Checklist Before Hiring a Family Business Consultant

Balancing the Family and its Business:
Checklist Before Hiring a Family Business Consultant
Business Journal
by Jill R. Lock
Simon Master & Sidlow, P.A.

Before a family business owner hires a consultant for the firm, she must take into account many qualities that a consultant should possess.To fully understand the family business, the consultant needs to grasp the family’s relationships and aspirations. Knowledge of both organizational behavior and family systems is crucial.The consultant should have professional training in their area of expertise.Ethical marketing should be the foundation of the approach.In addition, the consultant and the organization must reflect a commitment to family issues.This commitment is reflected with the resources available from the organization.

How does the family business owner know when it’s time to seek outside advice?

Here is a list of some signals of when it’s time to get help externally:

Lots of secrets and secret alliances among family members;
Tension or hostility in the business environment;
Owner needs to put out lots of fires;
The owner’s spouse being frequently brought in to be the peacekeeper;
Lack of communication among family business members and/or key non-family members;
Uneasy feeling about the future of the business;
Employee dissatisfaction (this may manifest itself in excessive employee turnover or absenteeism);
Excessive overlap of personal matters into the business;
Emotional outbursts in the workplace; More…

The Family Office:Not Just for the Super-Rich Anymore

The Family Office:Not Just for the Super-Rich Anymore
by Christine Rew Barden

Attorney, DeWitt, Ross & Stevens

Family Offices conjure up images of grand office suites in which workers go about managing the massive wealth of a high-profile family.While there may be such offices in operation, they are the exception rather than the rule.Family offices are becoming an attractive and practical option to an ever-increasing segment of the U.S. population.

At last count, there were approximately 5,000 family offices operating in the United States (Marianne Mihailidis, Project Consultant, Family Office Exchange, Inc., Oak Park, Illinois).With millionaire households growing at an annual rate of 12% (“Emerging Technologies Change Financial Services Industry,” FOX Exchange Newsletter, Jane Adler, Special Fall Forum Edition, 12/2000), the number of family offices only promises to climb.The high net worth family faces unique challenges ranging from how to obtain the best investment returns on family assets to how to instill in the next generation the family values which made their family great.

The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of a Family Office:what it is and how it might be an option for your own family.

What is a Family Office? More…