Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here at the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum with Del Walker, Tax Practice Leader at PKF Texas and one of the founders of the event. Welcome to the Playbook Del.
Del: Well welcome Russ, thank you for having me. Thank you for being here in with us today.
Russ: You bet. Well tell us about the event.
Del: Well this is an event that the vision kind of came together about 4 years ago for this when I was in Chicago and I was tending something – a situation where family members and advisors came together sharing best practices, learning from one another in an environment and developing business relationships. The thought was why can’t Houston? Why not now? And – a little show, but 4 years later we’re here today. Today’s event was an overwhelming success with guests from around the country, around the state, here in Houston – 170 strong at the Houstonian – comprised of family members, the folks that work for family members in the office and their advisors. We’ve had a great day today; very interactive, great panels, great speakers so.
Russ: Okay, and these are actually all high net worth families, right?
Del: That is correct. They’re either affluent families or their affluence is still concentrated in a family business between the two from that standpoint.
Russ: Okay, and they get together at this even and learn about things that are important to people who fall into that category.
Del: That are relevant, exactly. Topics of discussion ranged today in terms of what is going on in trends across the country in what we call an SFO – a single family office – or an MFO – a multi family office. We talked about issues of security, the world we live in today through the net obviously has greater challenges, especially if you have things that you’re concerned about. We had several panels very relevant to the city we live in; we had a great panel on energy, we had some great folks that are operators in the energy space backed by private equity as well as folks in the investment banking business and analysts from the energy space was in there initiating very lively discussion relevant to all of us here.
Russ: Absolutely. Well in fact that was something that I wanted to question you about is that the kind of doldrums that the energy’s in, which means Houston’s in now, is that good for the event or bad for this event?
Del: You know, that’s a great question because people ask me how did we end up having this – when we defined success for this event initially we thought we were hoping to get to 70 or 80 people, which was a significant increase over last year, and we did 100 over that. And people said why. I think we reached out to people nationally and so there’s a growing trend that people realize where Houston’s place is in the national picture of the country as well as from a commerce standpoint – it’s clearly known it’s one of the top 2 cities in the country for commerce. And I think when times are like this Houstonians – I found it here – Houstonians engage; they want to come together, it’s always been a very inclusive city versus exclusive, but I think these times bring people together. They want to come together and talk and network and see if we can find a path forward out of this. That’s my take away from it.
Russ: Ok, and this is going to continue to be an annual event?
Del: Yes, this is our second year and our goal is we’re already talking about next year and Target probably in the next 90 days we’ll probably make an announcement on save the date for next year, figure out who we’re going to be targeting to join us from an organizer standpoint and talk to our attendees about what we think is relevant from a content standpoint next year because obviously we can’t groundhog this, right, and just do it again, we need to find out what’s relevant and timely a year from now. So we’re very excited but the goal is the make this an annual, reoccurring event that’s part of the fabric in what goes on in our great city.
Russ: Okay Del, well thank you very much for sharing that with us and have a good rest of the event.
Del: Well thank you, appreciate it.
Russ: You bet.
Del: Take care.
Russ: You bet. And this is another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.