Family businesses are widely regarded as the engine of the global economy, but to be sustainable they have to constantly balance the needs of family and business. Whatever your business challenges, our family business team will provide you with bespoke advice and support.

Careful planning and open communication are vital to a healthy family business. Success also means managing family and business risk. We can help you anticipate and manage your unique challenges. Working with you and your family, we can facilitate discussions, and provide independent advice, to help you plan for the future and protect the interests of both the family and the business. Whatever your business, whatever challenges it faces, our family business team will provide you with a bespoke selection of services, advice and support to help make your journey a smooth long term success.

Helping you plan for the future

The key to a healthy family business is careful planning and open communication. Successful family businesses must have a clearly defined vision which the whole family buys into, live their values and make time to understand their family’s concerns and the needs of individuals. In addition, success often means having a process for managing family as well as business risks. Most important, is not to see the business caught completely off-guard by something unexpected like the sudden death of a business leader or disagreement over who is entitled to own shares or can work in the business.

Agreeing how issues will be managed before they arise can help to ensure that the family focuses on prevention and long term harmony, rather than cure. Our experts in the Coutts Institute can help you with this.

Working together

Working with you and your family, we can facilitate and provide neutral, independent advice to help you plan for the future and protect the interests of both the family and the business. This could include advice in areas such as:

  • articulating the family’s vision and values
  • planning for ownership succession
  • planning for leadership succession
  • planning for leadership successionwriting a family constitution
  • professionalizing the family business
  • recruiting non-executive directors
  • next-generation training and development
  • managing family conflict
  • developing family communication
  • developing family governance

Our process

Our advice is based on our experience of working with a range of very different family businesses and their families over many years, as well as collaborating with other specialists and advisers. This often involves going through a number of stages:

  • Family education seminar: designed to provide an overview of the unique challenges facing family business with lots of examples of how other families have addressed and overcome these
  • Individual meetings: to identify and understand the aspirations, visions, values, concerns and challenges of individual family members in a private forum
  • Family workshops: to help open up discussions within the family and reach consensus on a common vision and how to address the key challenges facing the family business, now and into the future

We can help you document agreements reached in the form of a succession plan, family constitution, distribution policy or other arrangement. We can also be on hand to offer ongoing advice and support as you start to put these ideas into practice.

To find out more about how we can help, please contact your private banker or wealth manager.

Meeting other family business owners can be a great source of support. We run forums to give owners an opportunity to learn from each other and listen to speakers across a range of topics. For more details about the Forums please contact your private banker or wealth manager.

Successful Succession, Options for Passing on your Business

This paper demonstrates how succession is inevitable; with only 13% of family businesses making it to the third generation, planning for change is critical to success.

READ more of this report

Celebrating Cultural Trends

This report identifies the cultural trends affecting family business owners in Hong Kong and China, it highlights potential family risks and suggests practical ideas for families planning for the future.

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