Family Business Consulting Case Studies

Family Business Transition – Third Generation to Fourth Generation & Beyond

When families commit to keeping a business in the family beyond the infamous third generation (“the first generation creates, the second grows, the third dissipates,” as the saying goes) it is essential to have a common vision, keep communication open among a complex array of stakeholders, and address issues of perceived fairness with transparency. Read full case »

Purposeful Legacy Family Project – Raising Children and Intentional Family Development in a Wealth Context

Parenting in any context has its challenges and opportunities. When a family has significant wealth, parenting is more complex and intense. Preparing the next generation of stewards ideally starts with couples before they have children and at a minimum doing the right things during the first few years of a child’s life. Whether starting that early or later in childhood, teens or beyond, there are many positive and productive ways to start the conversation and create realistic expectations that greatly help avoid problems. A key element for parents to keep in mind: this is not a one-time conversation but a long-term process of healthy development of children, and the family as a whole – in a special context. Read full case »

Sibling Conflict and Old Ghosts Prevent Sale of Family Business

A variety of diverse and necessary professionals become deeply involved in the process of helping a family sell their business. Many of the elements are technical and involve accountants, lawyers, merger and acquisition specialists, financial advisors and others who need to work collaboratively as a team. The interplay of family dynamics/relationships with family business/wealth is a critical piece of the puzzle and can stymie a lucrative sale even when more technical elements have been deftly handled by other professionals. Enlightened professionals know experts in family facilitation and reach out for help and guidance even if it means setting aside their services for a time. They realize this is in the best interests of their family clients and, critically, is most likely to help clients achieve their goals. Read full case »

Family Dynamics Expertise Helps Professionals Attract and Engage Wealthy Families and Family Businesses

There are many excellent accountants, attorneys, wealth managers and other allied professionals who do a great job for their family clients. It can be hard to stand out when competing for business. Wealthy families and families with operating businesses have special needs and when professionals ally themselves with outside expertise, they differentiate themselves from the competition and better connect with prospective family clients. Read full case »

New York Real Estate Family Struggles to Transition Business to Next Generation

Immigrants, and in general all parents who work very hard to accumulate wealth, often want to see their offspring benefit from that wealth and own and manage it together. However, when there is a priority on minimizing taxes and less focus on finding out if the next generation wants to work together and has the interest and capability to take it on, problems often ensue. These problems can dissipate assets and engender resentment and tension in the family – putting the welfare of both at risk. Read full case »

Family Business Transition – Founder and Wife to Son and Daughter

Transitioning a family business takes more than occasionally saying in passing “someday this will all be yours.” As soon as the next generation enters the business there must be a focus on assessing desire to own and lead in the future, along with specific milestones that, when achieved, trigger transparent and agreed-upon progressive steps toward formal transition. The rising generation also needs opportunities, as earned, to take on increasingly more responsibility and to have input into strategy. Active development, frequent communication and trust-building behaviors are essential. It is often critical for the senior generation to develop interests outside the business that has taken most or all of their time for many years. Read full case »

*Identifying details have been changed to protect client privacy.