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 »

Start Younger Than You Think

October 20, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Many years ago (and unfortunately still to some degree today) heirs had to wait for someone to die before finding out what they would inherit, with whom they would own a business or other assets, and what role they would be expected to play.  This often happened with little teaching and development to lay a healthy foundation for this intense experience and how to manage the technical, emotional and relational effects. Also, often lacking are conversations with the inheritor(s) to Read more »

The Power of Failure (Patti Smith and Adele)

February 28, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

If you’ve been reading my blog over time, you’ll know that I like to relate my posts to famous musicians. Keep reading to see how Patti Smith and Adele fit into this month’s post. I work with families that want their wealth to serve current and future generations in healthy and productive ways. Some family clients have active operating businesses and others have legacy wealth and in both cases the assets are often complex. Regardless of the form the wealth Read more »

Equal or Fair: Part III

October 24, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

A recurring and extremely useful conversation I facilitate with the financially fortunate families I work with centers on the concepts of “equal” and “fair.” Earlier blogs addressed the interplay of these concepts in July 2011 and September 2011 and I share a more personal experience about them in this column. Recently, I had a conversation with my mom that exemplifies the need for families to discuss these ideas and the positive outcomes possible. I share the conversation with permission of my mom, dad and Read more »

Best of Intentions

August 29, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Most parents have the best of intentions when it comes to their kids – yet some of the things parents do with a good heart backfire. I’ve seen well-intentioned parents buy new and expensive cars for their kids upon getting a driver’s license. They do it out of love, generosity, or sometimes a desire for the child to have things the parent never had or had to work very hard to obtain. Sometimes this works out well and sometimes it Read more »

Children of the 1%

April 27, 2016Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I realize there may not be widespread empathy for the challenges and issues facing children of wealthy families, and especially children of the so-called 1% – those in the upper 1% of household wealth.  However, I would like to give voice to an issue wealthy parents should be thinking about and finding ways to speak to their kids about: the strong bias against children of the wealthy.  This does not necessarily mean only the ultra-high net worth or even high Read more »

Raising a Two-Year-Old Millionaire: Please, Thank-You, I’m Sorry and the Golden Sippy-Cup Rule

April 29, 2015Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

For legacy families and financially successful business families thinking about having kids or actively raising them, there are almost always concerns about children becoming spoiled, lazy, self-absorbed and – the grand fear of all – entitled. Truth is, pretty much every parent wants to avoid these things -regardless of financial resources. What poor, working-class and middle-class parents have on their side is the fact that there is simply not enough money for kids to do nothing at all. Wealthy families, Read more »