Familosophy Archives - David Werdiger
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Familosophy

Family Business During Crisis

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During a crisis, having a family business can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, there are often family elders with experience in overcoming previous recessions, support from the family unit, and the fact that family businesses tend to be more risk averse and therefore in a better position to weather the storm. But some of those very attributes can also manifest as weaknesses. For example, family businesses have a concern for a wide range…

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80-20-rule

80/20 Rule and the Family Business

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A “universal truth” about the imbalance of inputs and outputs is what became known as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. While it doesn’t always come to be an exact 80/20 ratio, this imbalance is often seen in various business cases, Here we will address how not to sell a family business. 0% of all businesses do not sell, and only about 30% of family businesses get handed down to the next generation. If…

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The Flipside to Wealth

The Flipside to Wealth

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This is a difficult topic to broach, and needs to be done only in appropriate settings – indeed, that might be the most important message of this topic. After the story of BMW heiress Susanne Klatten went public, she was slammed on social media. Her personal challenges – the responsibility, self-doubt, and being targeted by scammers – are real. But it’s very hard for anyone brought up without wealth to have any sympathy (and often it’s the reverse), so seeking it from ‘outsiders’ is almost a waste of time.

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Unexpected Wealth by David Werdiger

Unexpected Wealth

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Coming into wealth suddenly – such as through inheritance or a windfall liquidity event of a family business – can carry serious risks. The rapid change in financial circumstance can lead to poor decision-making, a loss of perspective, and social isolation. It can lead to a dysfunctional relationship with money/wealth. In the case of inheritance, there can be mixed or conflicting emotions of loss and gain. It can be like winning the lottery, and research…

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Climate Change Charitable Giving

Trends in Charitable Giving vs. Inheritance

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The challenges of bringing up children with wealth are predicated on the idea that said wealth will transition to said children. But what if it won’t? Some families are thinking more about giving away the bulk or almost all of the family wealth to charity. In the US, families are talking about giving a maximum of $15M to each child (and the rest to charity). There are different reasons driving this (don’t want to leave…

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Public face of a Family Business

Public Face of a Family Business

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One of the biggest challenges in wealthy families is when/how to talk about the family wealth to children. There are a number of factors to consider: 1. Being aware of other ways children will learn about it themselves, e.g. from the media, direct research, and from friends (it’s a bit like sex education). Would you rather your children find out about the family wealth from reports and rumours that are laden with assumptions? It’s better…

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Family Values under COVID-19 Pressure by David Werdiger

Family Values Under COVID-19 Pressure

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Imagine this scenario: a family owns an operating business, with a non-family member as CEO. In response to COVID-19, the CEO takes the necessary actions to ensure the business’s survival. That might mean cutting staff, closing stores, or putting harsh terms on suppliers/customers. The business is stabilised and able to return to a stable footing through the crisis. But something is amiss – there is a discomfort among family members about some of the specific…

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Too Much Entitlement? by David Werdiger

Too Much Entitlement?

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The e-word – “entitlement” – comes up in almost every presentation or lecture I give, and in many family discussions. It has become almost a dirty word when it comes to family wealth – something to be avoided at all cost. “How can I prevent my children from becoming entitled?” is what most every parent wants to know. When it comes to family business, limiting the negative impact of entitlement can be achieved by instilling…

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Social Capital in Family Business

Social capital in family business

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A ‘family business’ is more than just a business owned and operated by a family. In addition to being a vehicle of wealth creation and entrepreneurship for the family, these businesses can bring other non-financial benefits – known as “socioemotional wealth” or “social capital” – to family members. Being part of the family enterprises brings feelings of pride, personal reward and satisfaction, and can constitute a part of family members’ identity. These additional intangibles are…

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Family Governance

Family governance: why? when?

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When family wealth is controlled or owned by a single person (usually the wealth creator), things are simple. But at some point, the wealth will likely pass to more than one person – the wealth creator’s children. In respect of the family wealth, the members of the family are bound together through three circles of involvement: family, business and ownership. That adds a huge degree of complexity, as no decision gets made in isolation. Strong…

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