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Ownership & Management of Family Business

Ownership & Management of Family Business

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Family is (hopefully) for life. If the family business starts to interfere negatively with the relationships in the family, then there is imbalance. Family businesses are challenging because of the overlapping of family, business and ownership (known as the “three circle model”). Researchers from Harvard have extended this into four “rooms” by adding in the board room. Because family members wear multiple hats, are in multiple circles, or sit in multiple rooms, they need an…

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Wealth and Happiness

Wealth & Happiness

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Q: If the world’s two richest men cannot keep their wives happy, what hope do we have? A: No, that’s not a real question – it’s a meme that circulated following the news of the divorce of Bill & Melinda Gates. Many people with wealth realise that money can’t make a wife (or anyone) happy, but that doesn’t stop them trying. In business, sometimes we decide to “throwing money at a problem”. That means directing significant resources…

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The Fear of Wealth Transfer

The Fear of Wealth Transfer

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Q: How do we protect the next generation from blowing our money? A: Stop right there. Whether you have created or inherited the wealth, the language of the question reeks of a power, control and mistrust dynamic. Many families either hang on to their wealth or setup structures to prevent their children from “blowing it” (which is often controlling from the grave). Yes, it’s awkward having discussions about estate planning and family wealth, and who wants to…

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Philanthropy - Covid and beyond

Philanthropy: COVID & beyond

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Many families struggle with the ‘why’ of their wealth. Defining a philanthropic strategy is a great way for a family to articulate a purpose for their wealth. However, only 20% of families have a formal process for doing so. At the start of COVID, there was concern that financial pressure on families would lead to a reduction in philanthropy. But in a recent survey, 43% of respondents said that the pandemic had not altered the…

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Megxit II The Interview

Megxit II: The Interview

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If you couldn’t bear to watch Megan Markle bare her soul to Oprah (or if you couldn’t look away from it, and from the endless commentary that followed), here are two practical things you can actually take from the latest episode of this saga: 1. There are serious challenges to growing up in a wealthy family with a public profile. The weight of expectations is heavy, and finding identity and meaning can be difficult. Marrying…

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Executive Board Succession Plan

Q&A: Board Succession Strategy

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Q: We have three non-family board members in their 70s on our family board. How should we handle moving them on? A: The composition of the family board is a careful balance between family members & independent voices, and maintaining regular turnover is very important. Often, families will establish a board with some family members, the family lawyer & accountant, and perhaps some other trusted advisors. But without due attention to the board composition, the group can…

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Succession Planning in Pandemic Times

Succession Planning in Pandemic Times

By | Articles, Familosophy, Featured Posts, LinkedIn, original, repost | No Comments

Abraham Lincoln famously said: “Don’t swap horses in the middle of the stream”. Is a global pandemic the best time to change leaders? Or is it better to avoid dramatic changes during uncertain times? While we’d like to be well prepared, and knowing that succession planning is a process rather than an event, families may find themselves needing to accelerate the process at these times. Unplanned transitions don’t have to inevitably end in disaster, but when they…

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Educating the Rising Generation

Educating the Rising Generation

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The Greek philosopher Plutarch asked: “People, where are you going? Doing everything to gain wealth, but not caring about your children, who will inherit it?” If the rising generation is supposed to take the responsibility of managing the family wealth, there should be enough time for them to learn and prepare. To avoid raising a bunch of “trust-fund kids”, the family needs to define clearly what they expect and invest time and resources to help…

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Conflict in Family Business

Conflict in Family Business

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Family business conflict is often over long-standing concerns relating to roles and contributions to the company as well as family issues like rivalry and jealousy, and can simmer just below the surface for decades. Nothing can undermine a successful family business faster than an unresolved conflict among its owners. One thing that distinguishes conflict in family businesses is that the owners make the rules and therefore can also break them. Family squabbles are usually highly…

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Nextgen Custodian of Wealth

Preparing NextGen Custodians of Significant Wealth

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How can families best prepare the rising generation for inheritance and/or joining the family business? Parents may reasonably worry about raising spoiled or entitled offspring, and may feel uncomfortable discussing topics like wills and trusts before their kids are mature enough to grasp such concepts. However, a failure to prepare children for the responsibilities that come with being a custodian of significant wealth is not in the best interest of the child or the assets….

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