Article with Merrill Center for Family Wealth

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

This past week 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 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 »

Race and the Field of Wealth

September 10, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

  *Note – as a white man I struggled with writing this blog post. Would I make a mistake, be insensitive, or offend, possibly in some way specific to my experience as a white male? Should I write it at all? For example, I needed to decide whether to use the term “African-American” or “Black.” I chose the latter based on feedback from three friends who identify as Black; two of them felt “African-American” was politically correct in a way Read more »

NY Times Quote – Client Interview

January 17, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

In the November 16, 2018 “Wealth Matters” column in the NY Times, Paul Sullivan wrote about his interview with me and one of my family clients. My thanks to Paul and a special thanks to the Buckwald family – David, Jennifer, Jack & Morgan for their openness (and for their hospitality to the Times photographer who became stranded at their home overnight in a snowstorm while David was stranded elsewhere and could not make it home until the next morning!) 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 »

Wealth, Privilege & Leadership

September 12, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Last month, Sam Walker, writing in The Wall Street Journal , took on the issue of privilege in the context of Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony on Capitol Hill. I am not going to offer my opinions here about Kavanaugh and the hearings; Walker did not either. What Walker did address is the issue of how growing up in an affluent and “rarefied upbringing” might affect perceptions of leaders and how well they actually lead, especially when leading diverse teams. Walker makes an interesting point about the unfair advantages children Read more »

A Candy Heir UPDATE

May 18, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My June 2017 blog entitled A Candy Heir, the NHL and Next-Gen Passion, was based on a NY Times article about Nello Ferrara, heir to the Ferrara Candy Company (think Red Hots and Lemonheads among others). A few weeks after I posted the blog, I got an email from Nello himself. He came across the blog and it resonated with him; he asked if I’d like to call him and chat. We had a great conversation about family business and hockey (two serious interests of mine) and Read more »

Parenting as Governance

February 27, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Governance can be intimidating to business families and legacy wealth families who may not have operating businesses any longer but share and manage complex assets. This is especially true if they have not educated themselves about good governance and committed themselves to it. Governance is crucial for achieving both long term business/financial success and family harmony. Simply put, governance is coming together and getting clear about how decisions will be made, who will be involved with making decisions and in Read more »

A Candy Heir, the NHL and Next-Gen Passion

June 8, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Two common scenarios I see frequently in my work with successful, enterprising families are members of the rising generation strong-armed into the family business when they are not all that interested, and by contrast, those allowed into the business when they do not contribute or allowed in at higher levels than where they can contribute productively. What’s often missed is early conversation within the family about the interests and passions of the rising generation, well before any decision is being Read more »