Infrastructure, Inflation and Emerging Markets Lead the Way

Jenkintown, Pennsylvania (September 27, 2012)Wigmore Association, a global collaboration of chief investment officers from six leading family offices representing North America, Europe, and Australia, meeting recently in Toronto, identified three economic trends that it considers critical for long-term investors to understand and address.

Wigmore’s trends to watch are:

  1. Infrastructure investments are on the rise both globally and in the US.
  2. Inflation risk is on the rise.  Be prepared.
  3. Emerging markets continue to evolve. 

Wigmore CIOs agree that infrastructure demands, both US and global, will generate new long-term investment opportunities. Traditional public sector projects, such as bridges, highways, and hospitals, are increasingly being supplemented by new, private/public partnerships whose interests are expanding to include areas such as energy development. The nature of these investment assets – long-term, low risk, and usually carrying significant dividend components – is very attractive to high net worth families.

Concerning inflation, the Wigmore CIOs see a viable threat of a period of inflation over the next three-to-five years. While they see a lack of short-term pressure, this in no way diminishes the longer-term risk. Most members are advising clients to reduce core fixed income holdings in favor of more strategically diverse holdings, such as emerging market debt and non-discretional hedge funds.

The Group continues to closely follow events in Europe. Wigmore CIOs are cautiously positive in the short run, and hopeful that political and financial leaders will be able to create permanent fixes. In the meantime, Wigmore is fulfilling its own intention to focus more on the growth potential in emerging markets, and recently added its first emerging markets family office. Brazilian-based Turim Family Office & Investment Management will be joining the next meeting of Wigmore scheduled for March 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany.

As one of the founding members of the Wigmore Association, Pitcairn Chief Investment Officer, Rick Pitcairn said:  “Wigmore’s decision to add a multi-family office from Brazil will certainly broaden the group’s global dialogue to include an important emerging market. The varied perspectives gleaned from our semi-annual meetings have enhanced our service to wealthy families.” For example, he pointed out: “We, at Pitcairn, will be prioritizing research on global infrastructure investing for wealthy families.”

About Wigmore

Wigmore Association was formed in late 2011, consisting of Pitcairn and five other companies from around the world – The Myer Family Company (Australia), HQ Trust (Germany), Northwood Family Office (Canada), Progeny 3 (US), and SandAire (UK). Its goal is to further each other’s understanding of issues that are important to the families they serve.

About Pitcairn

Pitcairn, a founding member of Wigmore Association, is one of the leading multi-family offices, dedicated to helping families sustain and grow their substantial, often complex financial assets and supporting the unique heritage of its clients across multiple generations. Pitcairn has been recognized as an innovator and leader in the multi-family office industry since its inception as a family office in 1923. Today, Pitcairn continues to redefine the family office experience for generations of the world’s wealthiest families.

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