We work with a wide variety of high net worth families and entrepreneurs along with their advisors to put in place structures that protect and enhance wealth for future generations as well as guard against political risk and economic uncertainty.
Family businesses play an increasingly important role in the global economy but only one third transition successfully to the next generation. This is because family businesses face unique and complex succession planning issues that often work against the successful continuation of the business. With careful advance planning, however, many of the challenges that exist can be overcome and the future ownership and governance of the business secured.
Family businesses that survive for many generations have a strong sense of purpose. They engage family members in developing family charters that address issues such as the future ownership model of the business, composition and election of the company’s board, the key board decisions that require a consensus or a qualified majority, the conditions in which family members can work in the business, and some of the boundaries for corporate and financial strategy.
They also put in place mechanisms for ongoing oversight and governance by the family via family councils or protector committees with different branches of the family being represented.
At Highvern, we regularly work with families who are going through this process. We assist families looking to transfer ownership of the family business to a trust, foundation, or similar structure and ensure that it provides an effective vehicle through which to hold the family business moving forward in line with the family governance framework.