GUEST COMMENT: Why you might want to consider working in a family office

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Anicet Tanghe

So you want to escape the grind of the corporate world and join the niche environment of the family office? Be aware, that you will have plenty of competition.

Family offices are typically small entities built and developed by business entrepreneurs looking for key players that can bring their broad knowledge and expertise.

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 set up a single family office, the principal or business owner typically looks first into his/her private network of trusted business contacts. However, this can lead to professional talent being overlooked.

Family office professionals need to be versatile, diplomatic individuals with knowledge of everything from trust, to all classes of investment, and cross border tax and legal issues. Personality and chemistry are important, as are discretion and loyalty.

Lawyers, fund managers, and private bankers have always been popular as candidates to run family offices. With family offices concentrating their investments on the global property markets, we are also seeing growing demand for real estate professionals. Larger and more institutional family offices typically prefer individuals with exceptional pedigrees.

Working in a family office offers the upside of a cash rich environment with a direct reporting structure and flat decision making. There are usually no lengthy bureaucratic procedures. On the other hand, it will mean close contact with successful entrepreneurs and individuals with substantial inherited wealth. The objectivity of the corporate structure can be swapped for the subjectivity of personal relationships.

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