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Intergenerational Issues and the Succession of the Family Business: Real Life Stories from Family Members

One of the questions addressed at EisnerAmper’s 2018 Private Wealth and Family Office Summit was: What is key to a successful transition of the family business to the next generation? The session focused on the issues and challenges facing the next generation as they tackle leadership roles within the family business, while striving to maintain their family culture, vision and values.

The Panel was moderated by Matthew Kerzner, a senior manager at EisnerAmper LLP. The panelists were Ian MacGregor and Nathan Myer.

Ian MacGregor is chief executive officer at The Lobster Place, and the second-generation owner of the family business. His father educated him on the business at a young age by exposing him to the 24 hour/7 day a week life of entrepreneurship. Ian’s father believed when Ian returned from his five-year military duty he had a good foundation of management skills to transition into the family business. Ian took over the company building on the same integrity his father had brought to doing business. 

Nathan Myer, director, Universal Electric Corporation, is a fifth-generation family business member of a company that has been around since 1924. Nathan was also exposed to the family business at a young age. For Universal, with each generation a positive disruption in the business model occurred, growing new business platforms which has allowed expansion into world-wide market place. Nathan’s generation in the family business is exploring hiring external executives and board members who have the same family business values. 

Conflicts among family members occur within family businesses. As Nathan pointed out, the family members should understand the issue and communicate with one another as they work towards an agreeable resolution. He strongly recommends not to argue and then become passive aggressive, as that does not resolve the issue and prevents the family business from moving forward.

For more content stemming from EisnerAmper’s 2018 personal Wealth and Family Office Summit:

Susan Fludgate is a Personal Wealth Advisors Group Senior Tax Manager proving tax consulting and compliance services to individuals, trusts and estates as well as exempt organizations.

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