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Family Office staffing - the generalist mindset (finding the Babel Fish).

Recently I spoke to a family office about staffing, specifically they were looking for a CFO to assist the new CEO/CIO. It was a familiar conversation - they needed someone that had family office experience as well as investment experience.


Like any boutique investment company, those working within the single family office space have to be flexible and learn new skills to effectively manage the day to day operations. IT issue? Lets figure it out. Also, reporting, trading, portfolio management, counterparty management, fund manager meetings, private banks, transaction opportunities etc etc etc. The list of things to do are long as they are often outside your designated job spec.


For some, this is a source of frustration but for others it gives them the chance to sit at he the coal face where previously they were just looking after one very defined and specific slice.


One great example given to me by a specialist fund manager was the ability for a well known CIO to direct traffic and to realise they are not the sole point of due diligence. An interesting idea is shown to them and they can immediately introduce the required internal specialist if it's of interest.


And that brings us to the generalist - a person that can speak to all aspects of the office, know when to deploy their specialist knowledge and when to refer to those that can be more effective. They know the language of middle, back and front office as well as the specific needs of the principle and extended family members. They are curious and act as a facilitator, a kind of Babel Fish for those that have experience in different functions and therefore speak in different terms and have different priorities.


As family office become more prevalent and recruiting becomes harder, this staff member becomes more important.


Cheers


Shaun.


“Hall Road Investments Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR No. 001279456) of Non Correlated Capital Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 499882). Shaun Parkin is an Authorised Representative (AR No 001279458) of Hall Road Investments Pty Ltd (CAR No. 001279456) and is authorised to provide general advice to wholesale investors”

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