Equal or Fair Part II: How Do You Determine What’s “Fair”?

September 12, 2011Family Wealth Consulting

Last issue I wrote about the difference between “equal” and “fair” and shared a current case situation (Family Business Minute – July 2011). A number of colleagues inquired about what guides me in determining what’s fair; here are my thoughts on this interesting question. In a nutshell, I use my knowledge of and insight into the family to help them discover their own fair. The tricky part is getting the Matriarch/Patriarch/Parents/Grandparents to open up a discussion within the family about Read more »

Equal or Fair: Which Is Better?

July 12, 2011Family Wealth Consulting

Splitting a pie into three pieces all the same size and giving a slice to each of your three kids is EQUAL treatment. Slicing the same pie the same way and giving two slices to your very hungry youngest child, one to your moderately hungry middle child, and none to your oldest child (who has told you he/she is not hungry and would be okay giving his/her slice to the youngest) is FAIR treatment. An attorney friend called yesterday to Read more »

“Family-Influenced, Trans-Generational Wealth Creation”, Today’s Question: The Same or Different?

June 12, 2011Family Wealth Consulting

In their 2002 article*, Habbershon and Pistrui coin the term “family-influenced, trans-generational wealth creation.” They distinguish their concept from the traditional notion of “family business” which usually connotes several generations of a family passing down a single business from generation to generation, within the family, sometimes building it along the way. They argue that for families with trans-generational wealth creation as a goal, an entrepreneurial sense is essential, and that being wedded to one business entity (and the founder’s legacy) Read more »

Paul Cézanne, Esquire???

May 12, 2011Family Wealth Consulting

Last year I went to a Paul Cézanne exhibit in Philadelphia and was surprised to learn that this famous artist struggled to pursue his passion against his father’s wishes. His father, a successful banker, insisted that Paul attend law school rather than pursue painting. Paul did attend law school for a couple of years before abandoning that path and defiantly moving to Paris causing a rift between father and son. Eventually, Paul’s father came to realize the importance of his Read more »

Snow, Sledding, Siblings – and the Family Business

March 12, 2011Family Wealth Consulting

Here in the Northeast, the snow has finally melted enough that I can bear to write about it and I no longer feel the shovel-induced aches in my back. During one of several days when our sons’ school was closed due to snow, I took them sledding. While sitting at the top of the hill I noticed a mom pull up and four kids got out of her minivan. The oldest, a girl who seemed to be about 16, was Read more »