Adam Torres and Danielle Patterson discuss family offices.
Apply to be a guest on our podcast here
Family Office List has grown from a static excel spreadsheet into something far more useful. In this episode, Adam Torres and Danielle Patterson, CEO & Owner at Family Office List LLC, explore the Family Office List journey along with the evolution of the Family Office sector.
About Danielle Patterson
From an early age, Danielle was often commended for her remarkable talent for saving money, a skill that would prove invaluable in the face of adversity later in life. Despite the accolades, her journey was fraught with untold challenges. By the age of 28, Danielle and her husband found themselves on the precipice of bankruptcy, confronting a daunting reality.
To truly understand Danielle’s resilience, one must trace back to her childhood. Picture a young Danielle orchestrating yard sales, skillfully persuading neighbors to purchase odds and ends. Raised in a bustling household alongside hardworking parents and three siblings, she imbibed a steadfast belief: to grasp the value of a dollar and forge one’s own path.
As a resourceful Californian, Danielle charted a course toward the University of California, Santa Cruz, strategically sidestepping the financial burden of out-of-state tuition. Ingenious financial maneuvers orchestrated by her father facilitated her participation in work-study programs, shielding her from the shackles of student debt. Post-graduation, Danielle found herself at the helm of a gallery under the esteemed photographer Frans Lanting, an opportunity that seemed to promise a bright future.
Marriage to the love of her life and the acquisition of a home overlooking the West-Cliff shores painted a picture of contentment and stability. However, the seismic tremors of the 2008 financial crisis sent shockwaves through their carefully laid plans, testing Danielle’s resilience in ways she had never imagined.
About Family Office List LLC
Family Office List (Familyofficelist.org) is one of the leading providers of investor list sources. As a company, they are committed to providing comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information to their clients worldwide. They strive to ensure the list’s accuracy and are constantly updating their databases where needed. Now in its 21st year, Family Office List continues to prove itself as a profitable and time-saving tool to our clients. It is packed with hard-to-find information – the information needed to lay the groundwork for successful relationship building and valuable lead generation.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres. And if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to missionmatters. com and click on be our guest to apply. Okay. So today we have Danielle Patterson on the line and she’s CEO and owner over at Family Office List, LLC, Danielle, welcome to the show.
Thanks, Adam. So pleased to be here. All right, Danielle. So, as I was getting ready for this, I was thinking about how you mentioned that family office list, you know, the journey of going from an Excel spreadsheet into something the powerhouse of your list and your organization and what you do.
I’m like, oh, man, we’re going to have some fun today talking about how that was like, because I think about Mission Matters and I’m like, oh, my gosh, the day we got off of some of these spreadsheets, it was great. Yeah. Oh, like the, you know, the, it just parted. Oh, yes. I feel your pain. I totally understand the journey.
Oh, so, so talk to me, how did all this get started? Like where, where, where did it was, were you planning on being at the helm of, you know, a family office, like that, that community, what, what, what, how did that start? Yeah, no, I totally joke to people. I was kind of like this accidental entrepreneur and I feel so fortunate.
Did you, did you read, did you read my book, Danielle Driven? No! That’s what I call myself in there. Accidental entrepreneur. Tale of two cities. No joke. It’s like a tale of two cities. There’s me and one other author. The other author is a serial entrepreneur that started, sold a bunch of businesses. Me, I’m the accidental entrepreneur.
And the whole narrative in the entire book is that. So when you said that, I’m like, did you, I’m glad we are kindred spirits. And now I can’t wait to read your book, but because that’s truly, I think, you know, I have all the characteristics of an entrepreneur, you know, I, you know, I’m very passionate, very driven, but I think I’m more of a risk adverse type person.
So, you know, I first started working eight years ago with. The original founder of family office list. His name is Douglas fathers. And, you know, he essentially created, you know, this Excel spreadsheet due to their being limited to no resources available when he was raising capital for his 1st hedge fund.
Now, that was in the early 2000s. And like many fund managers, they kind of go to their friends, their family, then they start to explore the ultra high net worth world. And. Boom, that’s where he discovered family offices, which were very, you know, secretive the, the website, the presence that they have today was, you know, little to none.
So he spent a lot of time networking and building this resource that later in his career as he was advising others and helping them with their capital raising realize, you know, this is a really great tool. And that’s how family office list was born. So, for years, it was, you know, just this, Static Excel spreadsheet and, you know offered some value, but what I realized, you know, in getting to know the family office sector better is no 2 are alike.
I mean, by, by having a list, you’re really encouraging the spray and pray method as if they all operate under the same guys. And so to really add value to not only a client who’s looking to align and connect. But also to the family office, who is increasingly looking for, you know, unique, well aligned deal flow.
We can help fix this problem for both ends. If we create really accurate profiles. So I decided, you know, this needs to be more than a list. We need 1st and foremost, a dedicated research team who’s going to be, you know, going out there, understanding each of these family offices, investment objectives, you know, creating more description origins of wealth.
So, we really can can relate and put ourselves in this family’s shoes to understand. How can I come to you with a value proposition? You know, not just throw some irrelevant pitch your way. So, being that this data was so aggressively being maintained and increased, and we needed. A better delivery mechanism, you know, this whole world of Excel spreadsheets is so frustrating, you know, all the room for human error.
And, you know, it’s just archaic. And I, I do laugh because as much as the family office sector is growing and new technology solutions are popping up everywhere, they are still so far behind the time for holding such wealth. You know, it’s such. Yeah, kind of many of them, but again, we can’t we can’t speak, you know, we can’t say a 1 size fits all because each 1 is unique.
But but, yeah, so we’re really excited to now have this platform. That’s very dynamic. It really focuses on subscribers coming in and learning, applying filters so that they’re really aligning based on each family offices objectives and then we’re, you know, Just launched this month, a really awesome master class series, because, you know, again, it’s all about understanding the sector, gaining insights into the evolving trends, how we can position ourselves to, you know, better, better serve and work with family offices, because, you know, they, they’ve got challenges all their own, you know, family, it’s not easy to succession planning is probably 1 of the hardest.
Issues facing family offices right now, I think go into that part, let’s take just one step back. I want to make sure, and I know you said, so something you said struck me and for my long term listeners, they know, I mean, I was in finance for almost 14 years before going into media now going on eight years.
But. You mentioned no two family offices are alike. So there still is, I feel like for many, a lot of mystification are like, what is a family office? So maybe let’s, let’s take a step back there and define that a little bit. I have talked about that a little before we go into maybe some of the current day challenges.
So what is a family office? Yes. And I love the question because you could literally ask a room full of the family office CEO. That’s why and they would all give you a different answer because there is no real formal structure. Now, of course, for us, we’re trying to help clients demystify this fragmented world.
So we do categorize we have. Single family offices now, those are like, the entities set up to manage the wealth of an individual family typically, you know, came into their wealth through, you know, the exit of a business, you know, it depends on how old the. Family offices, you know, we see multiple multiple generations, you know, where they’ve successfully been able to transfer the wealth, but with the tech boom, we’ve seen a huge surge in in all these newly formed family offices.
But then you also get multi family offices. So this is where, say, the, all of the professionals that are, you know, taking care of the wealth management and the investments and say, the taxes and the, you know, the trust formation and the household affairs rather than. Having that all for your individual family, because they say to justify the cost of running a single family office, you typically need net worth of 250Million.
so say you want to form or be a part of a family office. Maybe you don’t quite have that net worth to justify doing it all on your own. You can join a multifamily office and these are typically. You know, service providers for several well aligned families, and it just makes sense. You know, you don’t have to build from the ground up.
They have, you know, existing professionals to provide these solutions. And then we also see a lot of family foundations. So oftentimes you can have a single family office who then has more of a philanthropic arm and they set up a foundation where they can do more of their charitable, charitable investments.
And as the term is becoming, yeah, increasingly recognized, we, we do see a lot of wealth advisors offering family office services, kind of calling themselves family offices. So we really do our diligence to make sure, you know, our list is clean and they’re, they’re truly family offices allocating. And looking back into kind of some of the the evolution of this when you think about like where all of this came from, it was really, you know, some of the really wealthy people in the country as their fortunes grew, and they had to build these teams around themselves in order to manage, you know, all of this wealth that they were accumulating, I would say like industrialization, like that’s probably like winning.
The seed of it all and then as, as, you know, it matured, then this concept, and I love the fact that you brought up this idea that at one point you had to have like minimum net worth of 250 million or something else, like for the cost to, to justify it, but I like some of these, like now, as we get further with AI, with technology, with everything else that allows us to, that allows the office structure itself to decrease some of the, you know, Maybe some of the costs that they would have had in the past.
The, the the access I would argue to family offices and that type of family office network. It’s just, it’s, it’s widened for many, I would argue my, my off on that kind of like the evolution. No, I absolutely see that evolution taking place. Actually, one of our newest partners, they are the digital evolution Institute, and they are committed to just helping keep abreast of all these technological advancements.
Specifically, and how they relate to the family office sector, and I think there are more traditional managers and they prefer to do things their way. And, you know, maybe it’s job security, you know, but they want to do things, you know, with a handshake and they’re that trusted advisor. But I think, as we see the rising next gen, you know, we are living in a tech enabled.
World, and so it only makes sense that we take advantage of those efficiencies and that, you know, as we invite the next generation into these investment decisions that they’re given tools that relate to, you know, and they’re given processes to streamline. And what I love is, you know, just the transparency it can create.
So, you know, I think 1 of the hardest challenges that these family offices have say, when they want to invest in a startup is doing the due diligence and, you know, you get these venture firms that have all these processes and these big teams in place, but, you know, a family office, it can be complex.
So that’s where I am really excited about some of these new solutions and technical platforms that really help with that. Let’s talk from the you know, kind of how you started this conversation, how you kind of figured it out. Like some, you know, a company wants a founder is thinking about raising, you know, raising capital or things like that.
And then all of a sudden they hear this term and then it’s like, Oh, well, you know, obviously no high net worth, ultra high net worth on this family office. term comes in. So now, I mean, that you, you know, you’ve been doing this now, I think eight years. Am I off on this? Yeah, you’re right. We’re eight years too.
Come on. So we started the same time, the same. Did we have the same Excel sheet? No. So eight years. And eight years we’re, we’re twins. So now obviously vantage point from your end, and, and obviously you’re creating the categories, you’re creating the, the method and the technology around listing, categorizing, updating.
how do founders, and let’s go back to that original problem or that original developed dilemma. Like how do founders get on the, on the radar of these family offices? Like, how does that happen? So that is the hardest challenge, you know, this, it’s all about relationship, these family offices, you know, they’re long term investors.
They’re, you know, building their wealth for the generations to come, which is a huge versus just to kind of juxtapose that for everyone. I want to make sure they caught that long term investors versus. Maybe you know, venture capital or something that, or they want a quick exit or like, so just juxtapose that.
So everybody caught it. It’s a different type of investor. They’re thinking maybe multi generational for a particular investment, possibly. I couldn’t agree more, and I think that what’s nice is, you know, if you have a long term horizon, and you’re really building something, they can be that great strategic partner.
That’s not just looking for that quick, immediate, you know, sale or, you know, exit, they can, you know, really help bring their network and their expertise. So, really thinking about, you know, who you’re perfect investor looks like and and so the family office. Does really offer a lot of benefits from, you know, they’re, oh, I like the capital by the way.
100%. And so, in terms of how do you get in front of them? You know, many of them are putting themselves out there because they want to receive deal flow, but how do you make your pitch stand apart from the hundreds that, you know, small team might be receiving? I had a call this morning with a firm. They said they look at.
Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Gosh, like 3, 000 deals of that, they invested in nine and I’m, I’m the eternal optimist when I heard that I’m like, Oh, nine. That’s amazing. But 3, 000 deals. Wow. Was that per year? Maybe, or I don’t even know that. Yes, it was. It was her deal. This was the gentleman that runs all the venture investing for the coolers family.
So, yeah, you know, and he. Okay. I was always curious. Well, like, how do you find these deals? And interestingly, you know, he travels and he goes to the colleges. And so he’s looking, you know, every, every firm has their different strategy, but they like boots on the ground. That’s boots on the ground. He’s literally going to the colleges.
Wow. Exactly. Like, he’s in Europe right now. He’s going to Oxford. so I’m hopeful that, you know, in the months to come, these technologies can help make that process more efficient, but it also is sometimes being in person and that energy. And so I encourage founders to, you know, really think about what differentiates you and as a person, you know, these, these family offices are typically investing in you, the person and the, you know, the, not just, you know, the.
individual opportunity, and so sharing your story in an authentic way that helps create that connection. And when talking about network, you know, I’m a huge advocate of LinkedIn. I think, you know, you can really leverage LinkedIn and, you know, do you have common. Connections and opportunities for warm introductions and if not, and you just need to do a cold pitch, let’s not make it like a copy paste generic.
Let’s really show you’ve done your research and that this is a value proposition based on your understanding of what they. Invest in and I think immediately that respect and showing, you know, the time you’ve taken to understand what what’s important to them versus just, you know, I need capital. So, you also have some big news coming up, right?
A version 2. 0 little birdie. Tell me what’s that all about? Yes. So super excited. You know, everything I’ve done has been self funded and, you know, throughout building this week. Always rely on client feedback, and it’s just been the key to our success. And so we launched our subscription model about a year and a half ago.
And, you know, we went in fast. It’s the way to go. And so the, the revenue is there, and I’ve just started working, you know, last year with this amazing dynamic development team out of Ukraine. And we are, yes, releasing our new tech stack, and so it will just be faster. Prettier and then we really are building in a lot more beyond the data.
So insights, the master classes resources, because, you know, there’s, there’s just not much out there. You know, I went to web summit in November last year, spoke with a lot of the startup founders and it’s amazing still how many people don’t know the term family office. And so just help shine the light and provide guidance that will benefit.
The family offices, but the founders as well. Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me because it can be it can be tricky, especially if somebody’s just going the entrepreneur route for the 1st time, or they just have their 1st idea and they have all these different terms and and not to not to stereotype on age, but, you know, obviously, the, you know, somebody’s in in college and there may be a little bit younger just getting started, like they’re, they’re busy on their idea.
They don’t, they’re, they’re, they may be the inventor. They may not be the implementer. Right. Like there’s a lot of different scenarios. So that doesn’t surprise me. So Danielle I just have to say it has been enlightening having you on the show. And I, when I talked to the other co founder Sharag, when we , he was always so Sharag which I always talk about my listeners, no other co founder at mission matters.
He was always somehow, you know, kind of connected to our part of the family office network and just in general, he’s been doing it for years and years, probably, I think even before we’ve known each other, we’ve been together for as partners for eight years. But that networking part, I want to dig just a little bit deeper because these, the network and he’s opened my eyes to it.
And when you, if you’re a founder out there and you’re 50, if you’re thinking about, is it worth it? Just like family offices. What I love about family office, that sector in particular is that just like they’re long term investors in companies they’re also long term investors in relationships and people.
So it’s the same people year over year that some have had, you know, decades of relationships in that sector. Like they’re typically, it tends to be pretty stable. So a lot of, a lot of times the individuals, unlike, and I’ll, let me juxtapose that so everybody knows what I’m talking about. Unlike, let’s just say your local, no offense.
Cause I was the local financial advisor. But your local financial advisor who is maybe at a large company, whatever, whatever, he moved to this company, moved to that company. The people that I find are in the family office space a lot of times that they’re been with that firm and they’re, you know managing either, like you said, a single family or multiple families, like they’re not like hopping from firm to firm or changing and they’re pretty consistent.
what this creates is this just amazing network of people in the know. If they’re not investing in your product and it’s the right product and they know another family office that it’s like, you know, we don’t do this, but you know, I might know some, but it’s just a different feeling. Can you tell me what, from your vantage point, like being on the other side, cause I consider you an insider there because you have the list, right?
So I’m a podcaster, so I’m kind of an insider. I’ve, I’ve interviewed a couple hundred of them, but I’m not like you. So from your vantage point, like talk about the power of that network and what you’ve seen. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Well, I mean, just talking about the power of the network, like, I met your partner at a networking event thrown by a partner of ours, David Holman, who runs orchestrated connecting and the whole thesis behind his company is really, you know, just the power of these relationships and it doesn’t immediately show it’s you know, like this tangible value, but it’s that you continue to foster and you show up with a giving spirit and, you know, a genuine interest in others and how you can help and it’s like wildfire.
I mean, it spreads and I think within the community of family offices, that’s what, you know, we really try to. To teach, it’s taking a value add approach. And even if you’re not asking for something, but you’re introducing them to someone or sharing a tool or a resource, I just think it goes so far. And, you know, that.
That what you were saying about them, and if it’s not a deal for them, so many of these families co invest with each other, because it helps them if it wasn’t their niche industry expertise, they can rely on a family. They know and trust and maybe have co invested with, and they can help them with that due diligence.
So they do, they, they have very tight knit networks and they want to see these deals. And if it’s not maybe for them, or maybe it is, and they get another family to co invest alongside. So, the network is tremendous and, you know, I think the more you can do to offer value and, you know, just just to continue to foster, there’s a lot of great industry events, you know, David home and being one to orchestrated connecting.
We have partners, D. C. Finance, and I know you guys do a lot of amazing events. And I think, you know, being in a room that energy it it really there’s something to be said for it. You know, that’s a I think that’s a great way to end it. Danielle something to be said for it. If you haven’t explored, then I encourage everybody listening explore.
Also, if somebody wants more information on family office list or to connect, what’s the best way for them to do that? Yes thank you for that. I’m active on LinkedIn. Danielle Patterson. We also have family office list page. And then, of course, our website. W. W. W. dot family office list. org.
Fantastic. And we’ll, we’ll be sure to put that information in the show notes. Our audience can just click on the links and head right on over and speaking of the audience. If this is your first time with Mission Matters and you haven’t hit that subscribe button, hey, if you need an invitation, this is your invitation.
Hit that subscribe button. We have many more mission based individuals coming up and we don’t want you to miss a thing. Danielle, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much again for coming. Yes, thank you, Adam. That was a lot of fun. Thank you so much.