family business Archives - David Werdiger
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family business Archives - David Werdiger

Climate Change Charitable Giving

Trends in Charitable Giving vs. Inheritance

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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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Public face of a Family Business

Public Face of a Family Business

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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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Family Values under COVID-19 Pressure by David Werdiger

Family Values Under COVID-19 Pressure

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Imagine this scenario: a family owns an operating business, with a non-family member as CEO. In response to COVID-19, the CEO takes the necessary actions to ensure the business’s survival. That might mean cutting staff, closing stores, or putting harsh terms on suppliers/customers. The business is stabilised and able to return to a stable footing through the crisis. But something is amiss – there is a discomfort among family members about some of the specific…

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Too Much Entitlement? by David Werdiger

Too Much Entitlement?

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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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Social Capital in Family Business

Social capital in 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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Family Governance

Family governance: why? when?

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When family wealth is controlled or owned by a single person (usually the wealth creator), things are simple. But at some point, the wealth will likely pass to more than one person – the wealth creator’s children. In respect of the family wealth, the members of the family are bound together through three circles of involvement: family, business and ownership. That adds a huge degree of complexity, as no decision gets made in isolation. Strong…

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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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