Why family offices should work with recruitment agencies?
As a Single or multi-family office, you deal with the millions upon billions of pounds that your ultra-high-net-worth clientele have amassed over generations. As the often secretive industry continues to grow despite the 2008 economic downturn, so does the wealth involved.
Typically working with families worth at least £200 million, family offices are usually filled with teams of professional lawyers, financial analysts and property managers all dedicating their efforts to ensure the almost dynastic lines of wealth continue to be secure and prosperous.
Most family offices take care of clients’ private matters, from concierge services and PA duties, to personal legal proceedings.
However, family offices businesses are usually secretive and complex. With each family having specific needs and requirements separate from their own private wealth management firms, finding the right talent to bolster your ranks can be tough.
Single family offices are often described as a “who you know” business as each different family will have unique requirements. However, sometimes you’re not sure that you know the right person for the job and that is where the right executive search and recruitment agency can help.
The dynastic wealth the family has built up over the years is being looked after by the single family office and with so much at stake, you only trust those with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
As AP Executive gets to know the intricacies of your business, it will study the intricacies of the office culture to find the best fit. While many of those working for single family offices tend to be desirable due to their extensive experience as lawyers or accountants, more senior staff may have direct links to the family, typically working for them in a past role.
AP Executive understand the risks of a bad hire, especially when a family’s wealth is on the line. That’s why candidates will typically have experience and expertise in quality and quantity.
The level of wealth these families have accrued over the years takes a lot of effort from a business aspect. Understandably then, recruitment agencies who have worked with single family offices in the past claim that loyalty goes a long way.
It’s no secret that these offices can be filled with those who consistently have the family’s best interests at heart. AP Executive look for candidates that share your goals and want to work hard to ensure the family’s wealth continues to grow.
Single family businesses typically operate in a traditional hierarchical way. We understand that this may bring complexities to investment banking and independent decision making in relation to potential set-up of hedge funds. However, we know that for those with a background within accountancy or the law, this type of control may already be familiar and that this could help them to fit the culture that currently exists at family offices.
Why use AP Executive?
With single family offices, much of the recruitment is based upon the relationships you build. Many employees within a single family office may have worked with the controlling family for many years before they were offered the job.
However, there are plenty of events and members’ clubs that allow recruiters to network and build relationships within the sector. We completely understand just how much a bad hire can cost, so developing a relationship with trusted professionals who understand the intricacies of family office culture can lift a huge amount of pressure.
Having AP Executive work in partnership with your family office can greatly aid your executive search and recruitment needs as well as boost internal practices. We understand the importance of getting it right first time and work to ensure every family office we work with is given candidates at the right level of their career ladder.
Finding the best candidates to join your team can be tough, especially so many candidates trying to establish a career in this industry. However, with the sector offering lucrative rewards, competitive remuneration packages and professionally satisfying challenges, a career in family office appeals to some of the best financial experts.
Our search consultants understand the importance of discretion that many high-street agencies may not be familiar with. We maintain trust, reliability and bespoke partnership level function that excels the standard executive search practices.
At AP Executive, we excel in placing exceptional candidates in a wide range of family office jobs including investment advisors, tax advisors, real estate specialists and corporate administrators. Visit our dedicated family office page to find out more about how our service can help your family office.
Are you a senior level executive looking for your next career step? Then you need to be aware of the potential challenges ahead of you and how we can help you overcome these hurdles.
There is a general perception that higher the career ladder, easier it is to land a job. However, these days this conception no longer holds water. Whilst graduates are struggling in the job market due to lack of experience, senior executives also face challenges in their job search, however for different reasons.
Here we have highlighted some commonly experienced difficulties in executive level job search. This is to help you understand the challenges that you may encounter when looking for the next career opportunity.
1. Difficult to find C-level jobs
Senior executive jobs are becoming increasingly difficult to find - be it for internal recruitment or lack of advertisement. In such a scenario, job search can be time-consuming, complicated and frustrating. Although this may not always mean a dearth of senior level openings, finding a perfect job match for C-level skills set can be long and tedious.
2. Failure to get an entry
There are several gatekeepers to senior executive positions. This complicates the hiring process and hinders entry. The company’s Human resource team, too, may not be of any help; they mostly cater for the recruitment of junior to mid-level candidates. A strong network of contacts can prove helpful here, along with superior references and referrals. Whilst right contacts can fetch the dream job, considering the high position and work-load, networking for job remains a difficult task for most senior level executives.
3. Filling up vacancies through internal hiring
Most companies find it safer to consider internal candidates for senior level positions. Hiring someone from outside can be expensive and time-consuming; they rather opt for internal recruitment instead of investing resources in training a new employee. However, an internal candidate may not always perfectly match the job criteria, and then the company needs to look for a better qualified candidate from outside.
4. Compromise with remuneration
Senior level executives enjoy numerous benefits, including a hefty salary. However, you may have to compromise with the remuneration when looking for a new position. Accepting a pay cut may be a prudent decision, if you get matched with the right position and achieve career progression.
5. Tougher competition
Executive searches are far more complicated and intensely competitive than other job searches. Navigating through the fiercely competitive executive job market requires innovative strategies, thorough research and of course, patience. You need to set your professional goals right and market yourself accordingly to the relevant potential employers.
6. Lost touch with interview skills
Executive level candidates, after having spent years in an organization, come to a point when they seek a new opportunity or career change. But they may not have faced a job interview for years, and often they are not well-prepared for an executive level interview. Interview stage is the first point of face-to-face contact between the executive candidate and the company. As the job vacancy is of high-profile level, company would want the best to fill in that role. Such powerful job positions usually attract multiple C-level candidates, so knowing the strategies to stand out from the crowd is crucial.
7. Not up-to-date with CV
– Often senior level jobseekers underestimate the importance of a professional CV. They let the CV gather dust, instead of keeping it updated and flawless at all times. In fact, they are fallible to similar mistakes which entry-level job seekers usually make. An executive CV should showcase the unique ‘selling-points’ of the individual and be carefully tailored to the specific job position.
AP Executive with years of experience in executive job search is uniquely placed to assist you in taking the next big career step. Our extensive network of contacts and clients, unrivalled by other recruiters, puts us at the forefront of executive search in wealth management and legal services.
Understanding the executive recruitment market on this scale gives our consultants unrivalled knowledge to ensure your skills are matched with the perfect job, where you not only get job satisfaction but also career progression.
Our consultants adopt a candidate-friendly approach, and are always on hand to provide private confidential advice. We offer expert advice on preparing for executive level interview and polishing your resume, so that you can smoothly sail through the recruitment process.
We aim to maintain long-term relations with our candidates, and keep in touch even after recruitment. We make sure that you are happy with our service at all times.
A standard family office article usually always starts with the same question: what is a family office? Most readers will have a rough idea of what a family office is, but when it comes to the recruitment of staff for a family office this can surprisingly create a wide chasm of requirements depending on the business culture of the client. At the STEP Geneva conference in May 2011, a delegate questioned the definition of the usage of the words ‘family office’. This is because a family office can be a trust company, an independent asset manager, a private equity company with few employees, a multi-family office the size of small private bank, or a really well institutionalised single family office with 100+ staff, investing in various assets such as real estate, hedge funds or private equity. The recruitment needs of a family office can vary significantly according to the family office infrastructure. One thing is for certain: It is a complex and an opaque environment.
Family office trends:
Numerous wealth managers see the private wealth management market becoming increasingly more competitive. Targets will still be difficult to achieve; heavy risk management processes and paperwork make work more demanding and methodical. We hear through the media that clients have lost confidence in the security of alternative investments and now ask for safe investments and independence. In these conditions, we can anticipate that the family office concept will seduce more and more UHNW individuals who are now seeking a qualitative approach and customised be-spoke services rather than a sophisticated products-oriented attitude that was standard a few years ago. A significant number of wealthy families emerged worldwide with an awareness of the benefits to create an independent business such as a single family office. It was commonly agreed that US$ 250 million was a minimum requirement to create a single family office (SFO) structure and US$ 500k for a multi family office (MFO). Now, according to some of our clients, it seems that US$150 million is already a good start, allowing the beneficiaries to have a simple platform with outsourced services. It is known that MFO’s look after UHNW clients. But a new trend could be for these infrastructures to now want a closer look at smaller clients in the affluent to ultra affluent client’s bracket.
The Recruitment Paradox:
For UHNW families, one of the major issues when it comes to recruiting someone is to find the equilibrium between a trusted advisor and qualified professional. When an UHNW client decides to create his own single family office, the principal or business owner looks into his/her private network of business contacts to find them a trusted advisor. However, doing it this way can reduce the chance to tap into a pool of professionally experienced international talent. To ensure the success of a start-up like a single family office, it needs a strong executive, CEO, CIO or Head of family office at the helm. Usually because of the rather small size of the company structure and its complexity, a versatile individual with varied skills (trust, all asset classes’ investment, tax and legal knowledge across boarder, management and diplomatic skills, multi-lingual etc) is recommended. Finding these unique types of candidate is not an easy task for a recruiter. A broad spectrum of search and selection for the right candidate usually on a global basis is key to the success of the role being filled by a specialist recruiter.
Family office talent ranges from private client lawyers, to fund managers to senior bankers (investment or private), to tax and trust specialists with cross-border expertise, to accounting and financial experts with strong reporting and controlling skills to concierge professionals with first class customer services and diplomatic skills. Not forgetting the important and dedicated executive assistants, available to the client 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Family governance, philanthropy and arts professionals are becoming increasingly popular profiles. It is worth mentioning that one type of candidate profile which can always be of interest for family office (regardless the size of the structure) are real estate professionals. This area of expertise is due to the large majority of family offices focusing their investments in the global commercial and property development markets. We at AP Executive can identify a general trend, it is recognised that ‘interpersonal skills’ are a very important requirement for our clients. Personality and chemistry is another major factor requested by our family office clients, plus, they want any staff to be professionally discreet and loyal too. Working for a family office is financially rewarding but you have to be flexible and dedicated. Employees need to offer a "tailor made customer service" mindset and not take their position for granted. Last but not least, the capacity to institutionalise the family office is also something well regarded, especially when the strategy of the family office is to grow to the next stage (Single to Multi or SFO wanting to diversify its investment activities).
What are the misconceptions about family office?
I very often have the perception that a family office environment is thought of as a type of ‘glamorous’ refuge by people I speak to who are possibly disenchanted in working for a corporate entity and looking for career advice. They feel they could strive and get the proper career path that they have always been seeking by seeking a role in this niche professional industry. Family offices are most of the time small entities built and developed by business entrepreneurs looking for key players that can bring their broad knowledge and expertise. When family offices are institutionalised the recruitment needs by our clients are even more complex. International professionals with exceptional pedigrees are mainly favoured. Working in a family office environment has got its pros and cons like any other profession. The upside is to work for a cash rich environment which has a direct reporting structure and flat decision making, without the lengthy bureaucratic procedures. Candidates usually desire the ability to be able to have direct contact with the family whilst utilising their cultural management skills with flexibility. A career in the world of Family Office is a special one and because of this our clients can ‘cherry pick’ the best candidates for the job, the competition is still fierce.
Ultra-high-net-worth families are taking a long, hard look at the performance of their family offices as events of the last year have laid bare weaknesses and strengths. Many will concentrate on core wealth management functions while considering offering services to outside families, consolidating with other family offices or closing, finds the 2009 U.S. Trust®/Campden Research North American Family Office Survey.
Released today as part of a new study entitled Building for the Future, the North American Family Office Survey provides a comprehensive look at the state of the family office, the most pressing issues they face and the road ahead now that market volatility appears to be subsiding. With 81 percent of their investment strategies impacted by the recent credit crisis and market correction, the study provides invaluable insights into how family offices are focusing their resources to concentrate on core mandates, addressing risk and planning for the future. This ground-breaking research includes findings on how owning a family business affects risk tolerance, the wealth management focus and overall services offered by family offices.
The research was conducted between June and September 2009 by interviews and an online survey with family office executives and family principals from 40 single-family offices and 10 evolving multi-family offices in North America. It captures a complete spectrum of family office models, as family offices transition from closed operations serving only the founding family to operations opening specific investment or advisory services to non-family clients, consolidating into private multi-family offices (MFOs), and becoming full-fledged commercial operations.
"Like most financial services organizations, family offices were not immune to recent market upheavals," said Belinda Sneddon, group executive, U.S. Trust Family Office, part of U.S. Trust, Bank Of America Private Wealth Management. "Scandals and widespread investment losses have left family offices poised for a period of significant evolution. The family office model is turning back to basics, enhancing risk assessment and focusing on its strengths which lie primarily in wealth management services."
Key findings include the following:
Family offices are:
-Recruiting in-house research analysts and expanding their interest in proprietary research. Twenty-three percent of family offices acknowledge financial analyst skill shortages, and 22 percent plan to recruit them over the next three years. -Rethinking long-held models with an emphasis on managing liquidity and becoming more opportunistic.
-Returning to core mandates of consolidated control of wealth management. Nearly all SFOs offer financial advisory services (92 percent offer trust and estate planning, financial planning and tax planning) with a significant minority (49 percent) offering life management or concierge services.
-Heavily weighting features such as the reputations and recommendations of financial services providers. On a scale of one to five, with one as "most important," "confidentiality" (1.58) and "reputation" (2.17) ranked among the top criteria for selecting a financial service provider.
-Considering opening to non-founding family clients (28 percent). Their main motivations are increasing their access to investment opportunities by having greater assets under management (54 percent), and retaining their top investment professionals by providing more opportunities to earn and run more and larger investments (31 percent). They are focusing on opening an internal hedge fund or private equity fund (23 percent) or, to a lesser extent, a private equity or hedge fund of funds or diversified investment services (15 percent).
-Though expressing no specific plans to close, 31 percent said it was a possibility, even if remote.
"The tumultuous economic and market climate of the last thirteen months has exposed the weaknesses and strengths of the family office model, and as a result, we are going to see family offices increasingly concentrating on core competencies and looking to others to provide non-core services," said Mindy Rosenthal, managing director of Campden's North American Business and author of the research. "Now more than ever, family offices will be considering significant organizational changes ranging from consolidation with other family offices, opening services to non-family clients or possible closure."