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Family Business Cases

The case studies included here are brief vignettes that can be used by professionals as conversation starters or for in-depth analysis in the consulting process.

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

Thanks to Mitzi Perdue for this case study discussing some of the perils involved in misunderstanding core concepts underlying the frequently invoked “chain of command.” It is an instructive article for advisors and a case that could be shared with clients.

What can family enterprises learn from a book titled, Who Moved My Cheese? Thanks to this week’s contributor, Ashvini Chopra, for sharing a case study that applies the book’s lessons about change and adaptability to a recent scenario Ashvini encountered with one of his family business clients.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

As advisors, we seek to help our clients evolve to different places. Sometimes this entails changing strategies, growing the business, advancing the professionalization agenda, developing next generation leaders or increasing knowledge and awareness of their uniqueness.

Case study has emerged as a prominent methodological approach for qualitative researchers interested in family business (FB).

Culture is often thought of as a set of fixed, rigid, unchangeable characteristics belonging to a group in a specific geographic area.