Julie Zorn Featured as Top Recruiter for Family Offices

(Dec. 18, 2021) Family offices are looking to hire fresh talent or reassess their staff. Russell Reynolds Associates; Spencer Stuart; BraddockMatthews; StevenDouglas; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

  • After placing some searches on hold earlier this year as the pandemic introduced layers of uncertainty, many family offices are again looking to hire fresh talent, executive recruiters said in interviews. 
  • Family offices have evolved as more wealth has concentrated among the very richest individuals and families, and many are poaching talent from private equity firms and private banks. 
  • Business Insider is rounding up some of the must-know executive recruiters in the space. 

You’ve heard of the war for talent in different corners of financial services, especially between high-flying startups and Wall Street institutions.

A similar battle is unfolding between traditional firms and family offices, the privately held, loosely regulated wealth managers for the world’s richest individuals and their families.

After placing some searches on hold earlier this year as the pandemic introduced layers of uncertainty, many family offices are again looking to hire fresh talent or reassess their staff, executive recruiters said in interviews.

They are looking to grow their direct-investing and private markets capabilities, poaching investors, and wealth advisors from private equity firms and private banks.

And US-based family offices are seeking out fresh legal talent, in part due to the likelihood of a higher tax rate for the wealthy and a shifting regulatory environment under President-elect Joe Biden.

“Family offices have always been fairly lean with their team structures and we haven’t seen any drives to cut costs by trimming their recruitment,” said Paul Westall, director of the London- and New York-based search firm Agreus Group, in an interview last month with the family office organization and research provider Campden Wealth.

“On the contrary, we have seen family offices reacting to new opportunities and having to bring in additional expertise in order to have knowledge and talent in-house,” Westall said, adding family offices are increasingly relying less on “external advisors such as banks.”

Business Insider rounded up six must-know executive recruiters in the space.

Julie Zorn, StevenDouglas

Julie Zorn runs the national family office search practice at StevenDouglas, the Sunrise, Florida-based recruitment firm.

Families’ younger generations becoming more involved with a family’s financial decisions, particularly when it comes to socially responsible investment decisions, is one prominent theme Zorn has noticed recently across her base.

“They will pick a cause and invest in companies accordingly,” she said in a recent interview.

As her peers across the industry have noted, another focus for family offices continues to be building out their direct-investing capabilities and seeking out talent who can source new deals rather than just allocating assets.

An investor or leader who intimately understands the companies’ families want to invest in directly is a sought-after quality, said Zorn, who is based in Southern California.

Her team works with family offices of all sizes in the US and internationally, and works with them at different stages, from families who are just setting one up to those that have been around for years.

Zorn has also been on the other side of the table, working within the industry catering to ultra-high-net-worth clients. Before joining StevenDouglas four years ago, Zorn was in private banking and wealth management at BMO Harris and Citi Private Bank.

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