Big ideas for next generation of family wealth investors

Steve Prostano
Posted by Steve Prostano
Family Wealth Advisors

I recently had an amazing opportunity to spend a few days with 46 millennial clients who came to Silicon Valley for our Next Generation Program. Focused on the theme “Innovate for Impact,” the program was hosted by our Family Wealth Advisors team and BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

Illustration from the graphic note-taker: Welcome to Silicon ValleyThe 4-day event gave attendees — hailing from 18 different countries — an immersive experience in which they met with well-known tech entrepreneurs, evaluated startups as they pitched for venture capital, and toured the headquarters of Facebook and LinkedIn.

The event also featured panel discussions and lively interactions with thought leaders on innovation, family wealth, and impact investing.

The exchange of ideas was powerful, starting with the first night’s presentation by G. Benjamin Bingham, author of “Making Money Matter: Impact Investing to Change the World.” As he said recently in our blog interview: “I see money as the strongest leverage point for positive change. Change begins with individual conscience, asking, ‘What’s important?’ And then acting decisively.”

Author David Chase, founder of Health Rosetta Institute, also spoke with our participants. He is a firm believer in the power of millennials to have a revolutionary impact, and his book, “The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream,” was shared with attendees as part of a larger discussion of the purpose economy.

Noting millennials’ influences on the newspaper, telecommunications, and transportation industries, Chase encouraged the attendees to think big and ask challenging questions as they evaluate startups, especially those in the health care space. Anything less could be very costly.

“If we can’t slay the health care cost beast, millennials will see their future stolen from them,” Chase said. His words challenge us all.

Eamonn Store, founder & CEO of FairShare, also shared ideas about “conscious capitalism” that provoked discussion. The purpose economy, he suggested, is still young and needs evolution in measuring results. “The existing capitalist model has yet to truly recognize the value of purpose as a core shareholder value.”

Other speakers were equally memorable, especially Saeed Amidi, the founder and CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center. He reflected on his journey as an immigrant from Iran to becoming a successful tech investor and innovator. In 2006 he founded Plug and Play, a visionary startup ecosystem that has now created thousands of job opportunities in the tech sector.

Beyond family wealth, all of the attendees had something else in common: entrepreneurship and self-purpose. Our event – third in a series this year that started in Paris in spring and continued in Hong Kong in summer — united the millennials to provide some guidance as well to form a network of like-minded peers. That’s an intangible benefit that will last throughout their impact investing journeys and beyond.

I can’t wait to do it again next year. (Please watch the video below for more highlights from the event.)

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