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To prepare your heirs to take the reins of your family business, you must start early and be more of a mentor than a boss. Karen Vinton believes that a light touch and plenty of encouragement are the best way to reap satisfying dividends from willing offspring

Fouad (Fred) H is a self-made man. He arrived in Montreal from Lebanon in the late 1950s at the age of 23 with $150 in his pocket and a pregnant wife, Nieves, whom he met while on vacation in Spain.

As small family businesses evolve into multi-national corporations, the third and fourth generations can tend to feel distanced from the central management of the company. An annual ‘cousins’ consortium’ can help maintain harmony, explain Bonnie Brown and Chester Weber

Is there just a right time to address the process or is it just a downright impossible task? Yes and no, says Don Schwerzler, as long as all relevant family members are involved from the start and the process is not left until the last minute

BUSINESS FOR FAMILY BUSINESS: pre-nuptial agreements

Following US fashion, older generations of British family businesses are ushering successors to sign pre-nuptial agreements as part of the ownership transfer – even if the contracts aren’t legally binding in the UK. Melanie Stern reports

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