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Succession

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.

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.

This week The Practitioner presents Ivan Lansberg’s précis of the article “Family Firm Succession From a Social Exchange Perspective” from the March issue of Family Business Review.

Thanks to new FFI Fellow Sofie Lerut for her article Myth or Reality: The glass ceiling – intact, cracked or shattered?. Myth or Reality: The glass ceiling – intact, cracked or shattered? Some facts.

A perennial topic from a new perspective. Read Roy P. Kozupsky’s (Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP,) and Amy Renkert-Thomas’ (Withers Consulting Group) blog “Inside Out: Rethinking estate planning for family businesses”.

In order to model this discussion using game theory, the authors assume that the founder has more power in the discussion than the successor, tied to a tendency not to share information about when succession planning should commence.

Intrafamily succession, which can be within a nuclear family or across branches and generations, is often a goal in the overall strategy for family firm continuity.