Linda Mack of Mack International led a Networking Roundtable on Talent during Campden Wealth’s 16th Annual Family Office Meeting in Florida, November 16-18, 2021

Linda Mack of Mack International led a Thematic Networking Roundtable on Talent during Campden Wealth’s 16th Annual Family Office Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, November 18, 2021

The family office leader of the future must be extremely strategic and proactive…(with) a strong business, financial and investment acumen.

The conference included “thematic” roundtable sessions. Each roundtable provided participants the opportunity to choose a micro subject to share knowledge and experiences, gain insight and seek guidance from fellow community members. Linda led a roundtable on the topic of talent and what family offices need to consider when hiring their next CEO and best practices surrounding recruiting, retention, and compensation.

Linda began by outlining the key factors family offices should consider implementing to successfully recruit and retain top talent. An emphasis was put on clarity. “In the absence of a clearly defined business mandate, performance expectations and metrics for success, combined with sound governance and smooth succession planning, you run a high potential risk of not being able to attract the ideal candidate.” According to Linda, once the proverbial house is in order, it is easier to measure a prospective leader’s qualities in context.            

Linda sparked a discussion on how the family office of the future is shaping the background, skills, and experience most in demand when seeking a key executive. “The family office leader of the future must be extremely strategic and proactive while demonstrating a high emotional as well as intellectual IQ. They also need to have strong business, financial and investment acumen. Being technology savvy and able to effectively leverage technology to help family accomplish goals is imperative.” The optimum leader according to Linda is an “expert generalist”—a term Linda coined that is now referred to industry wide—someone who has knowledge across the continuum of wealth management and functional areas and has a keen understanding of the inextricably linked connections between them all. The importance of a leader’s acumen in building relationships with external advisors and integrating their efforts on behalf of the best interests of the family was emphasized. Having the ability to proactively anticipate issues, threats and opportunities impacting the family were also deemed critical to ensuring the viability of the family enterprise.

In Linda’s experience, family offices often focus on a particular candidate’s requisite skills and competencies to perform the job by assessing their academic credentials, experience, and accomplishments. “Culture fit is paramount for success and comprised of many dimensions including values, philosophies, and communication, decision making and leadership style and other personal attributes.” Alignment between the principal and a potential candidate on the culture fit within the organization optimizes the success and effectiveness of the new leader.

Compensation is always a hot topic and there have been trends in recent years to note. Linda emphasized her role on educating and enlightening families who don’t have a pulse on the market yet seek top notch talent. She encourages families to view every person they hire as a return on investment—not as a cost. “Long term incentives, retirement planning, bonuses and annual incentives are becoming mainstream.” The roundtable group had a lively discussion about long term incentive trends in the market and importance of ensuring that incentives motivate behaviors that align with the family’s desired objectives.

Once you find the ideal leader, Linda asked the members to consider how they would stimulate and motivate that individual. Compensation is important but factors such as apportioning resources and authority commensurate with accountability as well as formalized governance and succession plans are also crucial to both attracting and retaining talent.

The dynamic and interactive session was well received and enjoyed high member participation. Linda commented, “An increasingly competitive market and greater access to information are two factors requiring family offices to value the significance of having a well-defined, comprehensive process to identify, recruit, assess, hire and onboard the ideal candidate. Combined with a well-designed compensation package and thoughtful retention strategies—you can create a solid return on investment for everyone.”

About Mack International
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 a 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.