Alvarium boosts global expansion plans with high profile appointments and significant investment from US based family office

- Shifts in intergenerational wealth reshape asset management sector -

LJ Partnership, the London-headquartered private wealth and real estate partnership, which will rebrand to Alvarium in 2019, today announced two significant appointments as part of its global expansion plans. Ken Costa, formerly Chairman of Lazard International, Global Head of M&A at UBS and Chairman of Europe, Middle East and Africa at UBS Investment Bank, and Ali Bouzarif, the former Head of Investment Execution at the Qatar Investment Authority and former non-executive director of Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf (formerly Songbird Estates), American Express GBT and Accor, will become Partners and shareholders in the Group, which currently supervises in excess of £11bn ($15bn) of assets on behalf of individuals, family offices, foundations and charities.

Ken Costa will also assume the position of Co-Chairman based in London, while Ali Bouzarif will work out of the Partnership’s new office on 5th Avenue in New York. Both will act as Executive Board Members.

These high-profile appointments are accompanied by an equity investment from Dilmun, a New York based family office originally from The Gulf, which has acquired a 40% stake in the business. The Group’s global shareholder base, which now spans the Far East, the Gulf and the Americas, is committed to investing additional capital to fund expansion into new geographies across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, and new investment strategies including M&A, private equity, technology and advisory, which will supplement its already strong position in direct real estate and public markets. This will underpin the Group’s increasing exposure to an international base of corporates, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors. The Group expects to maintain its active pace of investment and drive further industry consolidation.

LJ Partnership’s expansion coincides with an unprecedented shift in attitudes to wealth management. Analysts estimate that intergenerational wealth transfer will see in excess of £18 trillion ($24 trillion) of assets controlled by millennials by 2020, driven by inheritance, entrepreneurial activities and income gains. This sophisticated generation of investors expect greater transparency, control and the opportunity to partner and coinvest with asset managers across a broad range of sectors, which is in turn re-shaping the wealth management sector. LJ Partnership is responding to this evolution by helping the new generation to make the transition and working with the older generation to change the way that they look at investment allocation.

The Peterson Group in Hong Kong will remain a shareholder in LJ Partnership, together with founding shareholders and management holding the balance of shares. Peterson represented by Tony Yeung, will work together with the new and existing partners to continue to grow the global platform seeking opportunities to achieve risk-adjusted returns through active management. Co-Chairman Andrew Williams (formerly CEO) is currently focused on driving the firm’s growth in Asia and Australasia, with new offices planned imminently for Singapore, Sydney and Auckland. Alexander de Meyer (formerly COO) has been appointed CEO and is based in London. LJ Partnership currently employs 200 people at 8 office locations across the world.

Alexander de Meyer, CEO of LJ Partnership, said: “Attracting individuals of the calibre of Ken Costa and Ali Bouzarif is testament to our growth to date as well as our ambitions for the future. There is no doubt that investment attitudes and asset allocations are changing as institutional and private wealth transfers to the millennial generation and the older generation changes the way it looks at investment allocation. We are well placed to adapt to a reshaped wealth management sector: pivoting our core disciplines in financial and real estate assets to encompass new sectors and strategies; expanding our operations in Europe, Asia and the Americas; and securing new partners, shareholders and clients to achieve our growth ambitions.”

Ken Costa, Partner and Co-Chairman of LJ Partnership, said: “I am delighted to be joining a partnership that is successfully building on its heritage as a business “built by families for families”. I look forward to contributing to the firm’s future growth as its investor base expands to include corporates, institutions and sovereign wealth funds, with the aim of matching long-term capital with bespoke global investment opportunities in existing sectors such as real estate, and new areas including M&A, private equity, technology and advisory.”

Andrew Williams, Partner and Co-Chairman of LJ Partnership, said: “Macro events continue to drive private capital into real assets. It is against this backdrop that our real estate co-investment programme is now entering a new phase of global partnership, matching capital from Asia, the Gulf and the Americas. We invest in partnership with our clients by selecting assets with strong underlying fundamentals and niche managers with proven track records of delivering private equity returns from property.”