A Room With A View: Tobias Prestel Sees The World’s Economy Through Luxury Family Offices



Tobias Prestel founder of Prestel & Partner

Prestel & Partner understands the importance of family offices to ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs). Together with his partners, Tobias Prestel created a safe space for these individuals or their Family Offices to get together and exchange ideas. Prestel & Partner’s Family Office Forums provide an exchange between family principals, family office C-suite executives, wealth owners, private investors, and a select few partners with topical expertise on best practices in family governance and investments. With over 40 years of international experience as an entrepreneur, publisher, and conference director — founding partner and CEO at Prestel & Partner, Tobias Prestel speaks to LUXUO on the impact of family offices on the world’s economy, the evolution of office spaces and how Asia’s family offices adapt to geopolitical power.

How important are family offices to the world’s economy?

Family offices play a critical role in the world’s economy. They manage significant assets, influence major investments, and support a range of philanthropic endeavours. Their decisions can lead to innovation, economic development, and social change, impacting various sectors globally.

Crucially, private investors don’t face the restrictions and limitations of institutional investors, making it much faster and easier for family offices to make things happen and to explore different opportunities. This is one of the many reasons why we feel honoured to bring these influential individuals together around the world at our events.

How many variations of the family office exist?

There are several variations of family offices, including single-family offices, which serve one family, and multi-family offices, which cater to multiple families. The services and structures of family offices can vary widely, depending on the needs and goals of the families they serve.

Our events are globally appreciated because they adopt a meticulous approach to participation. We go beyond merely identifying if an entity is a family office; we also scrutinise whether they intend to sell products or services to attendees. This is crucial as many family offices are also in the business of offering financial products and consultancy services to their peers. By doing so, we ensure that our events maintain a high concentration of genuine investors, emphasising the “pure buy-side”. This strategy aims to foster an environment more conducive to investment and collaboration rather than sales.

How have you seen the family office space evolve over the last decade?

Over the last decade, the family office space has evolved significantly. There has been a shift towards more professional management, with an emphasis on strategic investments and philanthropy. Additionally, there is a growing focus on sustainable and responsible investing, as well as a greater use of technology for managing assets and evaluating investment opportunities. We try to cater to the evolving needs of Family Offices at our events by introducing new themes and debates at our forums. For example, we started spotlighting hot topics like AI investments and longevity when they were not as widely discussed in the public discourse as they are now.

Tobias Prestel pictured with co-founder, Katja Mülheim, Founding Partner, and Managing Director.

Today’s wealth owners are far younger, how does this transition manifest itself in the family office space?

The transition to younger wealth owners has led to a change in the priorities and strategies of family offices. There is a stronger emphasis on sustainability, technological innovation,

and social impact. Younger generations are also more inclined to integrate their values and ethics into their investment decisions. It’s been so stimulating to witness this shift firsthand and to welcome more and more next-gen leaders into our network. They bring a breath of freshness and contribute immensely to each conversation. It’s also been very interesting to see how the new generation is focused on moving forward without ever forgetting their origins and remaining focused on heritage preservation.

How does geography play into the differences between family offices?

Geography significantly influences the operation and focus of family offices. Different regions have varying regulatory environments, economic conditions, and cultural attitudes toward wealth and philanthropy. This affects how family offices invest, engage with communities, and pursue their objectives.

Is there a particular reason why Singapore was chosen over other cities like Hong Kong, Jakarta, or Shanghai to be the hosting city?

Singapore was chosen for its strategic location, robust financial services ecosystem, and stable political environment. The city-state is a hub for wealth management in Southeast Asia and offers a conducive environment for discussions on wealth, investment, and family office management. It’s also important to note that around 60 percent of all firms listed on the Singapore Exchange, are family-led businesses.

What interests and topics do family offices have in common?

Family offices commonly focus on wealth preservation, estate planning, strategic investment, philanthropy, and intergenerational wealth transfer. They are also increasingly interested in sustainable and impact investing, as well as technological innovations that can enhance their operations and investment outcomes. It’s very important for FOs and their C-level decision-makers to have a safe space to discuss these topics and gain invaluable peer-to-peer perspectives.

Tobias Prestel founder of Prestel & Partner

Tell us more about the great return with sustainable, responsible, and ethical impact investment.

Sustainable, responsible, and ethical impact investments align financial returns with positive social and environmental outcomes. They allow family offices to contribute to global challenges such as climate change, social inequality, and healthcare while achieving competitive returns. This approach reflects a shift towards value-driven investment strategies. Over the years, we’ve seen countless UHNWIs aligning their investment goals with those of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

What are family offices in the “new economy and tech” space looking for?

In the “new economy and tech” space, family offices are looking for opportunities that offer significant growth potential through innovation and disruption. They are interested in emerging technologies, biotech advancements, and startups that promise to redefine industries and contribute to a sustainable future. Many VC firms linked to major Family Offices have a tech-driven approach and review hundreds of start-ups every year.

Do you believe families have a responsibility to do something more with their wealth?

Yes, I strongly believe families have a responsibility to leverage their wealth in meaningful ways. Beyond wealth preservation and growth, there is an opportunity to impact society positively and invest in a way that reflects their values and contributes to the greater good.

How are Asia’s family offices adapting to the changing balance of geopolitical power?

Asia’s family offices are adapting by diversifying their investments geographically and across asset classes. They are also becoming more engaged in global discussions on wealth management, sustainability, and geopolitical risks, ensuring their strategies are resilient and aligned with changing global dynamics. Adaptability is crucial and family offices are advantaged as they are able to change strategies much quicker than many other realities.

What do you think will be the biggest takeaway for those attending the forum in Singapore?

The biggest takeaway will likely be the importance of adaptability, foresight, responsible stewardship in managing family wealth, and the ever-present need to combine wealth preservation, legacy, and innovation. Attendees will learn about the latest trends, strategies, and challenges in the family office space, enabling them to navigate the complexities of the modern financial landscape effectively.

For more on Prestel & Partner’s Singapore Office Family Forum, click here.

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The post A Room With A View: Tobias Prestel Sees The World’s Economy Through Luxury Family Offices appeared first on LUXUO.


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