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News > ODs Around the World > Intergenerational wealth planning, cricket and James Bond collide at this excellent reception

Intergenerational wealth planning, cricket and James Bond collide at this excellent reception

"Of feuding families, Eton, cricket and ... James Bond"
ODs Greg Baldwin, Tim Loughton, Peter Arthur and John Parker-Wood at the talk
ODs Greg Baldwin, Tim Loughton, Peter Arthur and John Parker-Wood at the talk

OD events provide a great opportunity to network.  This is exactly what happened in London recently.  Nicky Bicket had the following to say:

It's one thing to create wealth, but quite another to know how to use it to benefit society at large and, importantly, one's future generations.

At a drinks reception hosted by international wealth manager Stonehage Fleming, Matthew Fleming, a Partner, shared his experiences gained in advising many high net worth families around the world how to preserve and augment the family legacy using a very non-money philosophy. Drawing on a diverse set of influences including professional cricket, being an officer in the British Army, and the great-nephew of Ian Fleming (remember James Bond), he educated and entertained an enthralled group of ODs.

Read more in the feedback article below written by Nicky from the UK Branch


Matthew Fleming is a Partner at the international wealth management and family office Stonehage Fleming. He is also a commissioned army officer, international cricketer, former Chairman of the MCC and great-nephew of Ian Fleming whose bestselling book, a bit counterintuitively if James Bond springs automatically to mind, was ... Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And whose familial and literary legacy still infuses the Fleming family of which Matthew is the fifth generation.

His role at Stonehage Fleming is to counsel high net worth families on intergenerational wealth planning. In practice, this means, on occasion, mediating between warring family factions, creating the balance between wealth preservation, wealth augmentation and using that wealth as a force for good. Not always compatible goals. To do this job, one has to be tactful, insightful, empathetic and, above all, have a sense of humour.

Matthew has these in spades. Pithily introduced by Thomas Withington (W, 1990) Matthew gave an urbane and witty talk to UK ODs on Thursday 3rd November at Stonehage Fleming's new and very smart offices in St James's. He spoke with great self-deprecating humour, starting by alerting us to the differences between English English and South African English and the pitfalls of the British  propensity for very confusing (to South Africans who are generally more direct) mitigating speech. Basically, pay attention to what I mean, not what I say. Huh? He touched on the highs and lows of his time at Eton (low academically, he confessed), time spent in South Africa - mainly Cape Town, and there, mainly Forries and the Pig & Whistle - and his twelve years as a professional cricketer (England international), a career brought to an abrupt end by the unforgiving batting of South Africa's Lance Klusener. 

That out the way, he moved onto wealth planning, stressing the critical importance of clarity of purpose to guide and align families. It should never, he said, be about, or start with, the money. He talked about Stonehage's "Four Pillars of Capital": Financial, Intellectual, Social and Cultural, the guiding principles underpinning the organisation's philosophy. He also talked about the lessons he had learned from his father which in order were: country first, then community, then family and only then oneself. And another life lesson from his father: be the very best you can be, no matter what the field of endeavour.

In all it was a great privilege to listen to him, notwithstanding his somewhat mysterious compliment about Bishops (about which he was extremely complimentary) being the best school in Rondebosch (we think, in that British mitigating way, he really meant South Africa — or perhaps,  even,  the world)!  We hope we will hear more from him. 

We are extremely are grateful to Thomas Withington who works in the investment area and Hamish Sinclair (S, 1992) a Partner at Stonehage, for their kindness in hosting us and their ongoing support for the UK Branch.



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