Widening the Aperture: Family Office Investment Insights

Published on21 JUL 2021

Our inaugural Goldman Sachs Family Office report, Widening the Aperture: Family Office Investment Insights, draws from our firm’s first global survey of family office decision makers, in addition to our collective experience working with family offices. This is a collaborative One GS effort, bringing together insights from across Goldman Sachs and perspectives from clients around the globe to capture the compelling themes and common investment behaviors of institutional family offices.

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While respondents hail from global family offices, our objective is to provide resources to family offices and non-family offices alike. We believe that providing a peek under the hood into the institutional family office cohort’s investment interests and priorities can reveal established and emerging tactics worth replicating for other asset managers looking to refine their own frameworks or to partner with this investor base.

The report is organized around three principal areas of discussion: the evolving family office landscape, current and future asset allocation, and family office investing themes. Among the report’s key findings, we found that, broadly speaking, family offices tend to be more aggressive in seeking superior returns but also more long-term oriented given their lack of defined investing timelines and absence of outside interference. Many have an outsized exposure to alternative investments, investing both through managers and directly. Some family offices are also positioning for a prolonged, low-rate environment, while others are focused on a potential increase in inflation. In both cases, respondents expressed interest in taking on more risk in exchange for higher returns. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is also top of mind, with a majority of respondents focused on implementing these principles across their philanthropic efforts, workplace policies, and investing strategy.

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Widening the Aperture: Family Office Investment Insights

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From Our Leaders

What are Family Offices? 

Sara Naison-Tarajano, Global Head of Private Wealth Management Capital Markets, provides an overview on family offices and discusses why they are becoming increasingly impactful partners for investors in institutional capital markets.

Portfolio Allocation Trends 

Tony Pasquariello, Global Head of Hedge Fund Coverage for Global Markets, talks about family offices’ continued focus on public equity markets and increased interest in hard assets. 

Exposure to Alternative Investments

Ken Hirsch, Co-Chairman of Global Technology and Media Telecom Investment Banking, discusses family offices’ allocation to alternative and direct investments.  

Portfolio Allocation to Real Estate  

Meena Flynn, Global Co-Head of Private Wealth Management, talks about how family offices approach real estate investing and the role real estate plays in an asset allocation.

Environmental, Social and Governance Investing 

Sara Naison-Tarajano, Global Head of Private Wealth Management Capital Markets, talks about how family offices are integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into their philanthropic efforts, workplace policies and investing strategies. 

Interest in Digital Assets 

Meena Flynn, Global Co-Head of Private Wealth Management, discusses how family offices are thinking about opportunities within the digital assets ecosystem and associated risks. 


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