Where’s the best place to recruit new talent for your Multi-Family Office or RIA firm? Allow us to shed some light on this common, yet essential, question.

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The question of where to find talent is one we receive all the time. Many assume that the first place they should look is to other Multi-Family Offices or RIAs, but while you could be successful in finding some great, entrepreneurial individuals at another fee-based, fee-only, or multi-family office style firm, there is a two-fold issue that arises in seeking talent from such sources.

First of all, not many other high quality firms are out there to begin with in your local market. Secondly, professionals already employed at a successful firm aren’t likely to leave. “A” level professionals may have an entrepreneurial buy-in or be on an equity ownership track, and each of these things can act as a strong incentive for them to remain at their current place of work. This makes top talent at such firms difficult to recruit.

You may be able to recruit more easily from firms that don’t offer their talent an adequate career track; however, this isn’t an option you can readily rely on, as the supply of employees at smaller or less successful firms will be fairly limited.

This is why you’re better off recruiting from private banks, trust companies, and other large institutions. Keep in mind, though, that while you may be able to find a more abundant talent source from these firms, not all larger firms have an entrepreneurial culture. Employees at these institutions may be immersed in more of a nine-to-five environment than what you would find elsewhere. Yet this reflects more on the firm itself than on what may necessarily be true of the talent you’ll find there.

You may find that individuals currently in such an environment who have a track record of going above and beyond to make an impact, seek out growth, and grow their client base—individuals who are ready to expand their horizons and have the drive to pursue a career like the kind they would find with your firm. The kinds of large institutions I mentioned earlier simply are not built to support such talent. Driven individuals want to be kept in the loop regarding matters of internal structure—not kept in the dark and given black-box end of year or random discretionary bonuses.

Driven individuals want to be kept in the loop regarding matters of internal structure—not kept in the dark and given black-box end of year or random discretionary bonuses.


If your firm is built in the right way and you have compensation plans laid out, you will be able to attract professionals looking for something more boutique and entrepreneurial.


That said, there two specific sources you would do best to stay away from when recruiting talent:


  • Wirehouses. If you look into firms such as the J.P Morgan and Wells Fargo Advisors, you will find individuals with a fee-based mindset. Professionals in this category may initially seem like a great fit, but the truth is that such individuals are often focused on themselves more than on contributing to a larger picture. As you know, the environment of a Multi-Family Office or Fee-based RIA is not conducive to this mindset and will not benefit from individuals like this. The focus of the talent you recruit must be on growing the firm. There may still be a bonus structure and a lot of upside in more entrepreneurial firms, but, at the end of the day, the firm must still operate collaboratively. Not everyone who previously worked within a vastly different environment can successfully make the switch to a more teamwork-oriented firm.


  • Asset management firms. While some of these institutions tend to deal with ultra-high net worth individuals, the focus of employees there is solely on performance. Be careful seeking talent from such sources. Your new hires must understand that relationships drive the Wealth Management business.


If you would like to learn more about our firm, and our ability to quickly and efficiently recruit wealth and investment advisory talent, please schedule a complimentary consultation. Schedule A Consultation

Or you can always call or email us directly. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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