Linda Mack of Mack International Moderated a Panel Discussion at Campden’s 18th Family Office & Investment Conference 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland on May 31-June 1

Linda Mack, founder and president of Mack International, moderated a panel entitled, “Characteristics of Family Office Leadership—the Principals and outlook of today’s Family Offices” at Campden’s 18th Family Office & Investment Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland May 31- June 1, 2017

The demands of effective leadership have grown as families and the…complexity of their needs…change over time and generations.

Antonis Schwarz, Founder of Guerilla Foundation in Germany and Elizabeth von Werra, Board Member, of LakeBridge in Switzerland joined Linda for a panel discussion entitled, “Characteristics of Family Office Leadership—The Principals and Outlook of Today’s Family Offices.” They explored key trends in Families and Family Offices as they have evolved and the implications that has for their leadership; challenges associated with those trends; and best practices Family Offices might consider to meet the global challenges expected over the next 10 years. “The demands of effective leadership have grown as families and the expanse and complexity of their needs have changed over time and generations,” said Linda.

According to Linda, the panel focused not only on how families evolve over the course of generations but what impact that has on the Family Office—specifically the implications that has for the kinds of leaders they need to be effective long term. “Family Offices traditionally focused primarily on wealth preservation and wealth transfer. As they evolve through successive generations we see an increase in focus on wealth creation for sustainability. Balancing all of these objectives in multi- generation families requires leaders with a broad scope of experience, expertise, and knowledge.” The “Expert Generalist” continues to be the person they need—but he or she must bring an even more sophisticated skill set in order to effectively manage an increasingly broader range of responsibilities. These include but are not limited to advising the family as they seek to co-invest, or consider direct private equity investments or impact investing in their taxable portfolios as well as philanthropic initiatives. Linda emphasized the importance of a keen mutual understanding being established between the Family Office and their leader as members explore the role of philanthropy and investing. “Socially responsible and impact investing are a major trend with the rising generation and the office leader needs to be in sync with those values. In fact, these discussions can help foster and strengthen cohesion within a family and across generations around their specific mission.” The panelists believed that younger generations were becoming more educated, conscientious and articulate in positioning their points of view. “Rising generations are identifying the values they and their families stand for and emphasizing the importance of applying those values and standards to investing guidelines,” said Linda.

The importance of education between and among the elder generations and the “next gens” was discussed as extremely important. The scope of education ranged from financial investing acumen to entrepreneurship, engagement, and choosing and managing advisors wisely. Linda emphasized that communication is “an exceptionally critical skill.” “Effective communication within different generations around governance and transitions in Families and Family Office leadership are essential to support unity, harmony and sustainability.”

The session concluded with an interactive Q&A. “The consensus among the panel and audience feedback was that finding a leader with the requisite skill and experience to be successful and effective with a multi-generational Family Office is truly the proverbial ‘needle in a haystack’. According to Linda, it makes identifying, selecting, and retaining exceptional leaders a challenge. “It requires significant commitment and attention. It’s hard work, but definitely worth the effort.”    

About Mack International LLC 
Mack International is the premier, boutique retained executive search and strategic management/human capital consulting firm serving national and international clients in the family office, family business enterprise and the wealth management industries on national and international basis. Founded in 2002, the firm has achieved an exceptional track record of success as evidenced by its unmatched industry expertise, in-depth market knowledge and unparalleled track record of success. Founder and President, Linda C. Mack has established proprietary methodologies such as the Mack 360© and is credited for having coined the term “expert generalist” in the industry.