Family Office – Selection of Family Office Professionals
Staffing is crucial for the success of a family office and it is a major challenge to identify, attract and retain the best talent. In larger institutions this process is usually overseen by the human resources department, but family offices cannot rely on such backup. Consequently, recruitment often becomes the responsibility of the wealth owners and their trusted advisers – many of whom are less well-trained to make these decisions.
When it comes to staffing a family office, it is important to distinguish between members of the owning family who work for the family office, and non-family professionals. While a recent study in Switzerland and Germany found that many of the investigated family offices are led by a family member, this section focuses on the process of recruiting non-family professionals.
Guidance on structuring the recruitment process, formulating incentive packages and maintaining strong relationships with the new employees, is often necessary.
Despite the lack of formal recruitment structures, families can have advantages in attracting talent – often because they are able to offer more flexibility in compensation and incentive packages for senior recruits. They can also offer a working environment and culture that can appeal to the right candidate looking for a change from big-company culture.
Best Practice: Recruitment Process
Job Description. This can be flexible, but must capture the key elements and essence of the role. Family office executives are often involved in multiple projects.
Interview Committee. The responsibility of hiring for roles such as CEO and CIO should not be undertaken by one person. Sharing the process and risk of te hire is advisable.
Checking References. A recommendation by a trusted adviser of family member is valuable, but more extensive checks should be made. The process should be rigorous in order to ensure objectivity.
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