Family Office

An Asian Pacific Family Team Executing Globally

Major Domus is a boutique investment advisory multi family office specializing in macro-asset allocation and income producing investment strategies. This includes junior M&A deals, private equity and direct property. The firm’s clients and partners include a niche of international business participants, and high net-worth individuals.

We have offices and advisers in, Bahrain (BBD Enterprises), Hong Kong where we are headquartered, New York, and Sydney (Stewards Capital Group). We are licensed Type 4 and 9 in Hong Kong and licensed for Financial Advice in Australia. Essentially our Office is a de-centralized team with country specific expertise working together to provide regional solutions for our Families and General Partners with greater time and cost efficiency than major institutions.

Major Domus is always seeking entrepreneurial families to partner with our Office for asset management and co-investment deals. Typically we partner with families’ private banks and provide fiduciary asset management over these assets, and then add other family business services as required.

We also regularly seek to take on seasoned fund managers and senior bankers wanting to enjoy the benefits of private family enterprise. Professionals can partner with our Office(s), join our regulatory licensed platform, and build a successful partnership under a brand that serves families as a true Head Of House financial steward.

History of the team:

Founded in 2006 originally as Samurai Global Investments with Partners based between Sydney and London, the Founders invested the bonus monies and investment profits of financial professionals. The platform traded directional equities and option volatility strategies, only.

In 2010 Samurai Global expanded its Australian advisory business into Hong Kong partnering with Harris Fraser (International), a 25 year mature family owned brand, where the team built out Harris Fraser Family Office Services – a multi-private bank global asset class offering for Ultra-High Net Worth families. We partnered with the top 10 private banks to provide independent (fiduciary) asset management and private banking services.

Today, the team and its principal families have expanded further with partner offices in Colombo and New York to underpin M&A Co-Investments as well as access direct mainland China investments. This regional team between the Middle-East, China and Australia forged the creation of Major Domus family office as its primary public facing business team.

The meaning of Major Domus

According to Amil, R. et al. (2008), the single family office model began in ancient Rome and then spread across Europe. The early model took the form of the administrator of a wealthy single family household, the major domus (head of the house), and was known as the major domo (head steward) during the Middle Ages.

As time went by, the ideology, structure, and functionality of the European private bank model continued to evolve and spread. According to Gray (2005), the first trust company was established in 1853 to help entrepreneurs execute financial transactions and manage their wealth. However the only trustees at the time were individuals. The idea of creating a financial institution to handle trust and banking functions was regarded as innovative and prescient. The preservation of wealth was still the mainstream function.

Families such as the Medici family in the 12th century and the Rothschilds in the 1700s and other family dynasties all had their ‘family offices’. These ‘old’ families were said to be the ancestors of today’s multi-family offices, as they offered services to other families besides their own in return for a fee. They also played a key role in the financing of infrastructure and in the Industrial Revolution, which marked the expansion of the role of the bank trust officer. Until then, the duties of a Single Family Office (SFO) had remained rather simple, and served solely one generation of family members, but as stated in Amil, R. et al. (2008), ‘the Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of the truly individualized and separate SFO, as ever increasing wealth levels signalled a need for wealth preservation across multiple generations.’

Major Domus or Mayor of the palace: official of the western European kingdoms of the 6th–8th century, whose status developed under the Merovingian Franks from that of an officer of the household to that of regent or viceroy. The Merovingian kings adopted the system by which great landowners of the Roman Empire had employed a major domus (mayor, or supervisor, of the household) to superintend the administration of numerous, often scattered, estates.

This is closely related to the major domo, who is a person who speaks, makes arrangements, or takes charge for another. Typically, the term refers to the highest (major) person of a household (domus / domicile) staff, a head servant who acts on behalf of the owner of a large or significant residence.

What is a Family Office?

Family offices are generally categorized as either a single-family office, multi-family office, or a virtual family office.

A single-family office (SFO) is created to serve a specific family group, with a general threshold, (generally speaking) of USD$100 million or more investable assets.

A multi-family office (MFO) is an organization that provides family office services to more than one family group. It provides similar services to that of a single-family office, but one advantage is that there is no need to set up a separate family office infrastructure. Thus, making the entry level to such an office substantially lower to be around the $25m to $50 million range. The benefit of reducing costs comes with other advantages such as, increasing investment resources, streamlining due diligence on co-investment deals, and aggregating use of other infrastructure such as tax, legal, audit and family services.

Exclusivity and confidentiality increases when compared to being a member of a ‘private bank family office’ given the small number of families underpinning the Office. In turn, an MFO can bring to surface independence issues and reduce potential conflict of interest between different stakeholders working together as private family enterprises.

Virtual family offices (VFO) have started to be offered at the USD$10m level and above. What is meant by ‘virtual’ is essentially a website-based network set up exclusively for the management, governance, and communication needs of family wealth. The family’s trust adviser serves as the relationship manager who will assemble teams of individual professionals to serve and meet specifically the needs of the family.

The evolution of the family office: Innovation underpins the evolution of the family office model. Virtual offices are now able to mirror some of the services traditionally held for Single family offices, while multi-family offices can accommodate the tailored goals of separate families using investment bank and technology providers to maximize cost reductions and administration.

Today’s lower cost entry level illustrates the fact that technology and provision of services are the mainstay of a family office offering, rather than a certain amount of financial assets. In addition, by sourcing the different services such as lawyers, CPAs, Banks, etc., the MFO (and VFO) can function much like an SFO but with added efficiency, since every profession that is involved is a specialist within his respective field, whether working inside or outside an actual physical stand-alone (FO) office.

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Key Personnel

Joe Attrux
Joe AttruxResponsible Manager / Non-Executive Chairman
Joe is responsible for providing professional management oversight and advice to the Major Domus Group, previously sitting as Group CEO of Harris Fraser (International) Family Office. Joe has been involved in several business exits and senior level management across industries. He brings with him 18 years of experience with multinational corporations plus over 5 years of public accounting with big 4 accounting firm. He is a CA (Ontario), CPA (Hong Kong) and holds an MBA from Ivey Business School.
Ray Warhola
Ray WarholaVice-Chairman
Ray is a successful international sales management professional handling multimillion dollar revenues and is the Vice Chairman of Major Domus Limited. Recognized for new business development, he also manages high-level customer relationships and leads multicultural teams to superior results across diverse business markets. With thirteen years in Asia, his experience includes increasing sales to SMB and Fortune 500 companies while holding posts such as, Executive Director at China Daily, Executive Director at Forbes, and Regional Director at The Wall St Journal.
Marc Geary
Marc GearyHead of Family Office & Chief Investment Officer
Marc is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Major Domus, incorporating offices in Hong Kong (headquarters), Sydney (Stewards Capital Group) and partner offices in Colombo, New York and Perth. He is responsible for providing high-touch strategic full advice to Ultra-High Net Wealth families and Single Family Office clients. Also he retains management of operations and legal frameworks with investment and private banking partners globally. He holds a Masters degree in Finance and a Master of Business Law, both from the University of Sydney. Moreover, he is an advocate of International Care Ministries, sits on the Royal Commonwealth Society Council, and is the Founder of the Victoria Hope Scholarship at the University of Sydney.
Thomas Hanzely
Thomas HanzelyHead of Legal and Structuring
Thomas, a trained Swiss lawyer, Heads the Middle Eastern operations as our in-house strategic corporate structuring partner, forming part of the advisory team that assists clients and financial institutions review the offshore structures of corporate and develops structures for internationally operating companies. He has extensive knowledge in banking, finance, commercial, corporate and international tax law. Thomas also helps implement the solutions in various jurisdictions depending on client needs.
Alex Lee Keng Yiak
Alex Lee Keng YiakHead of Asset Consultancy
Alex Lee, is the Head of Asset Consultancy of Major Domus Family Office (Australia). He is an investment professional with decades of experience in providing investment solutions for institutional clients and high net worth individuals and families. Currently he manages the investment portfolios of family offices and foundations, acting on their behalf to identify the most appropriate investment solutions that fit their profiles. He was formerly with Barclays Capital and Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation. Also he is a specialist in alternative investments such as venture capital, structured products and hedge funds. He is a CFA charterholder and possesses a conjoint Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and a Master of Science in Financial Engineering from the National University of Singapore.
John Soh
John SohJunior Partner & Senior Analyst
John works in the deal team across trading, risk management and venture capital. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Economics) degree from the Singapore Management University (SMU) and served as a Teaching Assistant (Economics) and a Research Assistant (Accounting) during his studies. He started as a Structured Trade Finance (STF) Trader with Awin Resource International (backed by Fortune 500 private Chinese conglomerate) structuring commodity financing deals. He later accepted the role assisting the CFO of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd., looking across a wide range of functions. He is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter and undertaking other professional courses to deepen his skillset to serve ultra-high networth clients.
Gergely Demetrovics
Gergely DemetrovicsHead of Tax and Compliance
Gergely Demetrovics is Head of Tax and Compliance of our Middle Eastern operations, our in-house strategic corporate structuring partner, forming part of the advisory team that assists firms with M&A and tax structuring. Prior to this Gergely earned 14 years of experience within the Big 4. As a partner of KPMG he led the Financial Services group of the Tax Department of KPMG in Hungary. His experience includes international tax planning, corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, structuring investments, exit planning, tax audits and tax due diligence reviews.
Andrew Baird
Andrew BairdBSc (Geol) MAusIMM
Andrew has extensive experience in mineral exploration on four continents. He is available to evaluate investment proposals as well as to undertake development planning for newly acquired projects.
Timothy Borham
Timothy BorhamIn-House Counsel
Timothy Borham’s role includes corporate strategic advisory work, mergers and acquisitions, privacy compliance, intellectual property & data security and corporate due diligence. He is also Director of Sajen Legal and General Counsel for Ready5 IP. His experience across intellectual property protection & exploitation and commercial advisory for public companies and quasi-governmental bodies makes him critical to clients that wish to protect and grow their business portfolio. Timothy holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business (International Business) from Queensland University of Technology.
Kyle Kimball
Kyle KimballSenior Legal Adviser & Litigator
Kyle Kimball is responsible for corporate strategic advisory work, insolvency advice, corporate reconstructions and Australian-related legal services. Kyle is also Senior Director of Sajen legal, as well as Senior Officer of Ready5 IP, and has over 26 years’ experience in the legal profession. During this time he has worked closely with small and medium enterprises, and brings with him extensive knowledge from a career of successfully advising business owners and directors.
Nadia Chiang
Nadia ChiangSenior Associate, Family Office
Nadia joins the company serving as the company administrator and human resources manager. Prior to joining, Nadia previously worked for a financial tech start up and was responsible for HR and opening up offices in 4 countries with staff of 23 at its height of inception. Prior to this Nadia had been an executive assistant to the Global Head of Securities Technology at Macquarie and to the chairman of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines. She was also personal assistant to the Chief Executive at Executive Access and head of business administration for Hong Kong at Rice Search Partners, a boutique executive search firm.
Arian R. Shishvan
Arian R. ShishvanMarketing Manager
Arian is in charge of the firm’s Communications and Marketing
strategy ensuring Major Domus remains at the forefront of the family
office arena. He holds a BA and MA in Visual Arts & Visual
Communication Design and is completing his PhD in
Communication and Media Studies.
Arian has experience of working across organizations to create and
enhance their businesses image via social media, digital/print
materials and websites to increase target-market visibility.
Robb Baiad
Robb BaiadManaging Director, Secondary and Unlisted
Robb Baiad is the Managing Director and Head of Secondaries and Unlisted. He started his equity career in the United States working at Banc of America Securities before going to Riggs Investments where he covered Asian Hedge Funds and Long Only Accounts. He has been in Asia for 15 years most recently part of a start-up Fintech firm that created an electronic trading platform for US listed ETFs and Pre IPO companies.
Ushananthan Nadarajah
Ushananthan NadarajahBusiness Manager
Ushan delivers tailor-made solutions to the unique needs of the business and the clients. He also provides critical business support to the MD & CIO in efficiently managing the day-to-day operations and is responsible for identifying new business opportunities, pitching ideas and maintaining good working relationships with various parties. He is an Associate Member of CISI and CeMAP qualified, has worked for global multi-national companies such as RR Donnelley and HSBC and was a Senior Paraplanner for a UK Mortgage advisory company. He is currently pursuing the Chartered Wealth Manager Qualification along with his MBA to deepen his skillset to serve Ultra-High Net Worth clients.

Board of Advisors

 Daryl Close
Daryl Close
Mr Daryl Close serves as the United Kingdom contingent of the Major Domus Advisory Board, with substantial Risk Advisory and Regulatory experience. He currently works in Financial Risk Management (FRM) Advisory at KPMG UK where he advises banks and investment firms on both prudential and conduct risk matters. This includes corporate governance, capital adequacy and new product propositions in relation to customer value and potential consumer detriment. He has previously worked as a Lead Supervisor at the Financial Services Authority (FSA) where he was responsible for the prudential and conduct supervision of investment banks and investment firms as well as a number of smaller brokerage corporate finance organisations.
Clive Whittington
Clive Whittington
Clive is a graduate in metallurgy from Melbourne, who has built a career in the metals, commodities and resources industries. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer and has 3 decades experience of operating industrial and commercial businesses in Asia. Now with his own Companies and residences in both Hong Kong and Melbourne.

Representing global metals and mining principals from Europe, Japan and the USA, Clive covers non-ferrous metals investment and operations from mine to market, plus downstream activities. Clive is deeply involved with Hong Kong business people professionally and socially, having long standing membership and active participation in several Hong Kong Island Clubs and community activities.

Malcolm Gracie
Malcolm Gracie
Malcolm has been practicing as a barrister in Australia for more than 25 years. He is also a member of the UK Bar (Lincoln’s Inn) and has a particular interest in international and transnational law. Moreover, he is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has been a Chartered Arbitrator for 15 years. He has been appointed to various arbitrator panels, including by the NSW Government in relation to mining and petroleum lease disputes and by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to the National Broadband Network.

Malcolm also serves in the Royal Australian Navy Reserves as a Legal Officer with the rank of Lieutenant Commander and is also a Defence Force Registered Mediator. He is an active supporter and sponsor of Unicef.

David Louie
David Louie
David is a corporate and strategy advisor with a focus on investments and funds management. With over 15 years of experience in marketing and business development, he has helped clients expand their investor base, originate new relationships, strengthen existing ones and ultimately increase the enterprise value of their businesses.

David has a proven track record with specialist investment firms and small owner-led businesses, helping them structure and deliver their narrative and messaging. David also works with a prominent NFP, where he brings corporate discipline and insights to the table.

He practices being a full-time father and devoted husband to his family and spends his spare time at his local church or learning new skills.

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