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Entrepreneurial Legacy

Entrepreneurial Legacy

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Most wealth is created through entrepreneurship: taking a risk to start a business, and growing that business. Some families with generationally “old” money (i.e. more than 3-4 generations removed from the wealth creator) may have their family wealth in passive assets, and the entrepreneurial spirit that created it is long gone from memory, sometimes irretrievably lost. For families that hold (or acquire) operating assets, it’s important to maintain that entrepreneurial spirit in subsequent generations, but…

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Retire Boomer

Time to Retire, ‘Boomer’

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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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Give it a Break. Family Business competition.

Give it a Break; 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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Value Drivers and Outside Perspective

Value Drivers and Outside Perspective

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While the family business may be delivering good returns, how much is it actually worth? Often, family members are disappointed that the market value does not reflect a large enough multiple, because they are unable to look at the business as an outsider (and potential buyer) would. The first article has some classic ‘value drivers’ expressed in terms of growth and risk reduction. What I think this is missing from this model is the most…

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Next Generation Not Interested in Taking Over Family Business

No Thank You! Not for Me.

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A common challenge for family businesses is when the rising generation have no interest in taking over. This can be especially common in sectors like manufacturing or farming which may be considered an attractive or exciting career path for younger family members to join. There are two concerns for the family members currently in control: (a) who will look after the business? (b) who will look after the customers? Both of these are important, because…

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Wealth to Millenials

What is the most valuable thing you can give your children?

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As a wealthy family, one sure way to find out the answer is to ask (too often parents don’t bother). According to a Wells-Fargo survey of Millennials, more than 90% of children say they want to inherit their parents’ values, not their wealth. Some 84% want top sustain and build on their family’s legacy. This should be very heartening news for parents. In a previous newsletter, I mentioned the relative importance of education and networks…

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diversified wealth or succession

Diversified Wealth or Succession?

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What proportion of your family wealth is tied up in the operating family business? According to Camden Research’s recent report, succession is a greater priority for families than wealth preservation. Of the two, succession is surely the harder to achieve. While we all push cliches and statistics about the survival of family businesses over three generations, perhaps we should be broadening our perspective? A family operating business is one store of wealth for a family,…

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Family Business Advisor

What Advice do you Need?

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When it comes to advisors, I have two simple rules: Get good advisors Listen to them Family advisors need additional skills because they must work with the various members or governance structures of a family, and key people & structures may change with time. They need to know about communication, in order to help the family members themselves communicate well. They need to understand family dynamics, and get to know the ins and outs of…

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Values are Foundation to Success

Values are the Foundation of a Successful Family Business Transition

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How to maintain family wealth through generations? Get the best financial advisors and managers for operating assets? Other things are more important. Families of wealth must learn how to work together in the sharing of assets. A key part of that is to integrate their wealth management with their values. That means the values need to be articulated within the family. Then, the family needs clear and open dialogue discussing values as well as financial…

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Charitable Habits of the Next Generation of Givers

Charitable Habits of The Next Generation of Givers

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Philanthropy can be a great way to engage different generations in a wealthy family, and for family members to find purpose where there is no imperative for paid employment. It’s worth keeping in mind the intergenerational differences and trends in giving so that the family giving experience can be as positive as possible. The Blackbaud Institute’s report on the next generation of American giving has some useful insights. Giving priorities differ by generations, but health,…

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