Happy Families

Happy Families

by Michael Carp and Keren Ludski
Kez’s Kitchen

Our business started out as a paying hobby – we didn’t even know what the running costs were! But as Kez’s Kitchen quickly grew into a serious venture involving many more members of the family, we were determined not to let rifts or arguments over money or hiring and firing issues ruin our lives and get in the way of success. So we set up a Family Council and appointed an independent Chairman of the Board. We haven’t looked back. None of us initially had any skills to run a business and we would have “drowned” if we hadn’t made these decisions.

Michael was the logical choice as CEO with his business and legal background and Keren says there is no-one else she would rather trust in the job. Our mother wanted to scale back her involvement in the business and Keren was planning to have more children. Despite having founded the business, Keren didn’t want the day-to-day stresses of running the company. She was already feeling “torn” by the conflicting demands and family values have always been extremely important to us. So, while it was a difficult decision for her to let go of this “other baby,” the family unit always comes first. Keren is still very involved in the business as Director, Business Analysis and has a say in all decisions as a member of the Board. More…

Heir Conditioning:Should Your Children Get The Family Business, or What It’s Worth?

Heir Conditioning:Should Your Children Get
The Family Business, or What It’s Worth?

by Michael P. Kirby

For an owner of a closely held business, few questions cause as much soul-searching as the issue of whether to leave your children the company…or the company’s value.

This may sound like a rational business decision, but it’s not.It’s a choice that can pit your head against your heart, your love for your business against your love for your kids, and your hopes and dreams against cold hard reality.

Not long ago, a business owner in another state asked Banc One Capital to advise him on the ramifications of valuing his company for estate planning purposes.Mr. Lincoln (not his real name) was proud that his two children were both actively involved in the manufacturing business he had founded.However, when his son, the president, had a falling-out with his daughter, the executive VP, it was all he could do to keep their dispute from affecting company operations. More…