Global Family Office Community is supported by leading and experienced figures from the Family Office industry, who provide us with their valuable insight and advice.
John S. Elder
John is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.
He is a founding partner of Family Office Advisors LLP, a consulting company which advises on Investment Strategy and Risk for UK and multi jurisdictional Single Family Offices, families and trust companies.
In addition, he acts in a general advisory capacity, including Investment Oversight and Reporting, to Single Family Offices, Trustees, family operating companies, governance boards and family members.
John serves as Independent Non-Executive Director on the boards of investment funds and companies and also advises on, establishes or restructures investment and reporting solutions for regulated investment & wealth managers.
Previously, John was Managing Director of Multi Manager Investment Solutions for EMEA, within the Global Family Offices group at Northern Trust in London, he established the Family Office Services business in the UK for Mellon and also established the Investment Consulting practice in the UK for EY.
John has more than 30 years broadly based experience, working with private clients and families.
John is a Private Asset Managers (PAM) Awards judge and chairs the Private Banking and Wealth Management Special Interest Group of the Financial Services Forum. He is also a Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers and Chairs the advisory board of the Global Family Office Community.
Patricia M. Armstrong
Pat is a Family Wealth Consultant and Family Leadership Coach.
As an advisor to families of wealth, family leaders, and family offices Pat provides coaching and consultation on effective communication about wealth and its impact on family dynamics, engagement with the rising generation of family leaders, governance and decision-making in family business, and vision and mission planning for family philanthropy and family enterprise.
Pat was a co-founder and senior director of the Institute for Family Culture with Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo’s multi-family office and was head of Family Dynamics at Wells Fargo Family Wealth. She was the human resources director for Wells Fargo’s Private Bank and held a series of management roles focused on developing talent.
In her earliest professional life, Pat was an independent management consultant to family businesses and nonprofit organizations, a faculty member in psychology and a mental health program director.
Pat holds a doctoral degree in psychology and a certificate in executive coaching from Columbia University. She is a member of the Family Firm Institute (FFI), the American Psychological Association (APA) and serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Family Office Community.
Being born in Germany, raised in Madrid, and having lived in key cities around the world, Marta has a truly global perspective both in her personal and professional life. She has managed multinational corporations and has founded private investment firms that have become role models for excellence and profitability.
Her knowledge, experience, and natural leadership skills, as well as her excellence in management relationships, have allowed her to command the attention of big audiences in investing and trading live seminars, which lead Marta to personally coach investors helping them reach their goals and empower their lives both personally and professionally. Her success comes from her ability to combine strong values, passion, experience, common sense and love for human relations. She has always believed that “if there is no meaning and passion behind what you do, you will not succeed.”
Currently, Marta shares responsibility managing the family investments, leads the business activities, and is member of a few large investment advisory committees. She is a very well respected investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and senior adviser to family offices and corporations worldwide.
Meeting people from all over the world, being married with and having the love and support of an extraordinary man, as well as her knowledge, experience, natural leadership skills and her excellence in management relationships have given her the edge to make the ordinary extraordinary, always striding towards greatness.
Ruben Vardanyan is an Armenian-Russian social entrepreneur, impact investor and venture philanthropist.
A recognized expert on the global economy, entrepreneurship and education, he provides strategic consulting through his membership of boards of directors, advisory boards and trusteeships of commercial companies, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and public and professional bodies. Among them are the IFC (World Bank Group), business schools in Russia and Brazil, Aznavour Foundation, a major Armenian bank (Ameriabank) and Russia’s auto major (SOLLERS).
A prominent financier, Ruben is known both for his commercial projects (investment companies Troika Dialog and Vardanyan, Broitman and Partners) as well as his deep reaching philanthropic programs, such as the first UWC college in Eastern Europe (Dilijan, Armenia) and the Tatev Revival Project, part of which includes the construction of the world’s longest cableway leading to an ancient monastery.
Together with their partners, Ruben and his family have invested about $600M in projects in Armenia, developing a commercial approach that relies on involving blended financing to find solutions to social problems. They have also raised over $500M to finance the first private business school in Russia – a pioneering institution both in terms of scale and in its collaborative nature.
In 2015, Ruben co-founded another global project, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors. He spends a significant amount of his time on projects related to the development and professionalization of charity infrastructure in Russia (Philanthropy Infrastructure – PHILIN) and the questions of wealth and legacy curation (Phoenix Advisors). With support from Ruben, Troika Dialog, SKOLKOVO business school and several charitable foundations, classics of world business literature were published in Russia. Since 2016 he has chaired the judging panel of the PwC “Business Book of the Year in Russia” Award.
Lynn Zovighian is Managing Director at the The Zovighian Partnership, a private power brokerage house that partners with significant families to professionalize and grow their power bases to
deliver sustainable impact in business and society. Together, the team and their partners create and deploy impactful forms of capital such as intellectual equity, succession sustainability, and
Lynn sits on the board of the Global Family Office Community headquartered in London and is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon. She is also a regular guest lecturer at the London Business School.
Prior to founding The Zovighian Partnership, Lynn was a private banker at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management, servicing family offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She also worked with her father in his construction trading business, Sehnaoui Plant Group of Companies, where she turned around the business, introducing a new talent management platform and business development processes to the firm. Before this, Lynn was a strategic management consultant for Pictet & Cie and a consultant for the start-up team of The Boston Consulting Group Middle East, where she served as the Middle East knowledge expert for their private wealth management practice. Her consulting experience focused on governance, setting up family office platforms, as well as start-up and turnaround strategies.
Lynn has an MBA in Finance from London Business School and a BA and double minor in Political Studies, American Studies, and Islamic History.
John Stevenson has held senior management positions with some of the world's leading Luxury Brands.
His historic positions include: Export Director at Thomas Goode & Company, Middle East Director at Edmiston, Senior Export Sales at Asprey, Middle East and Emerging Markets Director at Sotheby's. His responsibility for key client relationships and business development has given him unique and direct contact with well known business leaders, personalities, Royal Families and high net worth individuals. John currently works for a Middle Eastern Royal Family as Managing Director of the Private Office London and is also Head of VIP Client Relations at Holland & Holland.
An adviser, mentor and investor.
James’ goals are simple: To help investors, family offices and entrepreneurs to realise theirs. He provides independent advice and complements this with highly relevant contacts, experience and aligned capital which can come from his own network.
James is passionate about growing businesses and in particular, enjoys supporting and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs. He uses the learning and skills gained (sometimes painfully) from his own experiences to help entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls that arise in running and building a successful business.
The majority of his Executive career was spent as a private equity backed CFO. His successes include the sale of uSwitch to Zoopla plc for £190m and the take-private and subsequent two management buy-outs of Sporting Index for £53m and £76m respectively.
He is currently an adviser to BGF (Business Growth Fund) where he provides deal support for their potential investments and he speaks at their events. He also sits on the Board of his 140 year old family-owned UK manufacturing business where the shareholders he represents span three generations.
In summary, James works with investors, family offices and entrepreneurs and has a broad range of experience gained from being:
An operator who has built, bought and sold numerous businesses (including his own) with debt, equity and a combination of the two;
An investor who has had a number of successes;
A trusted adviser and mentor who can act as a sounding board and someone to bounce ideas around with;
A Board member who is used to representing and acting in the balanced interests of all the stakeholders.
James is also a co-founder of a charity which seeks to connect, inspire and mobilise drivers of change for Africa’s wildlife and communities.
Sophia is a Yacht Charter and Charter Management Expert and is the founder of Sophia Tutino Yachting Ltd, a boutique yachting company specialising in servicing Single & Multi Family Offices.
Sophia previously lead the global charter operations of three of the most established and highest regarded yachting companies in the world for over twelve years. This includes globally managing a fleet of over 30 luxury yachts ranging from 100ft+, as well as heading the international charter operations coordinating relationships and communications across all offices worldwide. Her experience in luxury services also extends to past roles in Private Aviation and Luxury Property Development. Having been born and raised in France and educated in both Italy and the UK, Sophia speaks three languages fluently (French, Italian and English) which has helped her develop a truly international profile.
With an uncompromising approach to customer experience, quality of service and surpassing client expectations, Sophia acts as the Family Office Yachting Expert in a very transparent, unbiased and insightful role; providing Families with the best service in-house. By operating exclusively in the Yacht Charter industry she has an unsurpassed understanding and number of connections in the international charter market, enabling her to offer the highest quality service to her clients on a personal level.
In addition to serving on the Global Family Office Community Advisory Board, Sophia volunteers for various charities and associations and maintains active participation in a range of the most relevant yachting associations globally such as Charter Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA), International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA) and European Committee for Professionals in Yachting (ECPY). She is also a mentor for the entrepreneur accelerator programme Yachting Ventures for her experience in the yacht charter industry.
Owner, Sergeant Leaders
Mike Sergeant is an international communications adviser. He trains and advises CEOs, entrepreneurs and next generation family members – giving them the skills to communicate with authenticity, credibility and impact.
Before launching his business career, Mike was an on-air TV and radio correspondent for Reuters, Sky News and the BBC (where he spent 13 years reporting from 20 countries). As a journalist, Mike interviewed presidents, prime ministers and global CEOs. He reported on war zones, natural disasters, elections and major business and economic events for the main BBC TV and radio programmes globally.
Now Mike uses his storytelling, business and media experience to help corporations and family-owned businesses with their communications challenges – whether they are building a positive profile or defending reputation in times of crisis. He also helps families protect their wealth by developing a core family story, rooted in values, that provides a human dimension to business succession.
Mike is the #1 Amazon bestselling author of PR for Humans: how business leaders tell powerful stories. His media training and advisory work takes him to cities all over the world, with clients in Chicago, New York, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Dusseldorf, Zurich, Oslo, Dubai, Manama, Riyadh, Kiev, Krakow and Singapore.
He is a regular keynote speaker and professional moderator at communications, business and financial conferences.