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Author: Contributor

Have the contributions that lawyers can make to family governance discussion been undervalued? So says this week’s contributor, Henry Krasnow, in a thought-provoking piece exploring how family business consultants can collaborate more productively with the company’s attorney.

Panta rhei. Everything flows and evolves. And family businesses are no exception. From the first-generation founder firm to a real family firm in later generations, and from a single business firm to a complex portfolio business. In some instances, that transition in the family firm – from one to many businesses – happens rather suddenly, in a revolutionary way. Such transformations usually require a few key elements: a natural entrepreneur in the later generations of the family and… a major liquidity event that financially enables the transformation. Marta Widz and

How do the personalities differ between family and nonfamily CEOs and what impact could this difference have on the performance of family businesses? In this week’s edition, Kim Schneider Malek reexamines the popular argument about family and nonfamily CEOs through her précis of “CEO Personality: A Different Perspective on the Nonfamily Versus Family CEO Debate,” an article appearing the March 2019 issue of FBR.

Thank you to Núria Vilanova, this week’s contributor, for continuing FFI Practitioner’s series of articles written in both English and Spanish by members of the FFI IberoAmerican Virtual Study Group. In this week’s edition, Núria explores the themes of her recent book, which addresses the importance of family enterprises implementing a communication strategy that incorporates the family’s values.

Thank you to this week's contributor, Janice DiPietro, for making this thought-provoking case for family-to-family investing. The article explores investing strategies for family-owned enterprises that can create three important opportunities for both entities involved.

This week’s FFI Practitioner focuses on buy-sell agreements and their role in protecting family enterprise from potential future ownership issues. Thanks to Dan Frosh, this week’s author, for providing an examination of the numerous benefits and features of effective buy-sell agreements within the family enterprise context.

This week, FFI Practitioner is pleased to share an interview with Dr. Salvatore Tomaselli, where he explains the development of his Family-in-Business Model Canvas, an adaptation of the Business Model Canvas, that Dr. Tomaselli has applied to his work with family enterprises.

Family business cases can serve as powerful tools to integrate into consulting and educational work with clients. Cases provide an engaging way for family enterprise members to recognize issues similar to the ones they face, helping evaluate potential, less emotionally-charged solutions. To further this publication’s mission to provide readers with practical materials that support their work with multi-generational family enterprises, we are pleased to feature a selection of family business cases previously published in FFI Practitioner.

This week’s FFI Practitioner edition addresses a topic of importance in the field of family enterprise – the family office. In addition to an article examining the history of the role of a family office executive by Annischka Holmes-Moncur, we are pleased to share four global perspectives on this topic as published earlier in FFI Practitioner.

How can relationship conflict and socioemotional costs impact a family business owner’s subjective assessment of the firm’s value? In this week’s edition, which is a précis of “Relationship Conflict, Family Name Congruence, and Socioemotional Wealth in Family Firms,” an article appearing in the December issue of FBR, Navneet Bhatnagar explores this question and the relevant implications for practitioners.

Thanks to Gaia Marchisio for this week’s article which discusses the importance of recognizing and addressing strong beliefs about “universal truths” and misconceptions in the field of family enterprise. In this article, Gaia urges advisers to avoid becoming too narrow-minded and entrenched in an established way of thinking. Instead, she encourages advisers to maintain an outsider’s perspective on conventional family business truths that are often taken for granted.

Thanks to Chris Casey for sharing his thoughts on what success means in family firms and some of the difficulties he encountered as he worked on his dissertation “Defining success in family firms using configurational fit: A quantitative study of family-owned construction firms” from Capella University.


This week’s FFI Practitioner addresses an often overlooked, but critical phase of the consulting process – contracting. Thank you to Judi Cunningham and Wendy Sage-Hayward for sharing this article that highlights the importance of contracting as an ongoing process, rather than a one-time discussion, and describes two levels of contracting that appear within an engagement.

When family business owners are evaluating non-family ownership succession options, often their advisers may suggest two primary options; selling the business to a “strategic buyer” or a “financial buyer.” However, this week’s edition presents an alternative option – selling the business to the employees, a “friendly buyer,” through an ESOP. Thank you to this week’s contributor, Dan Bayston, for sharing his analysis of ESOPs and the role they can play in a non-family ownership succession plan.

Thank you to this week’s contributor, Tom Hubler, for reflecting on his more than thirty-five years as a family business consultant and sharing some valuable insights he’s gained during that time. We hope you enjoy reading about Tom’s experience and learning about what he refers to as the “soul” of family businesses.

For this week’s edition, we are excited to share an interview between Russ Haworth, host of the Family Business Podcast, and Kim Eddleston and Roland Kidwell about their presentation at the upcoming FFI Global Conference. Their presentation is titled “The Diversity of Deviance: How breaking the rules can hurt (and help) families and family firms,” which will address the different types and outcomes of deviance as well as covering how to use deviance in the family and family firm to improve performance.

One of the primary goals of FFI Practitioner is to provide readers with thought-provoking and practical articles to improve the services they offer to their family enterprise clients and the field in general. To further this mission, this week, we are pleased to feature a selection of articles addressing common topics, across disciplines, that can be used as examples or conversation starters with clients.