Using Deep Industry Knowledge to Fine-Tune Strategy

Role: Vice President, Insights and Connections

Our client was established in 2004 to serve the sophisticated needs of family offices. The firm provides custody, brokerage and investment services in addition to reporting and administrative capabilities. As a dedicated business unit, our client provides objective guidance and access to investment products as well as a seasoned service team to support the needs of family office executives. The Vice President of Insights and Connections position is responsible for maintaining and expanding the family office Insights and Connections program. This individual is charged with leveraging their in-depth family office expertise to consult with key clients and prospects, speak at industry events, educate the client organization in key areas, expand the website and industry experts database, and build out the regional group executive program.

Objective

The Insights and Connections position was created as a response to family office clients’ requests for advice and services in the more intangible areas that fall outside of traditional wealth management, including philanthropy and education planning, as well as having a marketing flare in order to manage the Insights and Connections website and database. The challenge would be to uncover a target industry or specialization that yielded individuals possessing direct family office client experience that was not typical of large institutions while at the same time having the ability to navigate through the culture of a large financial institution. Additionally, Charles Sterling was retained to conduct this search when the original Executive in this role was let go after only one year. Given that the position is very visible in the family office community as he/she serves as the client’s point person and presence at family office events, we had to overcome the perception in the market that the role was actually several roles and not necessarily embraced by the larger institution. Furthermore, the ten-year-old organization had experienced several starts and stops early on that also had to be managed in the recruiting effort.

Strategy and Result

Given our deep knowledge of the various types of institutions and their client focus and offering within private wealth management focused firms, we were able to very quickly develop a comprehensive yet targeted search map of direct competitors of the client. By simultaneously utilizing our active and deep network in the wealth management space, we created a complimentary recruiting plan to encompass laws firms and nonprofit organizations that provide family office clients advisory services that they often do not receive from their wealth management providers. In this way, we delivered a comprehensive candidate pool that represented candidates from all three backgrounds which allowed the interview team to determine not only the right hire, but also to fine-tune the strategy for the role’s success this time around. The placement was ultimately a Partner from a non-profit organization who had an extensive background in working closely with family offices on strategy around gift planning and philanthropy, as well as with wealth advisors on best practices for the family office client type.