Last week I attended the Family Firm Institute (FFI) 25th Annual Conference in Boston. FFI is the premier organization in the family enterprise field for consultants, educators and researchers around the world. FFI has a great history and my colleagues and I who belong to FFI are highly committed to helping enterprising families. From the small group of interdisciplinary founders 25 years ago, to the growing organization with 450 attendees at this annual conference, FFI’s members strongly embody the values of sharing knowledge and working cooperatively across professions for the benefit of enterprising families.

The FFI mindset is valuable and stimulating to me. When I work cooperatively with an FFI colleague in another profession, on behalf of a family business client, I can be confident that we will both maintain a balanced understanding of family and enterprise and how they relate. Neither will be emphasized at the expense of the other. My FFI colleagues have a special sensitivity to and knowledge of the family business environment and how professionals can effectively collaborate within it. Families get so much more from their professional advisors when they have this mindset.

On November 10th, I will be presenting a family business case at a breakfast meeting (in Philadelphia) of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of FFI. I’ll present with my colleagues Bob Louis, an attorney at Saul Ewing, and Alan Scharfstein, an investment banker and President of The Dak Group. You’ll find the case very interesting as it has elements of family and business (no surprise there) as well as positive collaboration between professionals and collaboration gone unfortunately awry.

If you are unfamiliar with FFI, this will be a great opportunity to learn more about the FFI mindset and us. Whether or not you are already a member or are familiar with us, please consider joining us.

FFI Mid-Atlantic Chapter Breakfast Meeting – November 10, 2011