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Family Business Succession Planning – Post 2

Nov 10, 2017

Panelists for this workshop were Lisë Stewart (director, EisnerAmper’s Center for Family Business Excellence), Karen Goldberg (principal in EisnerAmper’s Personal Wealth Advisory Group) and Deena McCullough (president and CEO of Northern Insurance Agency). The session was moderated by Stephanie Hines (partner in EisnerAmper’s Personal Wealth Advisors Group).

Deena discussed her family business and the planning her family did in order to transfer the business to the next generation. She remarked that planning requires carefully thought-out decisions, which should be discussed with family members who may be the next generation of the business. A successful succession plan is put into place to manage issues, and setting up a smooth transition between you and the family member(s) who will be the future owners of the business. This can be especially complicated because of the familial relationships and emotions involved.

Deena stated that it is best to start the process early, and to be sure to involve the family. Having an open dialogue, remaining disciplined, and having quarterly meetings is the best way to have a successful succession plan. Deena’s father looked at the family realistically and planned accordingly, and recognized that transferring stock to family members is an effective way to transfer wealth. Karen agreed on gifting stock but discussed management and ownership as separate-yet-within business succession planning issues, as well as voting and non-voting shares of stock. Lisë commented that it is helpful to obtain outside help, such as an attorney or accountant before finalizing any plan for legal and/or tax implications. Options of transition include outright purchases, gifts/bequests, or a combination thereof. Panelists agreed that establishing a timeline of the succession plan and letting the succession move forward is important. Lisë stressed that emotional issues need to be addressed and managed early with succession so one is confident that the next stage and transition is smooth. And that once in place, the outgoing owners/leaders need to remove themselves from the role.

Private Wealth & Family Office Summit Series

The Next Generation of Philanthropy - Post 1
Family Business Succession Planning - Post 2
Difficult Discussions with Family Members and Conflict Resolution - Post 3
Up, Up and Away:  All You Need to Know about Private Aviation - Post 4
The Geopolitical Landscape - Post 5
The Future Is Here: How Artificial Intelligence May Impact Your Family – Post 6

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