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why communication is important

Why communication is important

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Research has shown that 60 per cent of failed intergenerational family wealth transition are due to problems with trust or communication. Communication isn’t important in families. It is everything. If a family cannot communicate, it cannot function as a group. It’s that simple. What does poor communication look like? An absence or lack of communication (e.g. “it’s none of their business”, “they don’t need to know”, “we know what is best for them”) is patronising, infantilising,…

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Cultivating Entrepreneurship

Cultivating Entrepreneurship

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Not every entrepreneurship story is “rags to riches”. Many high-flying entrepreneurs came from from upper-middle-class families. While they don’t owe their success entirely to mom and dad, without their parents’ help, be it financial or otherwise, they may have never gotten their ventures off the ground. Research has shown that 75% of entrepreneurs from 48 countries said that their family was involved in starting their businesses. Family money and background plays a critical role when it…

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non-blood-family-business

Family Business – blood non-blood

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Unless your family business is a “mom & pop corner store” (which is more akin to owning a job than owning a business anyway), you will need to have a mix of ‘blood’ and ‘non-blood’ people working in it. As any business matures and grows, there becomes a need for professionalisation and systemisation. While owners may put a high value on the people in the business (especially family), the true value created in any business…

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The problem with Boomers

The Problem with Boomers

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A while back this viral meme swept the internet. “OK, Boomer” is/was the response of younger people to complaints by older people about their behaviour and attitudes. Readers of this newsletter may know my attitude to the whole “generation wars” narrative – it’s a load of crap and we shouldn’t get caught up in it. Older people have been complaining about younger people for as long as there have been multiple generations on this earth,…

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Keys to Transition Family Business

Keys to Family Business Transition

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“How to transition the family business to the next generation?” The answer depends on (a) who is asking (incumbent or rising generation) and (b) when (in the life-cycle of the business) they are asking. More often than not, the question is raised too late – when the incumbent generation is thinking of retirement, when there are already unstated expectations from both generations, and when there is already latent conflict. The key ingredients to a successful…

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Inheritance or Purpose

Inheritance or Purpose?

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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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Lets Talk About Family Wealth 2

Let’s Talk About Family Wealth

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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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Trust; Family vs Business

Trust; Family vs Business

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Can you have the best of both worlds? Family businesses have to tread a fine line: they must compete like any business, while also maintaining harmony amongst the family – both those who are involved in the family business and those who are not. There are a few common themes that help families maintain this balance: 1. Trust is essential, and what builds trust are good communication and transparency. Anywhere information is not provided, people…

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Family Business Socioemotional Wealth

Family business socioemotional wealth

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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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Politics of Boomers and Millenials

Generational Politics of Millennials & Boomers

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While I abhor the “generation wars” narrative that pops up regularly, the article below is about a novel – Boomer1 by Daniel Torday – that captures this generation wars zeitgeist, and tells the story of a frustrated millenial who takes his fight to the internet, complaining about boomers who refuse to retire and make jobs available to those of his generation. The article makes some great points about this ongoing debate, and postulates as to…

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