Family Office Fundamentals: Human Capital Matters

Mark Somers, Founder of the Somers Partnership has released a new book for the Principals of family offices and the people who work for them. This book guides you through creating, staffing and future-proofing a family office through the lens of Human Capital.

It includes unique insight from 50 family office thought leaders including Principals, subject matter experts, consultants and academics and offers insider knowledge and practical advice on family offices including:

•   The role of a family office

•   Family office structures

•   Setting up or recreating a family office (NextGen/ReGen)

•   Governance

•   Recruitment - finding the right team

•   Recruitment process

•   Neurodiversity within family offices

•   Succession and future-proofing family offices

•   Family office compensation

Family Office Fundamentals delivers a unique view of building and maintaining a family office which argues that Human Capital is more important than Financial Capital in the long term success of a family office, because without the former, the latter quickly dissipates.

The cover of the Family Office Fundamentals: Human Capital Matters book.

Purchase a hardback copy of Family Office Fundamentals: Human Capital Matters.

We will also be releasing an audiobook version of the book which will be available soon, to register your interest in the audiobook, please email emilie.heaney@somerspartnership.com

James (Jay) E. Hughes, jr

“If your family is considering forming a family office ,or, has had one for many generations ,this book offers superb questions about the “Why’s” of an office and then ,in correct priority, the steps to answer the “How’s”. Rightly it centers deeply on the “Why’s” of the office’s highest priority, the successful growing of a families’ Qualitative Capitals: spiritual, social , intellectual and human, with their growths supported by its Quantitative capital ,its financial capital. 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. Mark and his co-authors have offered to you, if you are considering an office, or, have one, the antidote to the proverb and the path for an office to be part of its avoidance and more importantly why and how it can serve and help sustain your families flourishing/well-being for generations to come.

Michael Faber

"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.

We are grateful to Mark for this achievement -- our family benefited from Mark’s precise guidance on the best path to sustain family legacy and build family wealth.  We now have added many of Mark’s chapters to our family meeting agenda… it is so difficult to find impartial and expert advice and Mark is the best in the business."

Rupert Phelps

"Mark Somers leads a business which is in the rare position of being able to demonstrate genuine understanding of single family offices (SFO) by numerous successful hires. Some of these are senior people who have been in place for many years, to the ongoing satisfaction of former candidate and employee alike. This, his second book, continues a thorough and profound examination of how SFOs should be organised and how they should provide advice. I am not aware of any other UK-based head-hunter who has dared to write such books, nor who would have the domain expertise to do so. This book is founded on the surest of roots for such a work, namely deep intellectual capital. I commend it to those who wish to learn about SFOs, whether to set up, review or work with them."

Pascal Levensohn

“Family Office Fundamentals comprehensively tackles the wide range of evolutionary issues facing family offices, from the challenges of delegating authority to outsiders and the next generation to risk management and portfolio construction in direct investing.  This constructive and practical book shines a necessary light on tender spots and blind spots in the family office.”

Paul Reynolds

"Setting up a family office is a substantial and complex undertaking.  Before they set out, [Principals] want to understand what this involves, what a family office can do, the challenges they face, and the advantages and disadvantages of such an entity. [...] Wouldn’t it be great if someone had already done much of the work and consulted many of the thought leaders in the family office world?    It would be helpful if someone had considered the problems that they might face and also the potential solutions.  This is exactly what Mark and his team have done.  Taking a considered and analytical assessment has produced some fascinating insights into how to set up your own family office.  The various contributors have done an excellent job identifying and articulating all the challenges and issues that may arise.  It is a great read, and I recommend it to anyone on this journey.

Inside Family Office Fundamentals: Human Capital Matters

Are you considering a family office to protect your wealth for your children and future generations? Do you already have a family office and are considering succession planning either within the family or the family office itself? Or are you about to inherit a family office and need a practical guide to help you as you take on more responsibility?

Family Office Fundamentals provides a wealth of information and knowledge from leading lights within the family office ecosystem to help guide you through the process of establishing a family office, attracting and retaining the right talent to steer the ship and succession planning for your family office to ensure the long term success of your family office for generations to come. 

Mark Somers and the team have spent over a year writing, researching, and sourcing information for this book, interviewing over fifty contributors from the global family office ecosystem who have all infused their own thoughts and opinions into the pages of this book. As a result, it offers unrivalled insight into the inner workings of a family office, giving you an invaluable resource as you navigate your own family office journey.

A must-read book for Family Office Principals and professionals

Family Office Fundamentals: Human Capital Matters is essential reading for everyone in the family office ecosystem, but is particularly written to help:

1. Principals of family offices or wealth creators who are considering creating a family office will find this book invaluable. Family Office Fundamentals offers you step by step advice on creating and staffing your family office, including how to structure a family office, who to hire first and family office governance. We look at how neurodiversity can impact a family office and how the family office can support a neurodiverse Principal or family members to the benefit of all. 

2. Gen2 and beyond will find this book invaluable as you prepare to inherit your family office. You are in a unique position to shape the future of the family office and ensure your interests are considered whilst continuing to protect the wealth for future generations. Family Office Fundamentals will guide you through learning how a family office operates and the wide variety of investment opportunities available. It will also aid you in recruiting and retaining a family office team that will help you achieve your own vision for the family office.

3. Existing family office professionals
Whilst this book is essential reading for family office novices, it also has plenty to offer existing family office professionals. We have compiled quotes from a range of family office advisers, practitioners, subject matter experts and Principals themselves. As a result, it provides a glimpse at the variety between family offices and will prove to be a useful tool, you may be particularly interested in the chapter on compensation.

Simon R. Minder

“The book in front of you truly lives up to its title and contains the fundamental knowledge to successfully set up a family office. The publication is ground-breaking, as it also includes the topic of staffing, selection, and compensation, and contains useful advice and recommendations in this regard. In an age where it is increasingly difficult to find and retain talented personnel, it is imperative for families to be able to address this issue thoroughly. Thus, the book is a must-read for every family, family officer and family office advisor to master the heroic task of setting up a new family office, optimising existing family offices and ensuring their continued existence in the long term. Mark and his team have succeeded in guiding the reader through a challenging subject matter using illustrative examples and case studies. Congratulations to the author and his team.”

Anthony Simler

Founder, Weatherill Consulting; Chairman, ClearView Financial Media and Wisdom Council; NED, Fidelity Holdings UK and ComPeer

"Mark’s latest book “Family Office Fundamentals” is almost certainly the world’s leading authority on how to establish, structure, staff and run a single and multi- family offices. What is especially noteworthy about the book, is the sheer depth and breadth that the various subject matters are explored. This is no ordinary dry instruction manual; it has what all the best professional text books have – the human element. It is easy to read, entertaining, and fabulously rich with real life examples from people that really know their stuff. Anyone serious about entering this world, and for those already within it, this is close to compulsory reading; as there is much to learn and enjoy here for all. "

Adam Wethered

"It has been a pleasure to play a small part in Mark Somers’ ambitious project: “Family Office Fundamentals - Human Capital Matters”. Mark set himself an enormous task and has accomplished it handsomely. The book is insightful, intellectually rigorous, stimulating and practical. He sets out the map of the family office world, and guides us through it with care and aplomb. Broad and deep, the book is both comprehensive and engaging. I have no doubt it will be useful to anyone considering how to embark upon designing and creating, or reassessing and refreshing, the architecture and management of their family office arrangements."

About the author

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.

Back cover of Family Office Fundamentals: Human Capital Matters
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