Three Ways (And Career Paths) To Get A Job At A Single Family Office

To Get A Job At A Single Family Office

An increasing part of investment professionals and young professionals wants to work for single family offices, the investment firms of the world’s HNWIs. Alone in Europe, there are almost 500 important single family offices listed in our database.  A good salary combined with excellent career opportunities and decent working hours make SFOs desirable employers. We tell you three different career paths to get a job at a single family office.

General requirements to get a job at a single family office

There are three things that are important to get a job at a SFO: experience, network and trustworthiness. The CVs of family office professionals are mostly filed with well-known names: Ivy League universities and leading American investment banks or consulting firms. Furthermore, the bigger the network of a potential hire the better his chances are to get the job. Family offices are keen on a steady deal flow and interesting investment opportunities. Last but almost most important working for a SFO requires a high degree of trustworthiness. This can be built through longstanding and well-maintained, loyal (business) relationships. It is not necessary to fulfill all requirements – but at least two of them are mandatory. For all who want to work for a single family office the same applies as for every other job: most important is to be a reliable partner, to be working hard and smart and to be modest.

1) Working in the investment landscape and building relationships (investment banking, private equity, venture capital, consulting)

The main purpose of single family offices is the investment management for wealthy families. So it makes sense for SFOs to hire directly from leading investment and consulting firms. Mostly, single family offices hire rather senior staff from leading firms. To drop a few names: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, EQT, KKR, Index Ventures, Andreesen Horowitz. Mostly, rather senior staff is hired. The background of potential hires also determines the working field in the family office: traders and portfolio managers will work on financial market investments (direct investments and / or selection of external asset  managers). Private equity professionals will work on direct PE deals. Venture capital professionals will work on startup investments. Former consultants (which are rather rare in SFOs) can work on different topics (like management and reporting of portfolio companies). The more exposure investment professionals have to single family office contacts (like working alongside SFOs) the better the chances are to get hired. Direct introductions and contacts are the most valuable when it comes to getting a job at a SFO.

2) From Wealth Management To A Single Family Office Position

Also a good option to get a job at a SFO is the wealth management career path. Wealth managers either work for the private banking division of major banks (UBS, Credit Suisse, Goldman, etc.), wealth management firms or multi family offices. Their skills lie mainly in asset management and investment allocation and interaction with HNWI family members. Many SFOs are led by former wealth management professionals. Also when it comes to the foundation of new single family offices, the private banking contacts of HNWI’s are the first choice. The usual case: a family maintains a good relationship with their wealth manager which builds on trust and loyalty, built up over years. After some years, an exit event happens (e.g. the family company is sold). Usually, the private banker is one of the first contacts to get asked to lead and build up the new family office.

3) CFO or trusted lawyer of the family company

Once again, trust is the main component to get the job at the single family office. Especially in Europe, many single family offices arose from entrepreneurial families and family companies. So it is often the case that long-standing, trusted employees are potential hires for the family office. This might be former CEOs who retire or active CFOs. Also the family lawyers often get involved in the family office.

How to start a career at a single family office?

The first step to get a job at a single family office is to get a family office insider. is the leading source for information about single and multi family offices. You should:

  • Sign up for our newsletter here to get the best job offers. We publish a monthly newsletter of the most relevant single family office news. The newsletter includes new family offices, family office investments, reports about industry trends and – soon – also relevant single family offerings. Don’t miss that opportunity!
  • Follow us on LinkedIn. Be the first to get-to-know relevant single family office news and SFO job offerings directly through your LinkedIn newsfeed.

This article is part of our single family office career section. 

Picture source: Max Ostrozhinskiy

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