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Digital Subscriptions > Family Office Investor > Issue 5 > PRODUCING TOMORROW’S LEADERS: CURRENT TRENDS IN BESPOKE EDUCATION


As Malcolm X once said, “education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. Here, Ben Allen, managing partner at Allen & Jain Consulting Ltd gives his perspective on the changing landscape of education sector today and the challenges of achieving future success, especially when it comes to the children of UHNW families.

Education has always been a unique investment. Not only is the direct beneficiary of the service usually not the party spending the money, but the on an educational investment is often markedly unclear. When an individual is successful, especially if they are one in a line of a history of success, it can be a challenge to what exactly had the greatest influence on that outcome. Was it an ongoing exposure to business and strong familial role models? Connections fostered in an elite university? Technical ability built in layers from the earliest stage of education? The truth is that it is difficult to know exactly which combination of skills, exposure, and developed outlook will prove best for dealing with tomorrow’s problems, and increasingly so. For millennia those able have sought out the best tutors and educators for their children because it has always been clear that education is imperative to success. The difficulty is optimising today’s education to produce tomorrow’s leaders.

Looking back over the past decade in the education sector, it is interesting to see the changes that have been made in the strategies for achieving future success, especially when it comes to the children of UHNW families. The final goal: producing leaders capable of managing complex businesses, funds and even nations has not been greatly altered. Rather, the process of sending a child to an elite (usually boarding) school and trusting that environment to produce the connections that will convert into a future network, the best academic and personal education, and entry to an elite university is on increasingly shaky foundations. With the world becoming more internationally minded and interconnected, the standardisation of education as found in the traditional institutions is becoming less and less sufficient. Regimented days spent learning traditional western (and largely English) etiquette, sporting endeavours and comportment are made perfectly for producing the classic English gentleman. The trouble is that it has been at least fifty years since such a model was optimised for the global business landscape.

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Family Office Investor issue 5