Often there is concern about a loss of control, or whether the timing is right, or a desire for change in the future direction of the business.
If there is a transfer of ownership as well as a transfer of control, then this also raises questions about of how and when a payment to the retiring generation should be made, and how that payment should be funded.
Overlaid on this background are the unique family dynamics between a parent and their adult child, or amongst siblings. It is little wonder that the prospect of actively discussing the succession plan may fill some people with dread!
For many years, we have acted for family businesses in developing a succession plan, and then implementing the plan. The family businesses we have worked with are diverse, from winemakers to motor mechanics. We have also handled succession planning for different business structures including companies, discretionary trusts, unit trusts, and partnerships. We work closely with our clients’ accountants to ensure that optimal results are achieved.
To be able to do this sort of work, the advisors need to be sympathetic, pro-active and understanding to the concerns of both generations. We adopt that approach not just because it is intrinsic to what we do, but because we have lived the experience (as a second-generation family business ourselves).