Family Enterprise Consulting Services
Helping family enterprises flourish
The Deloitte Family Enterprise Consulting team works with family enterprises to help them flourish across generations, both from a commercial and a relationship perspective.
We assist with succession planning, family governance and next generation education and development. We work with families to design family offices, develop family enterprise strategies and reach key decisions at critical points in their lifecycle.
The focus of family enterprise consulting is not just the enterprise. We take a family enterprise ’systems’ view, which involves taking into account the three dimensions of ’family’, ’ownership, and ’enterprise’, and how they interrelate.
This means our approach is always to consider the family, their ownership and their enterprising activities in parallel. As well as taking the time to understand a family’s enterprise, we also take the time to understand their particular culture, dynamic and objectives. Rather than treating families like a typical corporation or investor, we take into account the family drivers and influences that are often as important as commercial and financial considerations.
In fact, the family enterprise team always starts with the family behind the enterprise, working with them to articulate their goals before translating these into structural or organizational changes.
Like their businesses and investments, the families behind enterprises come in all shapes and sizes as well. Our clients range from first-to-second generation family businesses grappling with the transition from being ‘entrepreneur-led’ to ‘sibling managed’, to companies controlled by multi-generational networks of cousins.
Key governance considerations
Make it purposeful. Effective family governance should be designed with reference to the vision of the family – it is a stepping stone to achieving the family’s objectives and goals.
Take it slow. Improving family governance should be a case of “evolution” rather than “revolution.” It takes time.
Keep it simple. The best governance system is the one that works, not necessarily the most complex.
Make it fit. Family governance should reflect the needs of the family that sits at the heart of it.
Do it together. To ensure alignment, the process of designing and implementing family governance should be inclusive.
Give it time. Improving family governance needs continued energy, commitment and dedication to make sure that decisions are properly implemented and the desired changes achieved.
Be flexible. Even the most well-intentioned plans sometimes need changing,
We recognize that succession planning represents one of the biggest challenges for family enterprises. Determining both the future ownership and management of a family enterprise can be very sensitive, and a multitude of factors need to be taken into account. However, with the appropriate planning, communication, and inter-generational teamwork, family enterprise succession planning actually presents a tremendous opportunity for both the family and their enterprise to become stronger.
Our team works in close collaboration with families and facilitates discussions between key family members (and/or non-family members, as the case may be) in order to create succession plans that will enable a smooth transition.
From a leadership and management succession perspective, our work ranges from the creation of assessment and development processes for the appointment of key management positions, to working with “retiring” family members on articulating how their role and influence will develop over time. On the subject of ownership succession, we help families determine how ownership should evolve as the family grows, and what structures can best facilitate this.
As with all our family enterprise advice, the succession planning process needs to be carefully tailored to the specific situation, as while the principles are similar, personalities and circumstances vary greatly.
A key part of our practice with family enterprises is working with next generation family members to assist them in meeting their goals and aspirations, as well as contributing to meeting the needs of the family and the enterprise.
Our work in this area is diverse and, as always, depends on the specifics of the case in question. Services range from providing one-to-one coaching to designing and delivering developmental workshops and meetings; we can even design bespoke development programs to take a whole ‘cohort’ of a family’s next generation through training and development activities tailored to meet their specific needs and that of their family enterprise.