This article originally published in Corp! Magazine, October 17, 2019 Sitting in a study group dedicated to family business, I was surprised to learn how far some will go to equally divide their estate. One of the participants in the group, a psychologist, said their father had kept a lifelong ledger of what he had […]
This article originally published in Corp! Magazine, May 2019 Professional athletes often extend their careers beyond their prime. Sometimes they even get to a point known as “punch drunk.” Maybe it’s because of money, celebrity, career goals, or nothing in the “what’s next” column. Regardless, supporters look at those athletes as playing too long to […]
This article originally published in Corp! Magazine, September/October 2018 Especially in a family business, the single best way to avoid conflict is to anticipate issues and resolve matters before the proverbial pot boils over. When times are good, the tendency is to put conflict on the back burner and let it simmer. The longer it […]
This article originally published in Corp! Magazine, 6/7/2018 Governance is a gigantic concept that encompasses global issues down to family dynamics. Examples might be: who determines if a war crime has been committed, or who is going to do the dishes. When you boil it down, it’s about how decisions are made. Whether it is […]
This article originally published in Corp! Magazine, 3/29/2018 T.S. Eliot was a famed twentieth-century British poet known for insightful quotes. My personal favorite is: “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.” Everything ends, and perhaps its corollary is that “change is inevitable.” So it goes with family business […]
This article originally published in Corp! Magazine, 2/22/2018 It was a crisis! The holidays were in full bloom when the family received the news of a potentially fatal prognosis due to a rare disease. Although the patriarch looked like the picture of health at 68, he had been having some unusual symptoms that sent him […]
There is no relationship in life longer than that of siblings. And, like today’s families, sibships come in all shapes and sizes. The classic nuclear family has diminished in the past decades, due to divorce, remarriage and parenting out of wedlock. So now we have more half-sibs, step-sibs and sibs by adoption. In addition, second and third marriages have created large gaps in sibling ages.
How does the fact that siblings share common parents in some form affect a family business? Here are some suggestions to make sibling management teams effective.
Let’s start by defining a family business. The classic definition is a business where a single-family lineage has ownership control, is active in management and involves multiple generations. But some of those boundaries have become blurred. What about blended families? How about publicly traded companies? Would siblings who used “family money” for startup capital fit? […]
During a prospective client meeting with a family business beginning to transition to third generation, it became clear that there were decades of issues to be addressed. Dad’s estate plan had considered the inactivity of his one daughter in the family business and she inherited non-business assets equal to the value of 25 percent of […]
Here’s the thing… good planning avoids conflict. But, good planning is much more than asset allocation. Advisors implore their clients to plan for the future. They often use disturbing techniques like horror stories of deplorable outcomes due to a lack of planning. Usually the disturbing track is about a loss of money either to the […]