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ePrivateclient article: In the spotlight – Tony Hind, executive director, Crestbridge Family Office Services

9 July 2024
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ePrivateclient article: In the spotlight – Tony Hind, executive director, Crestbridge Family Office Services

9 July 2024

Tony Hind, executive director at Crestbridge Family Office Services has worked in the international private client industry for more than 25 years for both bank-owned and independent trust businesses.

In that time he has worked with and helped manage a broad range of complex and multi-jurisdictional fiduciary structures for high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals, and has developed experience in the Middle East family office market.

In more recent years, he has become highly involved in supporting the philanthropic activities of clients, including managing multi-trustee structures.  Mr Hind is also a full member of STEP.

Why do you specialise in this area?

Having worked in fiduciary services for approaching three decades, I think there’s been a natural gravitation towards philanthropic structures as families have become more and more sophisticated and outward looking with their wealth. The ability to assist clients with their philanthropic structuring needs, help them develop and implement their purpose-driven strategies, and shape their conversations in this space is very rewarding.

Why is philanthropy so important to the industry?

You can look at this externally, and internally from a family’s perspective. Externally, clearly there is a real need for private capital to step up and support good causes. With public spending unable to keep up with the demand for funding of increasingly diverse societal and environmental charities, there’s both a necessity and an opportunity for private capital to play a big part.

Internally, there are clear benefits to a family pursuing a formal approach to philanthropy. In particular, in a world where the court of public opinion holds real sway and wealthy families are under intense scrutiny, there are reputational benefits for a family to engage in supporting charitable initiatives.

There are operational benefits too – implementing a philanthropic strategy can help reinforce key family values, which is really important in terms of family cohesion, and when it comes to communicating those values to the next generation. A philanthropic strategy can also provide a good ‘ringfenced’ channel for families to educate the nextgen – giving them a certain amount of autonomy but within clear parameters, philanthropy can create a training ground for the nextgen.

What are the key trends shaping philanthropy at the moment?

There’s a definite movement towards greater sophistication amongst families when it comes to implementing philanthropic strategies.

At a strategic level, the concept of ‘purpose’ is increasingly important when it comes to families considering how they can manage their wealth with a conscience. We are starting to see, for instance, roles such as Head of Philanthropy increasingly within family offices, and families are looking more and more at different types of philanthropic activity – differentiating between charitable giving, impact investing and seed investing, for instance. Families are also integrating philanthropy more with their wider wealth, business and investment activities.

In tandem, families are also becoming more focused on how their philanthropic endeavours are not just driven by the personal values of a patriarch or matriarch but are underpinned by shared family values. That’s crucial where complex, multigenerational families are displaying diverse viewpoints. Philanthropy can play a role in bringing family members together, which is vital in terms of succession planning.

Regulatory evolution – reporting, disclosure, ESG credentials and so on – is playing an increasingly important role too and navigating that often that means drawing on specialist outsourced support. Advisers have a duty to help families recognise what is important, supporting them in applying a more conscious approach in line with their governance framework, and providing guidance with measuring value – an increasingly important area of evolution.

What are your favourite ways to relax/switch off from work?

I am a new convert to golf, so I spend many hours spoiling a good walk! I also enjoy reading historic novels and dining out with friends

What’s one book you think everyone should read? 

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The novel provides historical insight into the French Revolution and features a fascinating cast of characters cleverly blending the themes of love, ambition endurance and sacrifice . It also includes two of the most famous Dickensian opening and closing lines.

If you couldn’t do your current role what would your dream job be? 

I have always been intrigued at being a palaeontologist – the challenge and painstaking work involved in excavating a fossilised dinosaur fascinates me.

This article was first published by ePrivateclient.