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FB Roundup: US Treasury disclosure plans, Nintendo family office expands interests, Walmart heir invests in healthier oceans

American family offices oppose a disclosure plan by the US Treasury Department, Nintendo founders’ family office bolster their mission to invest in Japanese business with a new acquisition, and Walmart heir’s global impact platform further pledges to clean up the seas.
The US Treasury Department

American family offices oppose disclosure plan by US Treasury Department

Ultra-wealthy families are claiming they will be “Uniquely susceptible” to theft, fraud and kidnapping if a proposal by the US Treasury Department requiring American companies to disclose identities of their beneficial shareholders goes ahead.

In a letter to the Federal Register, the Private Investor Coalition, a group advocating for single-family offices in Washington DC, argues that disclosing personal information could endanger these families and that their privacy is “Of paramount importance”.

The proposed information – which includes name, date of birth, address and a copy of an identification document, such as a driver’s license – would be held in a private government database but, argues the Private Investor Coalition, a risk of exposure still remains.

“When sensitive data is stored in one place, the event of a data breach is more a matter of ‘When’ than ‘If’ it will occur,” the group said.

The US Treasury Department’s proposal would form part of the Corporate Transparency Act aimed at combating money laundering and fraud perpetrated or facilitated by shell companies.

Envisioned as an effective tool for weeding out fraudulent activities, the proposed Treasury rule has nevertheless raised concerns within family offices, particularly as they predominantely manage money for family members and not outside clients.

According to Bill Woodson, head of strategic wealth advisory at Boston Private which is part of the SVB Financial Group: “The consistent thematic response from the family office industry is largely, ‘You don’t understand us.’”

Brian K. Heywood, Banjo Yamauchi, Hirowaka Murakami (Photo: Business Wire)Nintendo founders’ family office acquires Japanese market asset manager

Yamauchi No.10 Family Office (YFO), which manages the wealth of videogaming giant Nintendo’s founders, has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in US-based asset management firm Taiyo Pacific Partners LP (TPP).

Dedicated to creativity, pushing boundaries and proactively investing in Japanese business, YFO invested in TPP, a fund that engages with small and midcap Japanese companies with the aim of “Protecting, unlocking and creating value in misunderstood markets.”

In the acquisition, TPP’s Brian K. Heywood will be joined by YFO’s Hirowaka Murakami as co-chief executive officers.

“YFO had been looking for a partner focused on working with and improving the many legacy companies in Japan,” said Murakami representing the Yamauchi family, who started producing hanafuda playing cards in 1889. “We have always challenged traditions and have supported challengers who are passionate about improving the lives of people around the world with innovative technologies for a better future.

“We have globally developed partnerships to nurture and expand the growth of young venture talent and the partnership with TPP will further help us expand our reach to the mature public and private markets and enable us to provide a higher level of support to those who challenge such markets.

“We are very focused on ensuring that the spark of creativity never dies in Japan. TPP will play an important role in our efforts to fulfill our obligation of passing down Yamauchi’s legacy – the fortune, philosophy, and assets – to achieve an innovative and enduring society.”

Lukas WaltonWalmart heir Lukas Walton’s global impact platform invests in cleaning up the oceans

Lukas Walton, the billionaire grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is further using his Builders Vision global impact platform to invest in funds set on reviving the health of the oceans.

The 35-year-old has co-invested in SWEN Capital Partners’ Blue Ocean Fund, helping the foundation to reach a €95 million milestone, making it one of the leading venture capitalist funds worldwide dedicated to ocean health.

Launched less than 6 months ago, the fund is now well on track to reach its goal of €120 million this year.

“We believe markets must fundamentally shift and the most successful businesses in the future will be those driven by purpose,” said Walton of the multi-faceted threats the oceans are facing and the subsequent crisis in the fishing industry. “We cannot accept the status quo. We can no longer go for what’s easiest or most profitable in the short term.”

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