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Employee engagement may be dismissed by some as paternalistic and weak, but it is the major weapon in a family business that public or private equity-backed firms struggle to replicate

Employee engagement may be dismissed by some as paternalistic and weak, but it is the major weapon in a family business that public or private equity-backed firms struggle to replicate

Family businesses claim superiority due to their long-term orientation. Nowhere is this more evident than their treatment of people

Family businesses claim superiority due to their long-term orientation. Nowhere is this more evident than their treatment of people

Donald Trump isn’t the first family business owner to ever run for public office, but he’s certainly been the most vocal

Donald Trump isn’t the first family business owner to ever run

for public office, but he’s certainly been the most vocal

On a recent trip to Australia I met an entrepreneurial couple who talked about the annual cash flush they provide to their children. When digging deeper the conversation touched on topics of ‘how much is enough’ and ‘how to keep them responsible citizens in their communities despite the money’. In our advisory work we often get involved in such discussions. Conflicts in families mainly centre about two issues: power (who leads the family company) and money (who gets how much access to cash). Let’s focus on the money for now.

Operating businesses are often the lifeblood of family offices and most offices can trace their wealth back to a successful enterprise. So one lesser-lauded finding from the Global Family Office Report 2015 that caught my attention was the number of family offices that still had an interest in an operating business. 

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