Last week, Genome Advisory had the pleasure of attending and presenting at Prestel & Partner’s Family Office Forum at the Harvard Club in New York City. The two-day event attracted over c. 150 family offices and UHNW individuals: an eclectic mix of international, multi-generational families.
Prestel & Partner offered its attendees a sensitively curated program of compelling and contrasting topics. Beyond multiple sessions on various dimensions of investment, they also featured innovative perspectives on AI, entrepreneurship, alternative agriculture, social impact investing and climate change. Prestel and Partner effectively showcased the roles of these subjects in the contemporary global family office.
Additionally, Genome Advisory introduced genomics to the family office during our session, “Genomics and Its Impact on Families of Wealth”. Families were empowered to begin planning comprehensively for tomorrow, while also addressing immediate needs, especially related to security. Risk mitigation is necessary today to address profound threats to privacy and identity, inadvertently imperiled through widespread embrace of direct-to-consumer genetics testing.
The wealthy represent a population with the same concerns about health and genes as all others; however, factors in their environment generate unique concerns. The very terms – family office, family enterprise and family legacy - convey the requisite focus on all that is “family”. And genomics permeates all aspects of family.
No discussion of succession planning, next generation challenges, philanthropy or legacy creation can be whole without understanding the imminent impact of genomics on health and longevity for families of wealth.
Our session provided attendees with:
- A basic working genomics vocabulary
- Recognition of the critical need for both immediate action and future planning
- Specific action items to mitigate profound existing risk
- Necessary components of a long-term genomics strategy
- An understanding of unprecedented and unavoidable ethical dilemmas
Throughout the session clinical vignettes were provided to highlight the exquisitely intimate nature of the science and its human applications.
Genomics bodes an extraordinary future with elimination of malignant disease, enhanced well-being, and healthy longevity.
But with new knowledge and new opportunity comes new fiduciary responsibility to protect and enhance the lives of those we serve. We must all wrestle with the challenges of this disruptive science, especially its ethics.
A sophisticated understanding of genomics and its specific impact on wealthy families is now part of a required toolkit of the family advisory.
Many thanks to Tobias, Katja, Zita and their team for their impeccable execution of such a high-level event.
Genome Advisory looks forward to working with Prestel & Partner to ensure that global families will utilize genomics to shape their most powerful legacy and future.
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“It’s all too easy to dismiss the future. People confuse what’s impossible today with what’s impossible tomorrow.”
– George Church