Career Advice to Start a Family Office

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Rank: Chimp | 5

I want to set up and run a Family Office/Multi-Family in 3-5 years to look after the investments side of my family business. Currently all the investments are managed by private bankers and by family members with zero finance experience on an ad-hoc basis (no investment professionals in the firm). Estimated AUM of total investments are between 50-100m.

I finished a Masters in Management from a top UK business school and was working in a non-finance field for a year. I left my job earlier this year to focus on investment management and ended up sitting for the CFA lv1 in June.

My big question: what level of investment management experience should I be pursuining? I have little illusions about being the CIO so I know obviously I will have to hire for the FO, but what are the minimum skills i will need to maintain proper oversight?

A few options that I am pursuining:

  1. Portfolio Intern with conversion to full time at an Independent Asset Manager who caters to FOs and HNWI. Investment team is 6 investment professionals all with extensive Asset Management or Hedge Fund experience, CIO was head of a international bank's prop desk, and some private bankers, I think their company size is about 12 with estimated AUM of 1B+. They provide advisory as well as discretionary portfolios, they conduct their own research but also rely on some sell-side, they do some picking of stocks/bonds/fx/commodities. Broad range of clients, with minimum of 10m capital up to one of the larger FO's in my country. I will be starting under the Equities PM, but I think the junior roles are quite broad based in nature. This role would be almost purely investment focused.
  2. Equities Research Analyst at a large FOF advisory firm. Pure research investment role. Big institutional clients such as endowments and pension funds. This is a large company so there are good benefits, corporate training programs, etc.
  3. Intern with conversion to full time at a small Multi-FO. No internal research, all provided by the private banks they work with to help form their house view. 3 Partners are all very experienced (15 years+) former private bankers from bulge bank, claimed that their past positions were hybrid relationship and investment management roles. Estimated AUM is 700m+ and the 3 partners are accompanied by 4 junior analysts (limited exp or fresh grads). Only 3 clients/families, hence the company is focused on the other side of FO duties just as much as the returns. Role would be very broad in nature.

In order of priority, which of these options would best suit my long term career goals? For me, I see it as 1,2,3 in that order.

Associated Resource: List of Family Offices

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Aug 13, 2018