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David Werdiger's Familosophy

Succession Planning – What Next?

We’ve previously discussed the effect of increasing life expectancy on wealth transition – the ‘problem’ of the ageing family member who refuses to step aside is more prevalent than ever (the popular TV series Succession makes for great watching on this topic).

Traditionally, roles within families have very long tenure, For someone who has been managing the family wealth for many years, the thought of leaving a job they have become very good at can leave a huge void in their lives. The easy option is to leave things as they are. What can help is for older family members to have something to look forward to beyond their lives in the family’s operating businesses or family office.

This might be a shift to the family foundation (such as Bill Gates), a move into politics (Amo Houghton from Corning), or a more structured ‘statesman’ role working with the next generations (in their own or other families).

Having new roles they can look forward to is good for both the current and rising generation, and can avoid the fear associated with starting a ‘new career’ in middle age.

Consider This: What is your family’s history and attitude to how (or if) elder members step aside? Is retirement considered taboo? Have family members in their 50s and 60s thought about possible second careers?

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Here is more on reading on succession planning

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