Why Hire a Search Consultant
This added complexity has led to a new niche service provider: the consultant or OCIO search firm. These are sometimes referred to as “OCIO Search Consultants,” but we believe this terminology is confusing as consultants historically provide investment advice while OCIO search firms provide very targeted services to enable organizations to vet investment advice and implementation providers. We like to say, “don’t call us a consultant!” OCIO search firms exist to guide organizations through the search process, everything from designing the RFP and developing search criteria to identifying candidates and analyzing the responses. More than one-third (34%) of providers polled in a recent industry survey by Cerulli used a search firm, and this number continues to grow. They manage the entire project from start to finish, greatly simplifying this important fiduciary process for institutions.
Our Keys to a High Quality Search Firm
- Lack of conflicts of interest
- Independence - no OCIO or consulting services offered
- Investment experience
- Deep understanding of the industry
- Ownership by key professionals
Ten Questions to Ask Search Consultants
- Briefly describe your firm’s history and ownership structure.
- Describe your core business focus.
- What are the primary client types for which your firm provides consultant search services?
- How many searches have you performed in the past 2 years and for what types of asset pools? Provide 3 references from recent searches.
- Do you have any compensation agreements with any investment consultants, OCIOs, or money management firms that you include in searches? Are any such firms clients of your firm in any capacity?
- Do you provide investment consulting or OCIO services to institutions?
- Provide an overview of how you propose to lead our organization through the process, including identification of potential candidates, development of the RFP, and the review and evaluation of responses. Include a timeline.
- Provide brief biographies of key professionals that would be responsible for working with our organization.
- Describe your client service philosophy.
- What are your competitive advantages? What are your limitations?