Families and Individuals, Deloitte Private


Families and Individual Wealth

Family Dynamics

Helping families and individuals navigate complex challenges and decisions within a family enterprise.

Succession planning

Family succession can take weeks or years to plan, depending on the people and the circumstances of the case in question. By opening up the right communication process, ensuring that people are being honest with each other, succession need not present the challenges and difficulties that it so often does within family businesses.

We believe that with the appropriate planning, communication, and inter-generational team work, succession planning presents a tremendous opportunity for a family to become stronger as it passes from one generation to the next. We work in close collaboration with you and facilitate discussions between key family members in order to create a succession plan which will enable a smooth transition.

Succession planning needs to be carefully tailored to every situation - whilst the principles are similar, personalities and circumstances vary greatly.

Our work with you on succession planning

We work in partnership with you to strengthen your legacy as it passes from one generation to the next by:

  • Taking steps to understand the needs of the family and the business
  • Facilitating communication so that people speak honestly with each other about their aspirations and goals within the succession planning process
  • Working with you to consider possible short term ‘emergency succession requirements’ and a longer term plan
  • Creating a clearly articulated long-term succession plan tailored to the personalities and circumstances of your family and business
  • Intergenerational Wealth Transfer
    • Asset protection
    • Management and ownership
    • Leadership development
    • Leadership change. 

“Succession is a process, not an event.”

Family Governance

In order to manage complexity, family businesses and family offices need family governance structures. Family governance structures enable business families to organise themselves and they also guide a family’s relationship with their family business or family office.

In our experience, well designed and properly implemented family business governance structures result in greater harmony between family members, a more focused business and easier transitions between generations. We work with families, to set up family councils, boards of directors or other family business forums. This can involve working with families to develop employment and remuneration policies; supporting families in defining the various roles, responsibilities, rights and privileges of the various stakeholders and once agreed, implementing their decisions.

We are also often asked to review existing governance arrangements against family business governance best practice. Whatever the assignment, we believe in documenting the agreements and decisions that a family makes. A clear written family constitution / charter / set of protocols based on an agreed vision and shared family values, prevents friction and doubt in decision-making and creates clarity of roles and responsibilities. Families often tell us that the process of creating alignment on key issues is as valuable as the written constitution and family governance structures themselves.

Creating family governance best practice with you:

  • Analysing the needs of the family and the business
  • Taking a multi-generational approach
  • Providing you with examples of family business governance best practice and how other families have structured their governance
  • Designing a structure that supports the family’s vision for the future
  • Facilitating constructive dialogue and frank discussion of key issues
  • Translating the outputs of governance discussions into written form.

“Family Businesses and Family Offices are complex because they are spaces where family, business and ownership interests meet.”

Family constitutions

A written and formalised family constitution, charter, or set of protocols is often one of the key outputs of our work with clients. Simply put, a family constitution sets out the policies and procedures that a family uses to manage its wealth, its assets and its own organisation.

Many of our clients tell us that the process of writing a family constitution is more important than the words. While the process of preparing a constitution can be lengthy and complex, the process itself strengthens both the family and the business.

The aim is to arrive at a point where important and often taboo matters have been discussed openly, and all opinions have been considered. We will work with you with care and sensitivity to facilitate discussions to address and resolve key issues and will translate the outputs into a written family constitution.

A family constitution typically addresses fundamental issues such as:

  • Vision and values of the family
  • The family's involvement in the business roles and responsibilities
  • Board membership
  • Long-term strategic goals of the business succession management
  • Share ownership dividends and voting control
  • Family remuneration
  • How and when to employ non-family members
  • Family meetings
  • Family office
  • The role of the Family Council, if appropriate.

“When well prepared, a family constitution creates alignment on key issues and improves the chances of the family and business succeeding.”

Family Office

Effective family wealth management encompasses a range of issues related to not only business aims, but also personal and family goals. Wealthy families often consider establishing a family office to manage their many investments, reporting, philanthropic, and financial responsibilities. Properly structuring and staffing a family office requires an analysis of tax and governance considerations, as well as a deep understanding of the family’s short and long term business and professional goals and objectives. Deloitte professionals can assist with family office design and set-up, family education and communications, charitable planning and private foundations, and structuring business investments. Our approach addresses both the family office as a business and the private client’s family wealth as an on-going enterprise.

Family Meetings

Family meetings are an important part of family planning. They are the forum for discussing important issues such as plans for future ownership of the business, family partnership in the business, and helping children manage inherited wealth. Learning how to plan and run successful family meeting is vital.

It is all too easy for a family to sit round the table for dinner, and avoid difficult topics. We work with clients to plan and facilitate family meetings, enabling better family relations and communication, helping those involved recognize and resolve differences. We work with families to design and deliver workshops to discuss important issues or make critical decisions; we facilitate or chair family council or other family meetings (or even provide input behind the scenes); and we run meetings especially for the next generation to help them gain the knowledge and skills they need to contribute effectively.

Contact us

Peter Pagonis

Peter Pagonis

Partner, Deloitte Private

Peter is a Partner in Deloitte Private with more than 30 years’ experience and is a member of the Board of Deloitte Australia. He specialises in servicing privately owned businesses, family businesses... More