DC Finance Family Office & Wealth Management Conference, Art Basel – Florida

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As the CEO & President of Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE) Real Estate Brokerage, Advisor & Investor for AmicusBrain—AI for Aging Population, CSO for ZuluTime, Publisher, Connector and a National Speaker, Desirée Patno’s network and wealth of knowledge crosses a vast economic footprint. With three decades specializing in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem and owning her own successful brokerage, she leads her executive team’s expertise of Social Impact, Gender Equality and Access to Capital, and provides personalized consulting services to the Real Estate and Family Office community.

Last year, NAWRB had the honor of representing women in the real estate and housing ecosystem at one of the largest events for ultra high net worth individuals and family offices. The events were hosted by one of the world’s leading conference organizers, DC Finance. This organization has built an international network of high net worth individuals, family offices and investors—spanning over 1,000 families that represent $300 billion collectively— that support one another and collaborate towards mutual success.

The organization is well-known for their Florida Family Office & Wealth Management Conference, that occurs at the same time as the high-profile Art Basel week, and its Family Office Real Estate NYC Meeting.

The Florida Family Office & Wealth Management Conference brings in about 150 ultra high net worth and family office executives that meet DC Finance’s rigorous qualification system. Of these attendees, 29 percent manage 50 to 250 million U.S. dollars in wealth, and 26 percent manage above 500 million U.S. dollars. While half of attendees are from Florida, a good portion come from New York, Israel and other regions. The event features informative sessions on topics such as family business, investment and real estate planning, gala dinners, exclusive parties, gallery openings, and more.

The event kicked off with opening remarks by Founder and CEO of DC Finance,  Denny Chared. He was followed by Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, who spoke about the $10 Million George Barley Water Prize, which aims to find the solution to the global water crisis through innovation. Transitioning from water to the skies, Joseph Napoli, Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor of the Miami Dade Aviation Department, spoke about the South Florida Aviation Industry.

The wide range of industries and topics mentioned on the first day continued throughout the course of the event. Attendees had access to informative sessions from expert thinkers and leaders in their respective fields. Topics ranged from Technology and Innovation and Medical Cannabis, to Impact Investing and Women in Private Equity and Venture Capital.

Expert panels discussed an array of investment opportunities available for family offices, whether they are looking to increase their wealth, make an impact on the world, or both. One panel—including moderator Ira J. Perlmuter, Managing Director of Triple Five Group; Robert G. Blabey, Co-Founder of Align Private Capital; David W. McCombie, Founder and CEO of McCombie Group LLC; and Euclid Walker, Managing Partner of Parkway Investment Management LLC— focused on direct investing, which is one of the fastest-growing areas of investing for family offices. These direct investment experts, who are also contributors to a recently released book, The Complete Direct Investing Handbook by Dr. Kirby Rosplock (Bloomberg 2017), shared trends in sourcing and vetting deals, co-investing and deal clubs, effective strategies for deploying capital and more.

Another panel on Private Equity and Impact Investing focused on family offices that invest with passion and purpose. Panelists included moderator Candice Beaumont, CIO of L Investments; Sandra Familiet, Director of the Chauncey F. Lufkin III Foundation; Aneel Ranadive, Managing Partner Soma Capital and Sacramento Kings Ownership (SFO); Sandra Salsano, Chairman and President of the Salsano Group; and Nikos Assanis, CEO of Assanis Group. These leaders highlighted that impact investing is a way of solving the world’s global problems. Investors play a significant role in supporting innovation by providing inventors and scientists with the resources they need to make the next world-changing discovery.

One up-and-coming trend in impact investing is gender lens investment. According to Veris Wealth Partners, investment of this type has risen 41 percent in the past year, up to $910 million. In addition, the number of mandated publicly traded gender lens investment strategies has reached a total of 22, after 5 years of steady growth. This is an incredible increase from the years 1993 to 2012, when there were only 5 strategies for gender lens investing.

When considering diverse resources for increasing wealth, family offices should consider getting involved in the recent trend of gender lens investment. This type of investment focuses on women by evaluating opportunities based on how a certain investment will facilitate the following concerns:

         Women’s leadership;

         Women’s access to capital;

         Products and services that help women and girls;

         Equality in the workplace;

         Shareholder engagement and policy work; and

         Women investing their own resources.

If an investment satisfies at least one of these criteria, some wealth management companies believe it will have a positive impact on the economic opportunities and growth for women and girls. Desiree Patno, President and CEO of NAWRB, moderated the discussion on Women in Private Equity and Venture Capital, joined by Sarah Cone, Founder and CEO of Social Impact Capital. Cone, a leading female venture capitalist shared her experiences of investing in and building women-led companies. Patno, a Top Real Estate Influencer and Women’s Diversity Leader in the real estate and housing ecosystem, gave insight into the powerful effects of investing in women for gender equality and women’s economic growth.

More women are taking up careers as venture capitalists, and some will leave their positions at successful companies to start their own businesses. Keeping in mind that women in the U.S. control $14 trillion in personal wealth—which the BMO Wealth Institute predicts will grow to $22 trillion by 2020—this trend has inspired interest in increasing the presence of women in family offices and wealth management.

Desiree Patno brought another perspective to real estate: gender equality and the accountability of financial institutions. During her presentation, she discussed how NAWRB is bringing women’s issues and actionable solutions for women’s economic growth to the forefront of the housing and real estate ecosystem. From obstacles in women’s homeownership to low female representation at the C-suite level, there are many ways in which the industry can improve women’s path to financial independence.

One financial institution claims, “Within 60 days of when we first send or make the statement available, you cannot assert a claim against us on any items in that statement, and as between you and us the loss will be entirely yours. This 60-day limitation is without regard to whether we used ordinary care.” This is a startling statement, and an uncomfortable truth, about the way some financial institutions view their responsibility toward protecting their consumers’ money. As part of its Know Before You Lose campaign, NAWRB raises awareness of the ways in which consumers’ hard-earned resources are managed, or mismanaged by financial institutions through embezzlement.

“Thank you to DC Finance for having NAWRB participate at these influential events for family offices and ultra high net worth individuals to increase awareness of our initiatives and encourage collaboration towards furthering women’s economic empowerment,” states Desiree Patno. “We look forward to continue driving the gender lens in future conversations about how the family office industry and the housing ecosystem can work together to create more opportunities for women.”

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