Family Enterprise Consulting

Helping family businesses 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.

Working with the family behind the enterprise

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 corporate 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 organisational 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.

Our services include family enterprise succession planning, family office set-up and creation, next generation leadership development, and family governance creation and review.

Family governance creation & review

Family governance structures enable families to organise themselves effectively and guide a family’s relationship with their family business or family office. In our experience, well-designed (and properly implemented) family business governance structures set out boundaries, create clarity, and result in greater harmony between family members, a more focused business, and easier transitions between generations.

We work with families large and small to design family governance structures that are right for them. This can involve working with families to set up family councils, boards of directors or other family business forums, developing employment and remuneration policies, and supporting families with defining the roles, responsibilities, rights and privileges of their various stakeholders. Once agreed, we then work with families to implement their decisions.

In addition, because we have helped so many families create successful governance structures, we are also often asked to review existing governance arrangements against best practice.

Whatever the assignment, we believe in documenting the agreements and decisions that a family makes. While not legally binding, 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 by creating clarity of roles and responsibilities.

Our work on family governance typically involves:

  • Analysing the needs of the family and enterprise
  • Taking a multi-generational approach
  • Designing a structure and set of policies that supports the family’s vision for the future
  • Reviewing existing governance arrangements against best practice
  • Facilitating constructive dialogue and frank discussion of key issues
  • Translating the outputs of governance discussions into written form

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Family enterprise succession planning

We recognise 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 whilst the principles are similar, personalities and circumstances vary greatly.

Next generation & leadership development

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 programmes 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.

Key contact

Peter Leach

Peter Leach


Peter is a partner in Deloitte UK specialising in advising family enterprises and the Deloitte Global Leader Family Enterprise Consulting as well as Adjunct Professor of Family Business at Imperial Co... More