Articles Archives - David Werdiger
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Common Challenges in a Family Business

Common Challenges in Family Business

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Studying failure is far better than studying success because it’s easier to avoid doing the wrong things than mimic the good that others are doing. Here are some of the ways things can go awry: Families and businesses don’t grow at the same rate. From the third (and sometimes second) generation onwards, the family often grows faster than the business. What happens if many family members look to the business for employment or supplementary income?…

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The Principles of Governance

The Principles of Governance

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In times of chaos, economic uncertainty, and the crushing burden to lead the family’s assets out of the fire, the need for governance grows even stronger.  Too many families consider family governance as a side dish – a pesky bug that wants to take away all the attention and resources from the main priorities which are revenues and operations. There is also an emotional side to effective family governance which is often overlooked by the…

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Social Well-being. of Rising Gen Philanthropy

The Social Well-Being of Rising Gen Philanthropy

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There are very different generational attitudes to philanthropy in families. While previous generations saw philanthropy as “giving money to non-profits”, the rising generation of wealthy individuals has broadened and redefined the term, considering it to be “the action of transforming others’ social well-being through generosity”. The rising generation is more engaged and involved in philanthropic endeavors, and do so at earlier ages than their predecessors. They’re also motivated by the value propositions behind sustainable and…

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Succession Planning in Pandemic Times

Succession Planning in Pandemic Times

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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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Considerations for the New Virtual family Office

Considerations for the New Virtual Family Office

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A family office is usually structured around the individual needs and preferences of the family involved, and an increase in private wealth is fostering the creation of more and more single family offices (SFOs). The space is shifting rapidly, and with it comes the changing face of the family office and new definitions of what this means. One pervasive mistake is not developing a deep understanding of the goals, objectives and agendas of the wealthy…

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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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Family Office Advisors Succession

Family Office Advisor Succession

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Financial advisors are an ‘old’ bunch – with an average age in their mid-50s and a big bulge of advisors now in their 60s and 70s. If that didn’t already pose a risk to their clients, the COVID-induced recession means that many of them will leave sooner than expected – either by choice or otherwise – and may choose to retire completely in the current economic environment. Merrill Lynch, perhaps in response to both issues,…

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How has your family business responded to the COVID crisis?

How has your family business responded to the COVID 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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