I'm a long time member of this forum and have used it on a number of occasions to learn concepts, get advice and just to see other people's perspective on things. I've found it really helpful over the past few years so I thought to ask for your perspective on a topic that has been gnawing at me. I've changed some of the details to make sure it stays anonymous...
My family company is a medium-sized real estate developer and investor in Europe with around $1.5B GAV. I'm 5th generation and the company is basically fully owned by one core family, so me picking real estate as an industry was 100% so I could help build this company in the future. However, at a young age, I decided that it would be best to get as much outside experience that I can apply once I felt it was the right time to return back to Europe and start working for the family office. Since then, I've completed a relevant real estate degree (in U.S.) and have worked on the East Coast for a U.S based fund that only invest in the continental U.S so never had any reason to disclose my situation as there were no conflict of interest at the fund. I recently made the decision to move to Europe (albeit a different market) in order to gain more European-specific market knowledge, before ultimately making the final move over to the family company. I recon this will be a 2-3 year position.
Since I started interviewing for pan-european funds, I've been talking to multiple companies that either have a) acquired assets that was previously owned/developed by our company or b) bidding on assets that we also had interest in some cases made bids on. I also have one offer from a company that operates in the same segment, but have not (to my knowledge) crossed paths with my family office.
None of the companies have indicated that they know of this connection (you have to dig pretty deep to find any), but I'm getting nervous that if I accept a position like this I will face major conflict of interest issues down the line. However, I'm also afraid that if I do disclose it they will basically think she/he is going to leave in a few years so probably not the best hire. Am I right in this? What would be the best way of dealing with this? What would be the best course of action, if any?
TL:DR: Should I disclose to my employer that my family company is a competitor and that I might have conflict of interest issues?