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Decisions on how to sell, continue or diversify a company from one generation to another are complex; these varied articles approach the topic in multiple ways.

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.

Thanks to Sylvain Daudel of Stetson University for adding to several provocative FFI Practitioner articles on the topic of generational transition! He argues that the paradigm is wrong — it’s not about longevity but about value creation.

Is the pursuit of longevity by family businesses a flawed goal? Almost every practitioner would strongly answer ‘no!” However, for this week’s edition, Asher Noor has decided to adopt the contrarian position in this provocative and Shakespearean inspired piece. Let the play begin!

This week’s article examines two sides of one issue – competency. Thanks to Patricia Annino for sharing her analysis of the challenges presented by either sustained or diminished competence in an older family founder and for providing practical steps to help family plan for these challenges.

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.”

Families of wealth are constantly looking for the secret to proliferating their fortunes over multiple generations. A key element is right before our eyes, the family’s generations.

For members of a family enterprise, succession can trigger strong feelings of anxiety, apprehension, or ambivalence.

As practitioners we encounter gender-related issues regularly as we help business families plan for the future ownership and leadership of their enterprises.

This is a simple adage, which, despite its universal application, is identified more with the mutual fund industry than with general philosophical statements.

Managing any business involves many challenges. But managing a family business brings with it a unique set of challenges, many due to the close emotional relationships involved.

For families in business nothing is more challenging than succession. Part of the problem is that succession is a multi-disciplinary task, involves multiple stakeholders, and is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge for most entrepreneurs. So, where to start when dealing with succession? Here is an attempt towards filling this gap – a six step process for practitioners to consider when developing a succession plan for a small to mid-sized firm. Clarifying the goals and priorities Both incumbent and successor have to clarify their goals and priorities with regard to succession. For the incumbent

Practitioners and family enterprise clients short circuit all the time in succession planning. That doesn’t mean that the advisor/client relationship breaks down – although sometimes sparks do fly.

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.

Some topics are always current, succession and transition being among them. Thanks to this week’s author, Glenn Murray, for addressing the topic from a holistic approach.

Succession planning is a term many advisors use to describe their services when marketing products and services to family enterprise clients. Under the label of “succession planning,” clients are presented with different products, services and outcomes, often resulting in confusion.

(Authors: Oliver Meier and Guillaume Schier) Research Applied précis prepared by Ken McCracken, KPMG LLP.

(Authors: Alfredo De Massis, Philipp Sieger, Jess H. Chua, and Silvio Vismara) Research Applied précis prepared by Navneet Bhatnagar, Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India.

(Authors: John James Cater III, Roland E. Kidwell, and Kerri M. Camp) Research Applied précis prepared by Barbara Dartt, The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.

As in all developed nations, the family business is the economic and social bedrock of the Irish economy. The Irish Prime Minister, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, bore testament to this fact.

Thanks to this week’s contributor, Matthew Erskine, who discusses some of the challenges of business success vs. ownership lifestyle as part of the perennial succession discussion.