy” and get away from products.

Family offices typically access the asset class through a combination of direct investment, fund commitments and listed private equity stocks, the report said.

Cath Tillotson, managing partner at Scorpio Partnership, said that family offices have an affinity with private equity and “an appreciation for the value opportunities that post-crisis vintage years may offer and value the diversification it provides”.