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conflict resolution in family business Archives - Page 20 of 23 - David Werdiger

Generational thinking about wealth

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Wealthy people broadly come in two flavours – wealth creators and wealth inheritors – and each have very different characteristics. Attitudes to money and wealth are usually established as we grow up and largely remain with us for the duration of our lives. Creators often grow up without a lot of money and therefore have different attitudes to spending and the value of a dollar, are uncomfortable talking about it with their children, and often…

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Family conflict: about the money?

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The conflicts that take place within wealthy families are often on display through the media as a result of their public profiles (and because people want to read about them). For outsiders, they can be hard to understand: What are they fighting about? Surely there is enough there for everyone? But in fact, wealthy families have all the same family issues as others: sibling rivalries, favouritism, jealousy, power struggles, and the search for identity. The…

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How not to sell a Family Business

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0% of all businesses do not sell, and only about 30% of family businesses get handed down to the next generation. If it doesn’t sell and isn’t passed down, what happens? Typically, they die a “slow death”, or are liquidated. Understanding why businesses don’t sell is the key to maximising the value of your own family business. Many family businesses are “lifestyle” businesses – they deliver cash to the family, but are starved of the…

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Sudden Wealth

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Coming into wealth suddenly – such as through inheritance or a windfall liquidity event of a family business – can carry serious risks. The rapid change in financial circumstance can lead to poor decision-making, a loss of perspective, and social isolation. It can lead to a dysfunctional relationship with money/wealth. In the case of inheritance, there can be mixed or conflicting emotions of loss and gain. It can be like winning the lottery, and research…

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Talking about it

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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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Giving it away

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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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‘Bonus’ wealth from family business

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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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The e-word

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The e-word – “entitlement” – comes up in almost every presentation or lecture I give, and in many family discussions. It has become almost a dirty word when it comes to family wealth – something to be avoided at all cost. “How can I prevent my children from becoming entitled?” is what most every parent wants to know. When it comes to family business, limiting the negative impact of entitlement can be achieved by instilling…

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‘Retire, bitch’

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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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Family vs Business

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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. Can you have the best of both worlds? 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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