A private family office to ensure and enable continuity has been saved
A private family office to ensure and enable continuity
Studies show that companies with a long-term continuity strategy perform better, but only a few invest proactively in continuity. Supporting the family in the day-to-day administration and management of the family’s affairs and long-term strategy, a private family office is a dedicated solution to ensure continuity.
When well designed and organised, the family office has an overarching view on the family’s private sphere and asset sphere (investments and family business). Applied to the three gear model, the relationship between the family and family office and the two spheres is the following:
The family office is, as the name says, the private office of the family. Therefore, it can balance the conflicts of interests, with a holistic view on the two spheres or three gears. A well-established family office can monitor and fuel the three gears in a balanced and smooth way, making sure that every gear spins at the right speed. Hence these families are able to ensure overall continuity.
The family office must create a continuity plan for every gear or require every gear to draft one. Just like the business assets (family business) and the investment assets, the private sphere also needs a continuity plan. If the family cannot communicate well anymore, that gear in itself is at risk. But also the two other gears.
Furthermore, the family office needs to address questions on the purpose of the family wealth, such as how much income everyone can enjoy from the family wealth. Additionally, the family office can perform stress tests on continuity plans. It checks plans from a holistic point of view and plays a crucial role in facilitating the interaction between the three gears. Topics for the continuity plan:
- What are the basic values of the family?
- Is there a clear vision on the future for every sphere/gear?
- Is that vision aligned with the purpose of the family wealth?
- Do business continuity plans include a variety of possible scenarios?
- Are liquidity mechanisms in place? Is there buffer for unexpected situations?
- What does the governance look like? Who is able to decide over what and when (in terms of private matters, business, and investment wealth)?
- Is the next gen trained to deal with the family wealth?
- Do the plans contain flows of information and/or communication platforms when confronted with unforeseen circumstances?