Rise Of Family Offices: Potential Career Avenues
With the increasing number of family offices in India, a career in this space offers an exciting range of growth and learning avenues
Historically India has been a land of ‘Maharajas’ and was often referred to as the ‘Golden Bird’ of the world due to the astonishing amount of wealth our country once possessed. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that the history took its course, and our wealth was plundered. If numbers are anything to go by, it is well on its track to be a nation of ultrarich again. At present, our country is home to 166 billionaires, over 1,100 centimillionaires, and more than 796 thousand millionaires. The number of millionaires in India are also expected to more than double by 2026, making it one of the few countries with over a million millionaires.
Naturally, this rapid surge of wealth is driving an increased consciousness on how to manage, grow, and maximise it. This reflects in the number of family offices that are coming up; currently there are over 300 family offices with over $100 million dollars of assets under management. Interestingly, even the tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the country are witnessing a lot of interest and growth in the number of HNIs opting for family offices.
As the number of family and founder offices in India continue to grow, there is an increasing need for skilled professionals to manage their complex financial, personal, tax and legal affairs. More importantly, HNIs, ultra HNIs and the budding start-up entrepreneurs are looking not only for technically competent professionals but the ones which are also well equipped to deal with the sensitivities, emotional quotient and the complex relationships which are unique to each family.
So, if one is looking to build a career in this exciting and high-growth industry, there are several career paths which are available in 2023 and beyond:
One of the most sort out roles in the industry, an investment analyst is responsible for researching and analysing potential investment opportunities. The role demands strong competencies in mapping, analysing, and modelling micro and macro-economic data, market trends and financial decisions. One must also be equipped to use these insights to create the most relevant investment strategy for a family office, as well as to collaborate with the investment team to implement the approved strategies and monitor their efficacy on an ongoing basis. The role typically requires a degree in finance, accounting or economics and individuals holding a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification are often highly valued in this space.
Portfolio managers are responsible for overseeing the entire investment portfolio and ensuring these align with the family’s overall financial objectives and risk tolerance. This role requires a strong understanding of investment management and portfolio analysis, as well as excellent communication skills. As a portfolio manager, you will also be required to frequently assess market developments and monitor the performance of the assets under management, as well as to collaborate with multiple teams to ensure that investments are well structured in a tax-efficient and a regulatory compliant manner.
In a family office, a governance manager is responsible for ensuring that the office operates efficiently, legally, ethically and well within the protocols established by the family. They work closely with family members and key stakeholders to maintain transparency and accountability in the operations of a family office. This also includes managing risks and developing and implementing governance frameworks, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices while accomplishing the overall vision of the family. To assume this role in a family office, you may require a degree in business administration, law or a related field, as well as relevant professional certifications such as a Corporate Secretary (CS).
Concierge and Administrative Manager
Concierge and administrative managers, as the name suggests, are responsible for managing day-to-day tasks and operations within the family office and providing a high level of service to family members and stakeholders. In this role, you will act as the primary point of contact for family members, managing their schedules, coordinating travel arrangements, and organising events, as well as overseeing the office's administrative staff and inventory. Key qualifications required include a degree in business administration, hospitality, or a related field. Strong project management, process improvement, team management and organisational and communication skills are preferred in this role, as is the ability to work well in a sophisticated yet intense and fast paced environment along with managing multiple stakeholders.
Risk and Reputation Manager
As a risk and reputation manager, you will be responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing potential risks that can impact the family's financial stability, reputation or other interests. You will work closely with family members and other professionals in the office to develop risk management strategies by conducting regular risk assessments, monitoring and analysing market trends. Other responsibilities may include managing and mitigating investment risks, managing insurance policies and overseeing the crisis management plan. You will also play a vital role in maintaining the family's privacy and discretion by ensuring that sensitive information and its access is handled appropriately and may also be required to manage the family's reputation through media relations and crisis communications. Professionals with a degree in finance, PR and risk management are often preferred in this role, and require robust analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Legal and Tax Manager
A legal and tax manager is responsible for managing the family's legal and tax affairs and ensuring compliance with the regulatory requirements. They work closely with family members and other professionals to develop and implement legal and tax strategies that are strategically aligned with the family's ethos. As a legal and tax manager, you will provide legal and tax advice to family members and stakeholders, along with overseeing the family's estate planning, trust management and philanthropic activities.
With the increasing number of family offices in India, a career in this space offers an exciting range of growth and learning avenues. With the right qualifications and experience, you can build a successful and a professionally rewarding career in this dynamic and rapidly evolving industry.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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