Describe your company in 8 words.
Confidential, global, impactful, focused, tailored, intelligent, objective and collaborative.
Tell us about your company. What services do you provide?
Pepper International is an award-winning, 20 year old family office consulting firm that sets up Family Offices globally and acts as the External Chief Investment Officer to select SFOs. Carol is the only individual who has set up Single Family Offices on five continents. She helps families define the 100 year goals and to help transition successfully between generations. She has been an Impact Investor for her clients since the 1990's. She helps her clients forge meaningful partnerships with like minded families for direct investments.
What core values do you hold that help guide you in business?
As a professional Advisor, I believe strongly in confidentiality and competence. Families must find a core group of Advisors to trust with their confidential issues and must learn to pick the best in class options available to solve problems so they can thrive. I believe in learning the lessons from each challenge and failure in order to become wise and to make better decisions the next time a problem emerges. I believe that teaching my clients the skill of changing is the best gift I can impart, because we are constantly changing at an ever increasing rate.
The ability to make a change is a skill that all families should teach to their children and grandchildren. It is never too early to start teaching family values and skills- age five is a great time to begin if you want to make a meaningful impact on future generations.
What is your #1 value proposition for your clients?
I bring a wealth of experience earned over 37 years in financial services. I have been working in the Family Office field since the 1990s and have very long term, deep relationships with top families and Advisors. I help my clients access the absolute best investment opportunities and service providers and to avoid the wrong ones.
Personally, what is your secret to your successful career?
I believe in order to be an impactful leader, you have to tell the truth as you see it. You may be wrong and you must be willing to revise your truth as the situation evolves, but the ring of truth must be heard in your words. You must exhibit integrity - your words and deeds must match. Your word must be your bond. You must be reliable and steadfast.
You must not be manipulative and vengeful - rather than retaliating against those who oppose you, seek to find those who can support your vision and who want to build a sustainable future. Old fashioned values and a strong code of conduct mean more today than ever before. We need leaders who truly care and are willing to lead by embodying high ethical standards.
What asset allocation should people have in their portfolio during a volatile economic climate?
To create a great asset allocation, remember these three letters: C,B and A. C stands for CASH- have enough cash and cash equivalents to cover a minimum of six months to ideally two years of living expenses in order to leave your investments alone during periods of market volatility. B stands for BETA: remember that all publicly traded investments will only give you the market level of return in the long run, so don't expect to "outperform the market."
Finally, A stands for ALPHA: Alpha means return above the public markets returns. Alpha comes from investments that are not linked to public markets, like directly owned real estate, private companies and investments in art or start ups. Investments that can create alpha are illiquid and risky, so make sure to only fill the A bucket after you have filled the B and C buckets. Be prepared to lose the money in the A bucket, and plan to win in your Alpha investments by careful investment analysis and the right partners.
What are you working on right now?
I am focused on helping my clients confront the challenges of the Pandemic era. Families need to meaningfully engage the next generation of leaders and use this time of crisis to sharpen their strategic focus and to collaborate with like minded families to support a viable future for the family and the planet.