“This is a new era for family capital” heralds Mark Somers ahead of landmark book on how to create and sustain successful family offices
- ‘Family Office Fundamentals’ is the authoritative guide helping principals, family members and their closest advisers to build and populate family offices
- The book prioritises highly skilled human capital to manage the transition of wealth to a younger, more socially conscious generation
- One of the first ever examinations of neurodiversity across family offices; advice on how to recruit specifically to cater for neurodivergent needs of some principals
- Family Office Fundamentals will be available for sale at Somers Partnership here
Mark Somers, cofounder and Partner of Somers Partnership, the preeminent head-hunting firm that serves family offices around the globe, announces the launch of his new book, ‘Family Office Fundamentals – Human Capital Matters,’ an authoritative guide to helping principals, family members and their closest advisers build and populate a family office that attracts, retains and motivates leading industry talent.
The book examines family offices through the prism of human capital and advises founders/ principals and their beneficiaries accordingly on this key point: that human capital is more important than financial capital, as without the former the latter will dissipate quickly.
This new publication is the only family office-focussed book in existence that draws upon the diverse expertise and participation of 50 of the leading lights from across the family office ecosystem. Principals, professionals, practitioners, academics, consultants and subject matter experts have contributed to Family Office Fundamentals through the lens of human capital and the result is a uniquely informative manifesto for its targeted readership.
Mark Somers and his team believe fervently that family capital plays an essential role in society, and its preservation is of benefit to us all. The majority of family office principals, or their antecedents, will have created enormously successful businesses that directly address the needs of consumers or customers on a significant scale. Once the operating business has been sold, Somers believes that the resulting family capital can continue to solve problems and can generate the same level of return as the original operating business. Rather than retreating into the anonymity of the global elite, Somers sees opportunities for family offices to make pioneering investments, supported by genuine risk capital and their unique ability among investment circles.
Family offices are evolving into “family capital” businesses and competing with sectors such as venture capital and private equity. Unlike these sectors however, family offices have genuine go-to-zero capital capabilities, which makes them enviably emboldened and ambitious investors. These family offices can make investments on a 50 or even 100-year time horizon, and accordingly will require the highest quality investment teams and advisors to guide these strategies.
Family Office Fundamentals contains one of the first ever detailed examinations of neurodiversity across family offices and features a number of revealing insights and observations, covering both the range of neurodivergence across family office principals but also guidance and advice about how to recruit the best people – and particularly the best styles of communication – to place around neurodivergent principals and families, where appropriate.
The book heralds a new era for family offices, as a new, socially conscious generation of inheritors develop their own goals and priorities. It notes a mindset shift by younger generations who see family capital as having an essential role in society, being used for philanthropy, and having an increased focus on the environment, sustainability and diversity. Somers argues that mentoring this next generation of family members in their own fledgling businesses is an unsurpassable way of bringing them closer to the family office, instilling a clear system of values and teaching them about the commercial realities of the world. While going through monthly reports on how the portfolio is performing might be dull for a twenty-something, backing a project that they are passionate about is likely to motivate them to realise long-term value. This, coupled with the flexibility that genuine risk capital affords, means that family offices can incubate and enable the next generation of start-up businesses.
Crucial to balancing the interests of this new generation and the original wealth creators is a diverse team of professionals that hold exceptional EQ, strong industry knowledge and utmost integrity.
Commenting ahead of the book launch, Mark Somers, Founder and Partner, Somers Partnership, says: “At Somers Partnership we know that having the right mix of skilled human capital is essential for successfully managing financial capital. Written through the clear prism of human capital, Family Office Fundamentals provides the ultimate guide to building and sustaining highly successful family offices. The book details the critical importance of human capital considerations when it comes to structures, governance, recruitment, succession planning and compensation, highlighting the importance of diverse teams which reflect the characteristics of the principals and beneficiaries that they serve.”
“It is vital that family offices are equipped with the right people to balance interests between generations sensitively and diplomatically. Furthermore, a recognition of the importance and value of understanding neurodiversity will clearly distinguish the future leaders of the family office investment world. Family offices are an increasingly important force in the financial landscape. At Somers Partnership we have the trusted relationships and the deep knowledge required to match the right teams with the right family offices, to not only generate superior returns in perpetuity, but to crystalise the positive social impact of this growing global investment force.”
James E. “Jay” Hughes, Jr., former counsellor-at-law, author and co-author of multiple books and influential articles on family governance and wealth preservation, observed: “It is my distinct pleasure to review Mark Somers’s new book Family Office Fundamentals. The interview with Mark was the best I have ever been invited to on the culture of family offices ,their practices, and the nature of the professionals who truly help them thrive. Mark and his co-authors and his Team are “pros “in understanding, from the inside of the family office field, the cultural issues that each office presents; NOT simply the structural issues. This superb book offers that view in a way I have never seen offered before. We all know, although all too often have forgotten, the word wealth, in its original and forever meaning, is well-being. If a family sees its wealth as financial capital and fails to see it as the well-being of its members, then assuredly the universal cultural proverb shirt sleeves to short sleeves in three generations will be its fate.”
Michael Faber, President/CIO, NextPoint SFO, added: “Mark has provided the family office community the single-best comprehensive resource to answer questions regarding building “best practices” to achieve their goals. Who governs and controls, what services are offered, what goals and principles are priorities? This is the ultimate guide for practitioners and family members. Mark has created a necessary roadmap for families who are trying to build their legacy and a detailed guide for executives advising the wealthiest families in the world. A major contribution to our eco-system… it is so difficult to find impartial and expert advice and Mark is the best in the business.”
Twice voted one of the top 100 most influential in the Family Office sector by Family Capital, Mark Somers is a member of the judging panel for the Spears 500 and has won Outstanding Contribution to Wealth Management thought leadership in The Wealth Briefing awards 2021. Mark founded The Somers Partnership in 2005 with his wife, Jo, and they have grown it to become one of the leading recruitment firms serving some of the largest and most prestigious private family offices around the world.
Published by Independent Publishing Family Office Fundamentals is Mark’s second book. His first, How to Work for a Billionaire, provided career advice to many leading family office professionals and those looking to attract talent.