by John D. Dadakis, Esq.
the firm of Rogers & Wells
Family business issues are permeating the business headlines, frequently because of costly and destructive litigation that had its origins in flawed legal advice rendered to a family business.The fight over the one share control issue in the battle for American Maize Products exemplifies how a distribution from an estate can have lasting effects.The Haft family’s public battle over the Dart Group can only conclude a nightmare for its public shareholders.
The problems that arise are the same, whether the family business is defined as a closely-held, owner-managed, or family-owned business, and in fact pertain to publicly-traded companies with an important presence of family in stock ownership, as well as to strictly private family enterprises. More…
Professionalizing the Family Business
With a pragmatic approach and just the right dose of humor–much of which can be found in his book, “Someday It’ll All be…Who’s?”–Dr. Donald J. Jonovic, discussed “Professionalizing” the family business. His comments, before the Family Business Forum members at the George Rothman Institute on October 26th, touched on the benefits of an outside advisory board, getting the best from your professional advisors, and employing an open organization policy.He also challenged some old myths and talked about the rights and relationship of in-laws in a family-owned enterprise.
Owners of closely held companies, he said, tend to focus on the short term…dealing with immediate problems/challenges and rewards.But this, he added, is definitely not the way to insure growth and build shareholder value over the long term, whether you pass the business on to the next generation or end up selling it. More…