Ethical Wills – Share Your Love and Wisdom!

August 13, 2020Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting

Several years ago, I wrote about ethical wills. While they sound “legal”, they are not legal documents at all. An ethical will is a letter to children, grandchildren, really any loved ones, written to express wisdom, values, life lessons. It is a way to transfer non-financial/non-material wealth. Best shared when the writer is still alive, there can be invaluable interaction between the writer and recipients. I found the process of writing my own (shared in the blog several years ago) Read more »

Article with Merrill Center for Family Wealth

May 27, 2020Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I consulted with a grandfather who achieved a high level of financial success (and also had a lot of emotional intelligence and love for his family) and with his daughter and her husband who have a two and a half year-old. The grandfather attended a workshop I gave about raising children in a family business/wealth context and thought his daughter and son-in-law would benefit from some ideas and coaching. The daughter said early on in the conversation more or less, Read more »

Kids and the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 18, 2020Family Business Consulting

Young children are so capable of understanding complex ideas and feelings if you communicate and interact on their level. Parents who haven’t taken the time or effort to properly introduce their children to the realities of the family business inadvertently sow the seeds for later problems. Many of the tragic situations I run into in the world of family businesses could have been managed and even prevented with some thoughtful parenting. One of my favorite speaking, writing, and coaching topics Read more »

Coronavirus and Family Business

March 25, 2020Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My family business clients all have various amounts of what every family has: closeness and harmony, as well as distance and conflict, to name a few elements. And, they share various levels of involvement in a business – leadership, management, ownership, or simply working there to see if that is what they want for the coming decades. Being tightly connected to family can put a smile on your face, or a pit in your stomach – and sometimes both. I Read more »

Rock ‘N Roll & Family Business (Neil Peart)

January 19, 2020Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

If you’ve read any of these posts over the years, you know I like to connect rock music and family business one way or another. Earlier this month elite rock drummer Neil Peart, of Rush fame, died. I’ve been a Rush fan since 1980 and have been mesmerized by the speed and complexity of Peart’s drumming and the deep, meaningful lyrics for which he was mainly responsible. Often known as “nerd rock” or “cerebral rock,” Rush quoted Shakespeare and Ayn Read more »

Thanksgiving in August???

November 26, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Friends and Colleagues, The Thanksgiving/holiday season is upon us and I have made a donation in honor of all of you to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). Rather than cards or pies or gifts (which are all really cool) I decided to write to you here and send money to TASK to make an impact on the issue of hunger – an area important to me. I’ve been volunteering monthly for over 10 years at TASK and am always moved by how the Read more »

Jeff Interviewed by Jane Scaccetti

October 24, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Jeff was interviewed by Jane Scaccetti of Drucker and Scaccetti – “The Tax Warriors .” Really more of a conversation between friends, sprinkled with great questions from attendees, they discussed wealth transfers within families. Please have a listen . Among the most significant insights for attendees was how early this process can begin and how little focus on “money” is necessary to set a solid foundation. As far as starting early, an example was given of how NOT to talk to a four-year-old about a family business (and how TO do Read more »

Rock Bands and Family Business

May 20, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I am a fan of rock music and family business. When I find ways to combine the two, I do so. One of my most popular and best-received workshops for business families and the advisors who serve them uses clips from the Metallica documentary “ Some Kind of Monster ” ( available on Netflix ) to demonstrate the challenges and opportunities of the interplay of family and business. While not blood-related, the Metallica band members exemplify family ties. The emotional intensity of family closeness and the economic, Read more »

The Conversation

November 16, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I recently received a referral from an attorney I’ve known for years. The referral was for a married couple who were both children of immigrants who valued education and had earned PhD degrees in science. They started a company that became wildly successful in terms of financial success and respect from colleagues and investors. The couple sold it for a large sum and when they decided to start another company, investors swooned and supplied cash. The couple had been having Read more »

Sharp Knives & Fire

October 26, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My friend and colleague Pierre duPont, Partner at HPM Partners in New York City, recently wrote a great piece entitled, “Raising Children Into Wealth – Hungry, Productive and Compassionate.” I hope you will read it. One of his points really resonated with me and brought to mind the work I do coaching parents with significant wealth and working with them and their kids together: “…show your children that life is not about the things in it but about the people in it and the individual moments lived and shared. Money can sometimes enhance those, but Read more »