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Educating Family Businesses

Educational resources, e.g., university based forums, and other formal tools for professionals to use with clients.

Thank you to Patricia Angus of the FFI Practitioner editorial committee for kicking off a month-long series of editions relating to the theme of “Reflections.” In this week’s edition, Patricia reflects on the complexities of defining some key terminology in the field. In upcoming weeks, we’re excited to continue this reflective theme with pieces by Jamie Weiner, Ken Moores, Paul Chung and Chin Chin Koh, and an interview with Dennis Jaffe. We hope you enjoy the series!

This week’s FFI Practitioner continues our series of articles written in both English and Spanish by members of the FFI IberoAmercian Virtual Study Group. Thank you to Ricardo Mejia for sharing this case study about a client who encountered an important governance dilemma – should they focus on developing their corporate governance or family governance first?

When an unexpected disaster strikes, and family members are unaware of a patriarch or matriarch’s end-of-life care wishes, then decisions about how to proceed can create deep-seated and long-lasting conflict that can destroy a family business. This week’s contributors, Mitzi Perdue and Jane Beddall share insights from their experiences and advice about how to address this sensitive subject with your clients.

This week, FFI Practitioner examines the complicated situation occurring when the family enterprise is owned in trust and the trustees simultaneously serve on the Board of Directors. Thank you to Patricia Annino for exploring the numerous issues and conflicts that can arise through the following case study.

For family businesses, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to governance and advisers need to understand each family’s unique values and ownership philosophies before attempting to implement specific governance structures. Thanks to Marta Widz and Benoît Leleux from IMD for illustrating this point by sharing two cases where the family businesses have divergent ownership philosophies but have both excelled in their governance practices.

Whether or not to highlight the involvement of the family in the business’ branding as a means of differentiating the business from its competition, is a question that confronts many family-owned businesses. In this week’s FFI Practitioner, Isabel Botero and Tomasz Fediuk explore both sides of this issue and share three central aspects of family business branding.

This week, FFI Practitioner addresses estate planning, a topic of perennial importance in the field of family enterprise. Thank you to Ashvini Chopra of Bennett Coleman, for sharing a valuable lesson learned through a case study.

Thanks to Nick Moody of Campden Wealth for this week’s article on Hidden Champions, in which he provides examples of typical family business enterprises that drive the world’s economies, but are not household names. And…he offers readers an opportunity to expand public awareness of the impact of these family businesses worldwide.

When confronted with the need to go outside the family company for new leadership, most families have no idea what that process entails and how to go about it. This case study will help advisers guide clients wrestling with such an issue and recognize the value of resources available to help. Thanks to Bruce Walton of Battalia Winston for the article and case study.

This week’s FFI Practitioner Edition by Michael Madera categorizes the mindset of many family firms in the midst of transition into “Hold, Mix, and Shift.”

When family businesses recruit outside executives, “A-level” candidates expect best practices within company governance and the search process.

Many practitioners who advise family-owned companies employ assessments or surveys to gain a glimpse into what’s occurring in the family business system.

Family members in a family enterprise are often isolated, having learned early on that to share stories of their business and family can end up hurting the business and all involved.

Lanie Jordan, co-chair of The Practitioner Editorial Committee interviews UMass’s Alan Robinson on corporate creativity and innovation. “In organizations with effective idea systems, roughly 80 percent of overall performance improvement comes from front line ideas.”

As family advisors, we know the drill. We are called to the scene and get down to investigating what happened. There is smoke and despair in the air. Porcelain has been shattered.

n the beginning, it was all about the founders’ quest for anonymity, to keep the family under the radar and the family business link private.

According to the Financial Times, the award Thinkers50 is the Oscar of the management world. The award follows two simple principles: To promote new ideas whose power is enough to improve the world.

Thanks to Steve Legler for this week’s article –complete with the sample page that facilitates the process he describes. See below for Getting Everybody on the Same Page (By Getting EveryTHING on One Page).

This week’s Practitioner features the Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC) held at the University of Vermont in mid-January. One of the nice things about being The Practitioner is that you get invited places!

Women do it differently, we’re told, and this is true of many influential women in family firms.