Little thought has been given to transferring wealth to the next generation, which isn’t surprising given that these fortunes have only been created since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In Western Europe and the U.S., some families have been managing their wealth through family offices for multiple generations. The Rockefeller family set up one of the earliest version in the 1800s.
Russia has enjoyed it’s own version of the gilded age in the past two decades.
The 23 Russians on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people, are worth a combined $253 billion. At least 189,500 ultra-high net worth individuals live in the country and control about $1.1 trillion, according to Capgemini estimates.
About 60,000 business owners will grapple with how to transfer assets in coming years. That should boost demand for services to smooth the transition, according to Narutskiy.
“When he turns 50, he suddenly understands that he has a portfolio of complex assets, and it’s completely unclear how to pass their ownership and management to the next generation,” said Roman Reshetyuk, Narutskiy’s partner at Leon. Clients are also interested in allocating more funds to charity and involving their children in philanthropic projects.
The head of a family office is usually someone who the main beneficiary “trusts boundlessly”, according to Dmitry Klenov, partner at UFG Wealth Management.
“We have seen a lot of examples when a CFO, chief accountant or corporate lawyer sits on two chairs dealing with both corporate and personal affairs,” said Narutskiy. “Some new clients come to us through them because they want to divest from responsibility to manage personal assets which require a different approach and skill set”.