succession risk assessment Archives - David Werdiger
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succession risk assessment Archives - David Werdiger

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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The Great Family Business Divide

The Great Family Business Divide; Ownership vs Management

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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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The legacy of the Entrepreneur

The Legacy of the Entrepreneur

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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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