Nov 1, 2020
Introduction: Bruno Doutrelepont is a Private
Investor and CEO at Even Keel Partners Investment Office. He is
also a director of Genius Evolve and Non-Executive Director for
Winterhaven holdings. Bruno is a regular keynote speaker at
International Conferences for Family Offices and Institutional
Investors in places like Monaco, Geneva, London and Dubai.
Podcast episode Summary: There exists a lot of
confusion about the nature and purpose of a Family Office Business.
Bruno shared his definition. To safeguard the capital of the
family business and enhance the quality of life for all members of
the family. Essentially Bruno is integrating a very fine balance
between the team that is the family and his team at Even Keel along
with the many other suppliers who are involved to support the
mission of the Family Business.
Points made throughout the Episode:
- Important to distinguish the purpose and mission of the family
office. It is not well known or established here in Ireland.
- At Even Keel the mission is to safeguard and enhance the
capital of the family while at the same time advancing the quality
of life for all members.
- Varied and complex skill set required to serve a family office.
It is a finely balanced integration of multiple teams, the Family,
the Financiers and many suppliers.
- Important to have a thorough understanding of Family and group
dynamics. Each family is unique.
- Various and important issues have to be dealt with in the
course of managing a Family As an example the wealth creator often
finds is hard to “let-go” even when he/she is keen to share wealth
with his/her family
- Habitual story or worry that the first generation will make the
money, the second generation will spend it and the third will have
- Important to remember that the Family takes precedence over
almost any consideration. A Family Office has to be able to
navigate family values and dynamics
- There is a definite process and often a long one to establish a
rhythm of working with a Family.
- This often means many and several 1;1 conversations to help all
members of family express their desires.
- The international nature of the World widens the considerations
involved especially when Children travel, study abroad etc. This
degree of globalisation impacts the selection of services providers
and the appropriate investment strategy to be deployed.
- Extremely challenging to select people to be part of the Family
Business. One quality is paramount; Emotional Intelligence
- Emotional intelligence supports financiers to be with the
varied and sometimes exasperating twists and turns in decision
making. Excellent work does not always amount to a decision
- The Family has the prerogative to change its mind. It can feel
like rejection and it is important that the team within the family
office do not take things personally.
- The business is varied, compelling, complex often with a steep
learning curve. It is not for the faint hearted.
- Covid-19 has meant some investment decisions have been stalled
and significant pivoting has been required.
- The SME sector has been particularly affected. Bruno admires
the loyalty and dedication to staff seen by many business owners
here in Ireland.
- Even Keel is used to working remotely. Covid-19 has however
contributed to fatigue, exhaustion and emotional overwhelm for
some. Important to be able to flexible and allow people determine
their own rhythms in these times.
- Circuit breakers are often required. Humour is too.
- The conversation pivoted into Leadership. Bruno shared his
thinking and practices to ground his approach. Important to
disconnect, find nature, taking time out to appreciate small things
and enjoy conversations.
- Every day relations often provide stimulus for ideas.
- Bruno concluded conversation by sharing story of his two
daughters aged 6 and 12. They are burgeoning entrepreneurs in their
own right- he shared how they created Christmas Baubles to sell for
two charities and raised over €10,000
- Family is everything.