Linda Mack of Mack International Leads Panel at European Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum June 6-8

Linda Mack, Founder and President of Chicago-based Mack International, led a panel at the June 6-8, 2012 European Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum produced by Opal Financial Group. The forum, held in Geneva, Switzerland, attracted high-net-worth individuals and family offices, private investors and asset managers from around the world.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 13, 2012Linda Mack, founder and president of Mack International, a premier retained executive search and strategic family office/human capital management consulting firm, led a panel discussion on June 8 during the European Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum. More than 150 executives attended the event, held at the Intercontinental Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland.

The forum, part of Opal Financial Group’s Private Wealth Series, is the premier event for high-net-worth individuals and family offices. Private investors and asset managers from around the globe gathered for three days of discussions on the latest family office and investment trends.

… designing a consistent and reliable ‘best-in-class’ selection process is critical to success, said Mack

Linda C. Mack moderated the panel titled “Manager Selection: Best Practice Approaches and Advice on How to Avoid Pitfalls” with panelists Thierry Brunel, Partner, Inuitae Family Office, Silvia Flesia, Managing Director, IGA International Gulf Advisors and Lorenzo Ward, Managing Director, LH Ward.

“Panelists began with discussion about criteria they use to successfully identify and select managers to meet investors’ needs and risk/return objectives. They also discussed key components of a thorough due-diligence process, using quantitative as well as qualitative approaches that enable the accurate assessment of risk and investment manager effectiveness,” Linda Mack explained.

“Everyone agreed that designing a consistent and reliable ‘best-in-class’ selection process is critical to success,” said Mack.

Lorenzo Ward pointed out that gaining clarity and specificity around the selection criteria is essential. “The obvious issue to address is one of specific competence: in selecting a hedge fund manager, one usually starts by understanding the investment proposition being pursued. A good manager could well turn out to have a strategy that doesn’t ultimately fit a family’s investment objectives,” he said. “The challenge is to ensure that the mandate is fully understood by all parties: a capital preservation strategy is one that will underperform bull markets and this should be made clear,” added Ward.

Silvia Flesia seconded the notion, adding that the selection criteria should start with a clear understanding of the investor needs: long-term capital preservation or return-driven, asset diversification or capital investing, including the strategy, asset classes, accepted volatility, risk return, liquidity, and so on. “Take into consideration the importance of risk and asset allocation. Evaluate how much risk a new manager adds to the portfolio. Understand the underlying positions of each manager,” Flesia said.

Thierry Brunel described his effective due diligence approach in detail and shared examples of how it has enabled him to identify successful managers.

Following formal remarks, the audience and the panel engaged in a lively interactive dialogue, with many questions focused on examples of how effective due diligence has enabled the panelists to avoid pitfalls others in the market have experienced in manager selection.

“The audience was especially interested in the stories that highlighted successes in identifying potential alpha-producing managers and ensuring the managers’ experience and approach aligned with family portfolio objectives,” Mack said.

The Opal European Family Office & Private Wealth Management Forum also featured sessions on international private wealth, investment styles and strategies, how family offices can improve their operational effectiveness, opportunities associated with investing in emerging markets, alternative investments, real estate, global credit and fixed income markets along with numerous other asset types.

Mack International, LLC, headquartered in Chicago, is a global retained executive search and consulting firm serving clients in the family office/wealth management industry on a national and international basis. For more information, visit or call 800.976.0015.