Choosing a Family-Friendly Compensation Consultant

Choosing a Family-Friendly Compensation ConsultantDelaware Valley

Does your Adviser have a Backgroun in Consulting to Busienss Families as well as Managing Compensation

Programs in a Variety of Industries?
by Henry D. Lanes and Karl J. Buehler

A family company’s first “compensation consultants” are often other business owners or perhaps business advisers (a trusted CPA or attorney) who try to help but know little more than the business owner about the matter. The founder in effect serves as the first “personnel director,” and hourly wages, salaries, benefits and bonuses (if any) are adopted quickly by “the seat of the pants.”

Most business families can benefit from the deep professional knowledge and the individualized guidance of a compensation professional. The overarching goal is a compensation program that reflects internal equity between jobs as well as external competitiveness with other companies (see box). A compensation consultant ideally should have a broad background both in consulting and in managing compensation programs in a variety of industries including manufacturing, service and financial organizations. More…

The Key Issues that Can Help Family Businesses Gain Control of Sibling Rivalries

The Key Issues that Can
Help Family Businesses Gain Control
of Sibling Rivalries

by Thomas Davidow and Richard Narva

Old soldiers, General Douglas MacArthur once remarked, “don’t die, they just fade away.”

Not so sibling rivalries. They have been around since the beginning of mankind–related most memorably in the biblical narratives of Cain and Abel and that of Joseph, his brothers, and the coat of many colors. And they can create nearly as much havoc in today’s family businesses as they did in the biblical tales. Some family businesses have been literally torn apart by the intensity of feelings created when one sibling feels neglected or rejected, and proceeds to walk out on the family business or go to court in search of vengeance or justice.

Family businesses can never realistically expect to completely rid themselves of problems created by sibling rivalries. The best that family businesses can hope to accomplish is to minimize the conflicts. More…