Can You Avoid Conflict of Interest and Have the Family Office CFO on the Investment Committee?

Yes. Conflicts of interest of this type come up all the time. You shouldn’t try to avoid conflicts, because they’re impossible to avoid. At some point, they will come up. The way to handle a conflict is to be trained about what may come up, to be very clear about disclosing them, and to make sure that disinterested, non-conflicted people are approving things.

So, having someone who is conflicted on the committee is not problematic. You just need to make sure there are enough people who aren’t in that conflict situation, so that they can make the decisions when the conflicted person recuses themselves from the vote.

There is no way to completely avoid all conflicts. If the most qualified, knowledgeable person is conflicted, you should have them there, but not let them participate in the vote.

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Self-Dealing and Conflicts of Interest

This Content Collection defines conflict of interest and self-dealing in family philanthropy, and highlights the most common problem areas, including: excessive compensation, tickets to fundraising events, and overlapping board members.

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