The Family Office Takes Over Wall Street

In recent years, wealthy families have directly hired advisors, attorneys, tax specialists, and even business operators to purchase publicly traded businesses outright rather than, say, purchase 25,000 shares of Exxon Mobil and achieve their investment goals through passive investments in the largest, most profitable businesses in the world.

Perhaps the most recent high-profile example involved the acquisition of Panera Bread, which was bought out by JAB Holdings—the Reimann family heirs to the Benckiser fortune are in the process of adding Panera to their asset collection which features Peet’s Coffee, Caribou Coffee, and a majority interest in Keurig Green Mountain. Alongside Starbucks, they are Big Coffee. Now, the Reimann family is paying over $7 billion to buy Panera, and in the process, remove the chain from the scope of investments that are available to the public.

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