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Adidas founder’s family wealth firm opens HQ in Sarasota

An Adi Dassler International Family Office executive says they "are big fans of Sarasota."

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 3:45 p.m. April 13, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Allen Johnson says the company believes "Sarasota is the right place to expand this business."
Allen Johnson says the company believes "Sarasota is the right place to expand this business."
Courtesy photo
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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A high-net-worth wealth management firm that traces its lineage to Adidas founder Adi Dassler is opening its global headquarters in downtown Sarasota, with plans to expand locally in clients and employees. 

The company, Adi Dassler International Family Office, is currently operating in temporary space on Main Street, says Founder and Managing Partner Allen Johnson. It plans to move into larger space downtown by the summer or fall, and eventually bring on at least 10 employees, both wealth advisors and support staff. The company also plans to hold events in Sarasota, including ones with Horst Bente, Dassler's grandson.

 “We love all the things happening in Sarasota,” Johnson says in an interview with the Business Observer. “We feel like Sarasota is the right place to expand this business, and be the focal point for our growth.”

“We are big fans of Sarasota,” he adds.

Johnson and Josh Renda, a senior family office advisor with the firm, aren’t related to the Dassler family and are so far the only local employees. 

Johnson, who has worked with high-net-worth individuals and families for 30 years, first in Atlanta and later Florida, got to know Bente about 10 years ago through mutual friends and industry contacts. Bente and Johnson launched the firm and family office in 2020, first based in the Bahamas, and later loosely run out of Miami. The new move to Sarasota, Johnson says, represents a debut headquarters of sorts, since during the pandemic it didn’t really need an office-based headquarters.  

In contrast to many other family offices set up to manage the money of one high-net-worth family, Bente and Johnson sought to pool resources and work with other families in conjunction with the Adi Dassler International Family Office. It currently works with about 30 clients/families on the Gulf Coast — Johnson specifically cites Naples and St. Pete has fertile grounds for clients, in addition to Sarasota/Bradenton — and worldwide. Johnson declines to provide a specific figure for how much in total assets the firm has under management, saying only most of its clients/families have more than $10 million in assets. “We now have more clients in Sarasota than any other part of the world,” Johnson says. 

Another difference for the firm is that it has no minimum asset amount to work with clients or families. Johnson says that’s because an entrepreneur today with a company with $2 million in revenue could be the head of a $100 million family enterprise in a decade. 

One more big difference between the Dassler operation and other family offices is Johnson and his team works on full money management with the firm’s clients/families, not just investing. That includes tax mitigation, asset protection, insurance consulting, accounting and more. “It’s all encompassing,” Johnson says. 

While Bente and a few other heirs to the Dassler family are involved in the wealth management business, the firm has no connection to the Adidas company or brand, Johnson says. 

Dassler, a pioneer in sports sneaker design, was initially a shoe cobbler, who founded Adidas in 1946 in Germany. The company grew to become a global billion-dollar brand with more than a dozen factories by the time he died, in 1978. Dassler's older brother, Rudolf Dassler, founded the sneaker brand Puma. 



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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