The Family Officer Group hits 24
Matteo Cerri founded The Family Officer Group 25 years ago to provide a full Professional Family Office service portfolio to Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) clients, following the merger of Shield Risk Management Ltd and many multi-family offices. Cerri is now the CEO of its international function, with a Corporate Governance and Business Administration background including having worked with Merrill Lynch Bank.
Having diversified and expanded its range of services, it is now delivering on the regeneration of tens of Italian Borghi or villages, triggering a renaissance for the signed-up areas as well as offering tax-efficient and sustainable property investment opportunities.
High-end service delivery with an Italian twist
The Group is now recognised as one of the leading Family Offices of Italian origin. The Group is a full-service Family Office covering Financial Services, Risk Management and Insurance, Tax and Legal Planning, Real Estate Planning and investments, Private Equity and Venture Capital (with a specific focus on ‘Made by Italians’’). The Group retains 100 professionals across the services range and is represented in nearly 20 countries globally.
The Group is dynamic in structure, moving quickly to develop a competitive edge and grow its client services offering. The latest re-organisation took place in 2016.
In 2014, and in bearing witness to the Group’s Italian origins, ‘i2i’, the Group’s industry-leading investment vehicle in Italian entrepreneurs in the UK was launched. The Group inevitably has significant links to the UK-based Italian community, as well as a number of leading organisations in the field, including the Associazione Italiana Family Officer.
Reinvesting in Italy
Arguably the most exciting element of the Group’s engagements is its revolutionary approach in launching ITS Italy, the first time a Family Office has so directly involved itself with the regeneration of so many areas with the social impact on the centres of population and the surrounding areas. Having engaged with only 1 Italian municipality in September during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 25 municipalities have joined so far and there is a ‘waiting list’ of more than 50.
At the heart of the programme is to align with municipal objectives and facilitate property restoration and maintain the heritage of the property portfolio for future generations. Short term and long term aims include the support of local tradespeople and businesses, as well as the investment benefits (outlined below).
In a rippling out effect, ITS Italy has partnered with celebrity wine expert Joe Fattorini to encourage a revival on artisanal wine estates in areas where ITS Italy is already in operation, including Piedmont, Tuscany, Liguria, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia. A range of services and activities are being planned to create commercial opportunities and real and sustained growth and development. As such this is not merely an external investment in bricks and mortar, but rather an investment in the people, businesses and local economies, and the very culture and heritage of the engaged Italian districts. The mantra is Italy: don’t just visit, BELONG!
Brexit, COVID-19 and the future
Whilst many businesses are counting the cost of Brexit and COVID-19, The Family Officer Group’s future looks bright indeed. Plans are already in place to expand its presence in both London and Italy with 2 new offices in London, in an exciting counter-Brexit trend.
ITS ITALY has so far attracted 3,000 (a number which is fast growing) international small investors looking to invest in ecologically sustainable, socio-economically transformative and tax-efficient property portfolios. Were investors to take up the opportunity and relocated they could enjoy one of the most favourable tax regimes for new residents (with up to 90% tax exemptions) citizens. After a year of lockdown, as ITS Italy’s sales line suggests, “Stop imagining it, start living it” – quite the Italian dream.