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 […]