The Highest Level of Excellence
by Wealth & Finance – January 2017
Mack International, founded in 2002, is recognised as the premier boutique firm that specialises in providing retained executive search and strategic human capital consulting solutions. Their clients include single and multi-client family offices, family enterprises, and the full spectrum of wealth management advisory, investment management and financial services firms that serve ultra-high net private investors and family offices on a national and international basis.
Following Mack International’s recent award, Best Family Office Executive Search and Consulting Firm–USA, we spoke with the firm’s founder and President, Linda C. Mack who revealed more about how they achieve the highest levels of excellence in all the work they undertake.
Linda Mack, who is credited for coining the term ‘expert generalist’ in the industry, is a frequent speaker at family office conferences on a global basis. She regularly leads presentations and closed door sessions with family members and family office executives on a broad range of topics including but not limited to recruiting, retaining and engaging top talent and best practices in designing compensation packages. Linda Mack recently gave a keynote address for the Private Banking and Family Office Summit held in Qingdao, China–an engagement Linda regards as one of the highlights of 2016.
Considered a thought leader and author of many best practices, the firm dominates its highly specialised market. “Every family is unique, and working with families is loaded with nuance.” To that end, Mack International helps families define performance expectations and metrics to evaluate what success might look like for them. The result becomes somewhat of a family “fingerprint” given the cultural differences that exist. “Our intention is to unquestionably be our clients’ most valued advisor by consistently delivering the best talent, counsel and advice supporting them in achieving their strategic goals and objectives,” says Linda.
For most family offices, family enterprises and wealth advisors, finding the right professional to manage their wealth is a challenge. Mack immerses itself in the business and culture of each client in order to understand that client’s vision. Executing that vision by delivering exceptional counsel regarding critical human capital needs is what sets Mack International apart. “Our process is creative yet also highly disciplined, comprehensive and thorough. We never cut corners and do not believe in short cuts. Our philosophy is to do each search once and to do it right. “
With a special expertise in asset and wealth management, Mack and her colleagues have helped to staff some of the most prominent family offices over the last 15 years. Their clients range from first generation wealth creators through multi-generational families of six or more generations. They are known for successfully conducting searches for C-suite executives for their clients, including Chief Executive Officers, Presidents, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Investment Officers, and Chief Financial Officers.
The firm owes their track record of success to their dedication to provide customised consulting solutions that meet the unique needs of their clients. Identifying, assessing and successfully recruiting candidates who not only have the necessary qualifications and expertise, but are the right ‘culture fit’ for their clients is key. “Ninety five percent of every search is about culture fit. In terms of potential candidates, the market is surprisingly limited so it can be a challenge to identify qualified individuals who can work in an ultra-specialised environment and culture for what can be a generation in time.”
Mack describes her relationship with her clients as “intensely personal.” “Our search process employs a proprietary 360 assessment tool developed by Mack International. The 360 assessment evaluates client needs and culture and enables clients to achieve the clarity, consensus and alignment regarding their collective vision and the position, which is paramount in identifying and recruiting their ideal candidate.” Linda is involved in every search from start to finish. The dedicated Mack team for each assignment is extremely experienced and collectively have more than 50 years’ experience in the family office/wealth management industry.
Mack is present during initial candidate interviews to support their clients, and is often asked to come back to participate in further rounds of interviews. “We stay close to the candidates and clients throughout every step of the process. Our job doesn’t end with identifying the right candidate, but encompasses helping our clients negotiate compensation and onboard the executive successfully.”
While the marketplace is competitive, Mack emphasises that her firm is distinctive in terms of the partnerships they have built with their clients. “Nobody else has our depth of experience and expertise,” notes Mack. “In short, our sole measure of success is getting it right the first time, every time and providing the highest level of excellence to our clients on every assignment.” Indeed, they are also well-known for their absolute discretion and confidentiality–never revealing the identity of their clients or candidates without their expressed and prior approval.
The last word goes to Mack on the firm’s plans for the future: “I will carry on my work as a thought leader, speak at conferences on a global basis, and continue to build the firm’s presence globally. We can bring unique perspectives and added value as a consultant to families everywhere in the world, and I want to build upon our reputation as a highly-specialized firm in this field.”