Our Beliefs about Families Who Share Assets

Our work is guided by our perspective on the unique needs of families who manage shared assets:

Clear Purpose

Families that define their values, mission and vision and a plan for achieving such are more likely to succeed. Working together to develop a mutual process increases a sense of being on the same pathway and makes it easier to make decisions that are strategic and help move toward a Family 100 Year Plan.

Complex lives requiring more planning and well-defined road maps

Families with many assets have to figure out how to anticipate and address their shared assets and each other in relation to them. This requires clearly defined roles, family education and pro-active planning.

Communication and transparency

Families are able to talk about difficult issues and have the commitment to work to resolve them. They have a habit of sharing information rather than secrecy and withholding.

Human capital development in new generations

Strong family enterprises are built by families who are able to maintain the separateness of individual members while sustaining the connectedness to the family as a whole. Families that allow for the full development of the human capital of each of their members increase the family wealth.

Shared risks

Families have to address the shared risks that are attendant to their multiple tasks and partnership, including difficult questions of gender, power, control and conflict. Sharing assets means sharing liabilities, human as well as financial. Disruptions of the human capital also impact family functioning. Anticipating the challenges and dealing with potential risks are important for the family.

Heightened family politics

Sharing resources increases the intrusiveness of family politics. Whether a growing family has to or chooses to share their assets, there are challenges with regard to the power and control of the resources.

Complex relationship tasks

Families who share assets tend to have additional life cycle tasks as they grow and continually re-define their family relationships. These challenges include defining membership in the family and participation in sharing of the assets, managing transitions in the family and its various enterprises, a willingness to struggle with complexity, having a public face, and maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

Entrepreneurial attitude toward assets

Successful families are willing to diversify, seek out opportunities, question legacy assets and business processes that attend to the task of building family wealth.