Saturday, 16 February 2008

Lives or the rich and famous: Candace Johnson

Add to Technorati Favorites

Candace Johnson is a telecommunications expert & media entrepreneur, dubbed the “Satellady” by the Economist in 1996 and based in Luxembourg and Sophia Antipolis, France “the Silicon Valley of Europe.” At fifty five she’s amassed achievements which have resulted in more than $15 billion in total business ventures valued and $10 million being raised for charity.

She was introduced to telecoms at five when she received a toy Sputnik. Sputnik
was the first satellite into space in 1957, launched by the Soviet Union, it beat the US in the space race. The size of a beach ball it orbited the earth in 98 minutes and created so much furore with its surprise arrival that it spearheaded substantial funding for satellites in the US. 2007 was the celebration of the fiftieth year of Sputnik.

Candace, who strongly believes in people relationships as the key to success, says she learned everything she knows about telecoms from great people. “My Dad, General “Johnny” Johnson was the first Director of Telecoms and Communications policy in the US Government. “ ‘PX’ Page” founder of Northrop Page, was my “best friend” , when I was eight and he was 60. He owned a large HAM radio station. We used to call around the world, even in 1960 and regularly called Peru, Germany, even Taiwan.” She says her father was a visionary and when she was ten, he was working for President Kennedy at the White House starting the United States telecommunications policies. Back then he said: “One day we will have satellites which will allow education, communication and wars through them but they will also bring peace on earth.” Although he was from a poor background “a child of the depression” and her mother, the daughter of Romanian immigrants, Candace says all of the four children in the family were brought up on the “power of positive thinking”. “My mother and father lived the American Dream and gave us the freedom to believe that if we worked hard and well we would succeed.”

Despite her career in the science and technology sector, Candace left university with her education on the opposite side of the spectrum: five diplomas in music, of which two were performing degrees in voice and music; one from France and one from the US. It was here that her entrepreneurial spirit emerged. “I went to high school in Hawaii – actually the same one from which Steve Case and Barack Obama graduated.”

“I decided classical music was going to save the world and so launched some classical Concerts,” she says laughing at her earnest enthusiasm. The funding advice I received at the time was: “You need a prototype; a first client on board and to have got everything ready yourself.” So she put the idea down on paper and went to someone who could help her realize her vision. “I still follow those rules.” She stresses. “It’s important to go to exactly the right person for new projects.”

She went to local merchants and asked them to support her idea of a free musical concert to drive audiences into the area and they were keen. She chose a building for the event, which she needed permission to use and luck was on her side. “It turned out to be owned by Mobile Oil who were suffering a publicity rough patch with the oil crisis, so they sponsored the concerts, did a big ad’ campaign and put me into the black right away. “The project banked around USD 1million.”

Which indirectly led to her career in the satellite business. A radio station who’d been featuring the summer concerts asked her to fill a temporary role in the winter as acting Assistant Music Director. In 1976, she joined and soon suggested new ventures, which included classical music in the football world. “First lesson to would-be entrepreneurs – if you get a chance, even if it is ‘temporary’, use it and make the most of it.” The radio station took up her ideas and started making some serious money. “It was a private radio station belonged to RKO. As my first idea went well, I said we should put these programmes across the country on satellite. “It ended up being the first nation wide programme on satellite and it was before Ted Turner, the philanthropist who pledged £1bn to the UN and founded CNN, who was credited with starting satellite super stations. In fact, we were two years ahead. Candace soon got into syndication of TV and radio via satellite, before moving to a syndication company. “When I joined they were “ bicycling” their programmes by Fedex so I introduced the idea of satellite distribution .”

It was also then at twenty eight, that she met and married her now husband who was US ambassador to Luxembourg which meant she had to be security ‘approved’. “He’s also a musician and I’m a classical singer.” Says Candace before adding an aside. “I love songs: poetry and music creating a world in three minutes and communicating that world intact to others.”

She loved Luxembourg and immediately suggested they set up a satellite.“Someone once
said, if you know one thing very well, you will be able to know everything.” Which explains her understandable satellite obsession. “Satellites are mirrors and create immediate infrastructure, which means you really can do so many things with them. It’s the same in telecoms and energy now. Understanding of large infrastructures is proving very helpful.” Candace’s “satellite” venture became SES ASTRA and SES Global, the world’s largest satellite system.

The rest of the article is available with a subscription to
Contact Karen Jones AT

Sphere: Related Content

Simon Rae: Asian private wealth and philanthropy

Add to Technorati Favorites

Simon Rae, considered one of the elite handful of lawyers dealing with Chinese private wealth in Hong Kong, was recently recommended for the Citywealth Asian leaders list. He updates us on his view of the astronomical wealth being created in the region and his view of philanthropy from Asia.

“Philanthropy is a growing area with bequests being made mainly because of the economic development of the region and taxation is quite generous to those at the top, which has created a large wealth gap in Hong Kong. It means an elite number of individuals have accumulated vast amounts of wealth, measured in several billions of US dollars. In Hong Kong, we have some of the wealthiest families in the world: you just have to look at Forbes rich list to see that about a quarter of them are now Asian.” Despite this growth, Simon says there are lots of fund managers locally generating the wealth but not many who plan for its succession for future generations.
“Philanthropy has been part of the Asian philosophy and, in the past five years or so, there has been more publicity attaching to the growing number of charitable donations. This will be continued by future generations of the wealthiest families”. He explains: “There are substantial donations being given to educational institutions: for example Li Ka-shing to the Hong Kong University. Most of the leading entrepreneurs have large charitable institutions. Previously when individuals have been philanthropic in the region, they haven’t been so publicly and this is beginning slowly to change mainly because of the size and nature of the bequests; but there are a number of people who, because of favourable conditions, have garnered fortunes and feel that something should be put back into the community.” Of the amounts of wealth in the region, he says it isn’t unusual for locals to have amassed fortunes of $20billion.

The rest of this article is available on subscription with

Citywealth Asian private wealth managers and advisers list coming soon.

Sphere: Related Content

Lives of the rich and famous: Valerie Austin and James Pool

Add to Technorati Favorites

Valerie Austin, world renowned hypnotherapist; author of best selling books “Self Hypnosis” published by Thorsons; the original “Stop Smoking in One Hour” and inventor of the ‘Austin Technique’, which is used as an authoritative hypnotherapy method, has had a rollercoaster life, mirroring her British seaside upbringing. She was born in Blackpool, which she describes as similar to Vegas in its day and reveals easily that she is a self confessed “Lancashire lass.” Lunching at her swanky yacht club in St Katherines Dock, her Blackpool accent though, is hardly noticeable, which confirms that she has come a long way since then.
Her parents, who were comfortably off, ran a prosperous hotel called the Beaula Hotel which was visited by the formidable, recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, known as “Pinky,” and her family. Bhutto’s relatives later bought the hotel when Valerie’s parents decided to sell up, to use as a safe house during tumultuous political times in Pakistan in the seventies. “Back then, Blackpool used to attract lots of interesting and glamorous people, like Bhutto.” Remembers Valerie. “It had it’s own crowd of ‘beautiful people.” I ask if she was one of them when she confesses to having had an hour glass figure, which is still evident. “It included pop stars.” Continues Valerie, smiling unabashed in answer. “Like the Beatles with screaming fans following them everywhere. It was a great time and I loved the party scene.”
At eighteen she left college, married and had a baby soon afterward, but life didn’t turn into the fairytale she expected. Her husband developed an addiction to alcohol and gambling which eventually led to the breakdown of their marriage and divorce at twenty five. To support herself and her son, Valerie fell into a job selling advertising space on a commission only basis and surprised herself by quickly becoming top sales person; breaking all their records during her seven years there. As a further bonus, sometime later, she was able to leverage the sales experience and now uses hypnosis with corporate sales teams and senior management for improved productivity and stress management. Valerie explains. “One company commissioned me to get their telephone sales people on the phone more. They identified that the more calls sales people made, the more sales they got, so I used hypnosis to change attitudes and increase their desire to make calls.” Her client, who one assumes was pleased, said: “Calls went through the roof.”

Valerie now works with many celebrities and stars and offers corporate courses on hypnotherapy. She lectures and holds workshops for companies on stress and increasing productivity in business. She has also put together an exclusive DIY pack, in time for your new years resolutions, to stop smoking. It can be downloaded from the internet.

The full article on Valerie Austin is available with a subscription to
Contact Karen Jones kjones AT

Sphere: Related Content

Lucille Knapp, Northern Trust

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lucille Knapp who is one of the Wealth Management EMEA management team at Northern Trust is also part of the world-wide group whose clients include twenty two percent of Forbes 400 families, who are, the richest people on the planet. Northern Trust also has US$761.4 billion under investment management and US$4.1trillion under custody, making them one of the world’s most formidable private wealth asset managers, fiduciaries, bankers and custodians. With clients now resident in wealth hot spots like Monaco, Lucille who studied her management MBA at INSEAD, spends her time jetting to see them.

Starting her career in the oil industry at SHELL, Lucille worked in IT, Public Affairs and Commercial Fuels marketing for seven years before eventually heading into asset administration and private wealth. “It was a fascinating area.” She says. “And I could easily have stayed longer, but, I’d always promised myself an MBA.” She departed for INSEAD to ‘push herself’ and says she is glad she did. “I met diverse people like vets and brain surgeons; got to grips with economics and spent a lot of time out of my comfort zone.” She raises her eyebrows gently and smiles at me to highlight the point.

After this life changing, educational experience, she spent time as a marketing consultant, working for publishing houses on various projects, one of which included setting up a charity for an institute of art and design: ‘to give something back.’

Of her client work, Lucille, who exudes wisdom and kindness, says she’s seen a strong trend for wealthy families wanting to set up a “family office” type framework and move away from large investment management organisations. “Families are interested in security for their assets with strong administration and economies of scale. They are concerned about good governance; tailored and appropriate investment selection and performance and philanthropic works through foundations.” She explains. Lucille points out, almost absent mindedly, that most MFO’s are regulated by financial bodies but that Single Family Offices aren’t, before adding. “I’m not sure this family office trend is a good one.”

Later she joined Northern Trust, who had a hundred and fifty people in Europe when she joined but now boast more than two thousand, five hundred staff. Lucille spends her days running the business development and promotion division, which is something she says she loves despite some family clients being notoriously demanding. “I like the contact with the families.” She reaffirms.

Elaborating on the issues that arise in her role, she says many of her clients are interested in “soft issues” and this is something she and the team discuss with them at the annual Northern Trust Family Financial Forum. “We spend a lot of time before our conference working out what they want to know.” Lucille says. “The biggest topic is stewardship of families, such as how to manage a thirty five branch family or deciding when to tell their kids that they are rich. “I’m seeing regular use of psychologists with families keen to mend personal and family relationships.” Says Lucille. Clients generally just like to talk at these events so Lucille and colleagues share the experiences they’ve accrued over the years to give direction and guidance. Other hot topics for their ultra high net worth families on the investment side are: the state of the economy and diversifying out of risky investments and private equity positions; reducing exposure to emerging markets and non US individuals limiting their exposure to the USA.

The rest of this article is available on subscription through
Contact Karen Jones kjones AT

Sphere: Related Content

India’s wealth “is just a drop in the ocean: much more to come.” Say family office, Client Associates.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Himanshu Kohli of ‘Team CA’ or Client Associates based in four locations in India, is one of the founders of a family office launched in May, 2002. Their offices are in Gurgaon, New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The partners in the business, Arjun Gupta and Rohit Sarin, along with Himanshu, spent many years in corporate finance, investment banking and private banking before setting up Client Associates. Himanshu, who also worked at Merrill Lynch in Delhi, echoes a global view. “We started the company to step away from the sales pressures that are ever present in banks. It enables us to have better relationships with larger clients.” He says. The concept has worked out well with frequent accolades and partnerships including a recent award for Best financial advisor of the year from CNBC TV18 where more than two thousand applicants were reviewed.

Himanshu says that historically in India, a few business families held most of the wealth, but this has changed with India changing. “Corporates and professionals like bankers, lawyers, doctors, accountants and entrepreneurs have a lot of private money now.” He explains. “It’s means lifestyles have improved across the board and clients come to us worried that they can’t sustain their spending through their lifetime. This mood has launched many financial product ideas, which is where the need for wealth planning services like ours comes in.” Another trend he’s seen, is in individuals realising they can’t manage their money as well as they thought and so they seek help.

Reports suggest that there are a hundred thousand people in India with more than a $million to invest, but the twenty four people at Client Associates focus on those with more than $5million. “Although we do work with some families with a $million to invest.”

He believes the public estimates of wealth in India are very conservative. “We find lots of individuals and families with around $5million to invest and work with three hundred families ourselves with an average asset base of $4.5million and one of our clients has a company stake worth more than $1billion.” He suspects there is still lots of ‘unlogged’ wealth, then cites a real estate example to support the belief that there is far more wealth locally. “In the Cities we operate from, decent residential accommodation is selling at $2-3million a piece, which makes it impossible if you have only $1million to invest. He identifies lawyers and sports people as particular sweet spots of wealth. “We have many international companies coming into India and the fees that lawyers can charge for instance are high.” Himanshu confirms there are, as many in the private wealth industry have identified, financial education gaps in the Asian region and a general lack of awareness about wealth management. “Things are changing but we have to present the ideas to clients, they usually haven’t heard about it.”

There, are certain challenges even for a local company. “It’s a closed society and many clients don’t want to open up immediately.” He says it can even take up to four years to get clients to open up; and to get to know the family is an even longer process. They are very conservative and you need a lot of perseverance.”

The rest of the article is available on subscription through
Contact kjones AT

Sphere: Related Content

Key Group launch “Inheritors of Wealth” course

Add to Technorati Favorites

Key Group, the Jersey based company, chaired by Brian Clarke, announced the launch, this week, of their Inheritors of Wealth course. The course will enrol young adults and people who come into money later in life to enable them to course learn financial and life skills. As Brian says “Its purpose is to equip them to avoid the problems of catching a wealth cold or “affluenza”.
The first two Inheritors of Wealth™ programmes will take place in mid April at a luxury hotel outside London. In a move that is likely to interest the wealth sector, Key-Trust are safeguarding delegates’ security and privacy, having the hotel closed to the general public and its name and location will not be revealed, even to delegates, until they have both registered and paid the course fee.

Brian Clarke, whose company Key Wealth Forums is organising the course, says: “When people come into substantial money, as well as the obvious benefits, they also become vulnerable to risks, often through a sense of unworthiness. These can include manipulative so-called friends and acquaintances, would-be spouses with unloving intentions, opportunistic business promoters – all in addition to understanding the complexities of their financial affairs. “Inheritors of Wealth™ is an essential step towards becoming comfortable with wealth ownership. It will help to ensure that the wealth belongs to the individual rather than he or she belonging to it.”

The Inheritors of Wealth™ programme is the result of co-operation-in-action between Key Trust, a specialist family office business and top-20 accountancy firm Kingston Smith. All course tutors are experienced and successful professional advisors to wealthy families and business owners. They include: Brian Clarke, managing director of Jersey-based Key Trust Company, where he looks after the financial management and planning needs of wealthy private families; Partners from Kingston Smith LLP, one of the UK’s top 20 accountancy firms whose private client team brings together expert knowledge with practical experience when advising wealthy business owners.

Contact Brian Clarke
T: +44 1534 630500

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Barclays Wealth offers podcasts

Add to Technorati Favorites

Barclays Wealth has launched a number of podcasts designed to guide international investors through financial matters and enable them to make informed decisions. The podcasts are specifically aimed at people living and working in a foreign country and aim to help them make the often daunting financial decisions they are faced with when moving to a new country.

The podcasts, which can be accessed via, will focus on a number of areas facing international investors. The podcasts comprise:

A guide for international professionals living in the UK with tips on how they can make the most of their wealth while working away from home

An outline of the options that are available to international investors looking to buy a UK home or investment property

A guide aimed at enabling them to protect and maximise their wealth in a foreign country

A guide to structured products, designed to simplify the concept of these investments and describe their benefits, such as capital protection

Peter Horrell, Barclays Wealth, comments, “We are delighted to have launched the Barclays Wealth podcasts. Moving to a new country can be daunting and with the immediate pressures of relocating and working in a different environment, financial matters are often an added pressure. By talking to our clients it has become apparent that they do not have time to read through reams of information and scour the Internet in order to decide on the issues facing them, from purchasing a home to investing wisely. By launching the Barclays Wealth podcasts we aim to provide clear and consistent information to international investors to enable them to make informed decisions.”

About Barclays Wealth

Barclays Wealth is the UK's leading wealth manager and at 30 June 2007 had £126.8bn client assets globally. It serves affluent, high net worth and intermediary clients worldwide, providing international and private banking, fiduciary services, investment management and brokerage. Thomas L. Kalaris is the Chief Executive of Barclays Wealth and he joined the business at the start of 2006.

Barclays Wealth is part of the Barclays Group, a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services with an extensive international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. It is one of the largest financial services companies in the world by market capitalisation. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 127,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for over 27 million customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit their website file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Caroline.Wells/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLKF1/

Sphere: Related Content

Artist Pension Trust® Launches Trust for Middle East

Add to Technorati Favorites

The Artist Pension Trust® (APT), a global financial services firm dedicated to artists, have launched APT Dubai. APT Dubai is a Trust allowing emerging and mid-career artists that either work and live in the Middle East and its surrounding region including North Africa and Turkey or are of Middle Eastern descent access to APT’s financial planning program.

The program, which is globally patented, is centered on the long-terminvestment of the participating artists’ works. APT is unique as it allows participating artists to invest into their own commercial future as well as that of other selected artists, with their very own artworks.

To date more than 700 select artists have joined. With more than 1200 artworks in storage and committed, APT represents the world’s largest and fastest growing art collection of emerging to mid-career artists. November Paynter, Director of APT Dubai, comments: “This region is rich in unique artistic talent but many of these artists find it difficult toconnect to other global art centers. This trust is positioned to build the most important collection of art from the Middle East and its surroundingregion in the world. In the next five to ten years collecting institutions will be looking for important works from the past decade and we will beable to provide the most comprehensive resource by the contemporary scene.”

Vasif Kortun, APT Dubai Curatorial Committee member, adds: "In a region where there are few collecting institutions, or galleries committed toforging long term relationships with artists, APT Dubai will provide aninvaluable form of support for many outstanding artists, both in terms ofcreating a structure and in proposing a new form of economy dedicated tosupporting artists." Bijan Khezri, CEO and President of APT Holding notes: "The Middle East isemerging as one of the most promising new forces in contemporary art. Whilst Dubai is non-existent in terms of an internationally recognized native art scene, we strongly believe that Dubai is very likely to emerge as the center for Middle Eastern contemporary art. Dubai is more than a gateway to the region.

Dubai is uniquely positioned to emerge as the world’s meeting point of contemporary art from East and West."Since its inception in 2003, APT has built one of the biggest and fastest growing global collections of contemporary art. Selecting tomorrow’simportant and long-term relevant artists and their respective artworks isthe foundation of Artist Pension Trust®. APT artists continue to benominated and win the contemporary art world’s most prestigious awards. Our artists are constantly selected for the world’s leading survey exhibitions and biennials. Therefore, APT provides a unique platform for select Middle Eastern artists to engage with the international art community.

Sphere: Related Content

Northern Trust

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lucille Knapp who is part of the Wealth Management EMEA management team at Northern Trust is part of the world-wide group whose clients include 22% of Forbes 400 families who are the richest people on the planet. Northern Trust also has US$761.4 billion under investment management and US$4.1trillion under custody, making them one of the world’s most formidable private wealth asset managers, fiduciaries, bankers and custodians. With clients now resident in wealth hot spots like Monaco, Lucille who studied her management MBA at INSEAD, spends her time jetting to see them.

Starting her career in the oil industry at SHELL, Lucille worked in IT, Public Affairs and Commercial Fuels marketing for seven years before eventually heading into asset administration and private wealth. “It was a fascinating area.” She says. “And I could easily have stayed longer, but, I’d always promised myself an MBA.” She departed for INSEAD “to push herself” and says she is glad she did. “I met diverse people like vets and brain surgeons; got to grips with economics and spent a lot of time out of my comfort zone.” She raises her eyebrows gently and smiles to highlight the point. After this life changing, educational experience she spent time as a marketing consultant working for publishing houses on various projects, one of which included setting up a charity for an institute of art and design: “to give something back.”

Lucille, who exudes wisdom and kindness, says she’s spotted a strong trend for wealthy families wanting to set up a “family office” type framework and move away from large investment management organisations.

Read the whole article with a subcription to citywealth newsletter.


Sphere: Related Content

Stenham Property Raises Around € 50 million for its Berlin Residential

Add to Technorati Favorites

Stenham Property recently launched the Stenham Berlin Residential Fund whose focus is to acquire, refurbish and manage residential buildings in central Berlin. The fund closed with almost € 50 million of capital from investors and is likely to purchase in excess of € 175 million worth of property.

Stenham, who are a renowned, top five family office in the UK, has been investing in the German property market since 2005. Through its own German team and a range of successful joint venture relationships, it holds over € 1.6bn of property investments in Germany.

Sascha Lewin, Head of European Property at Stenham, said: ‘We started investing in Germany over 3 years ago to take advantage of the positive macro economic outlook. Today Germany is proving to be a resilient, strong and growing economy. Over the past 12 months or so, the cost of borrowing has been rising and the sub-prime fall-out in the US has put a severe squeeze on global credit markets. These factors have had a sobering effect on investors and have flushed out poorly capitalised market participants’.

He added: ‘Further market increases and falling initial yields are therefore unlikely to continue in the medium-term. Consequently, the Stenham Berlin Residential Fund is targeting growth through effective asset management and value-add investment opportunities, which is where Stenham’s expertise lies. This is the reason why our fund is closed-ended with no right of redemption over the 7-year life of the fund.’

The Fund is listed on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange.

Sphere: Related Content