If you want to get a job in the family office (FO) industry, get experience in trusted estate work, portfolio management, or risk management, then having global taxation experience can help.If you don’t have experience in more than one of these areas than the role that you can play within a FO can be somewhat limited. quicken family office
What happens is a lot of family offices have a lot of money to manage, but they want to keep their expenses relatively low. They typically don’t want to blow it out with 300 or more employees. Most only have a dozen employees and can manage upwards of a billion dollars. This is something that you have to know of going into it. You will be expected to wear many different hats. If you are an analyst, an auditor or a portfolio manager for a while you should really bring that up in job interviews as a skill. Tell them you have the auditing skills and detailed oriented accounting skills and also the analyst and portfolio management skills. That is more valuable than just coming to the table and saying “I am a portfolio manager,” and just going at that high end positioning of “that’s what I am, that’s what my skillset is, and just look at me as a portfolio manager.” That might be what you want to do in other investment niches, but not with family offices. You want to show the array of things you can help take care of. You can wear many hats, you can move quickly, but you are careful and cognitive of risks imbedded with making decisions with an investment firm.
I think it is most important to have worked within the family office industry, it can be helpful to say you have worked for Goldman Sachs or another big investment firm, pedigree is always great, but obviously pedigreed family office experience is more important than Goldman Sachs investment experience. Working for a medium sized or large sized single family will help you in the future if you are going to work for another single family office. Some people go a traditional route after a MBA or a Master’s in finance or Undergrad thinking they might work in a FO later, when really they should just go direct. If you have made a decision to have a family office career than you should go get a family office job right now and work your way up. You may start as an analyst or helping as an assistant to a portfolio manager, but you should start from the ground up and embed yourself in the family office space. It might take some time before you understand everything in the FO world and the types of bureaucratic decision making processes that can be involved and sometimes things can change very quickly for personal or emotional type reasons within a family. That is just a realty within a family office. There are many nuances you should master right up front so you don’t get frustrated building up a ten year career and then get frustrated at that point.
You need to decide what your ideal goal is long term. Whether that is to be a Chief Compliance Officer, CIO, or CEO. Obviously for a CIO it is going to be more global investment experience typically in portfolio management experiences. For a CEO it is going to be more CFO orientated and will need more management experience. It also might mean that instead of just deep diving just on portfolio and risk management your whole career, you have worn enough hats that you can manage the reporting, the systems, the IT, the investments, and the personnel issues as well. It means a whole variety of different issues you will have to take care of.