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Whilst the news cycle in the UK might have been periodically dominated by sunshine and sport over the early summer, the complexity of world relations, the economy and the use of personal data have never been far from the headlines. The scale of data and the technology available to interrogate it is driving many new ways of working and that is equally true in the world of taxation.
Families are usually a complex mix of individuals with different abilities, attitudes, aspirations and financial needs. Each family member is likely to want different things, and in the context of a family owned business, this can produce tension and discord.
Practical steps now to support a strategic approach
It’s a familiar warning: the exponential growth of digital technologies is exposing us all to more and new kinds of risk and we all need to ensure that we protect our assets and reputation from attack.
Many family businesses wrestle with matters of ownership and control – how should the family shareholders control, or influence the running of the business? How do you manage relationships between family members in the context of the business? How can family members ensure appropriate access to information on the business without “interfering” with day to day management?
This week, Michelle Osry, a partner in Deloitte in Canada, suggests two books to add to your holiday reading list, and a TED talk for further inspiration.
What can family enterprises learn from the Dalai Lama? Can conflict be reduced to an equation? How can we find lasting joy in this world?
Talking about money
I was recently working with a family client when the conversation became rather animated while discussing money. Most of the members of this particular family viewed money in a positive light; as a means to an end, the ability to make choices, the ability to make a difference, a medium of exchange etc. However, for some, money might be viewed as the cause of conflict, the ruin of family life, the lure of the forbidden and the priority of their parents.
This week, Eefje Chalmers, a family business advisor with Deloitte Netherlands, considers the potential impacts of using technology on families and their organisations.
The internet is one of the greatest inventions. Few other things have so radically shaped culture, media, commerce, entertainment and communication. But as with many things, these benefits can have a downside, especially where family, wealth and business collide.
Roles for family in the business
A question we are commonly asked is whether family members, in particular the next generation, should be involved in the family business.
Some families choose to have a blanket rule that no family members can work in their business; they leave the ‘non-family professionals’ to it so as to avoid potential for conflict and ensure meritocracy. I have known one mother to say “No way are my children working in the business. It took their father, my husband, away from the family and his life revolved around it.”
This week, Alain Nijs, a partner in Greenille by Laga, highlights the unique features of family dynamics in blended families.
Blended families (including stepfamilies) are common today. Statistics show that in some countries a growing number of families have shifted away from the model of the “intact” or “nuclear” family, composed of the original biologically bonded mother, father and children. In other words, these families have gone through various transitions: a breakdown (divorce), remarriage or another form of living together relationship.
This week, Michelle Osry, a partner in Deloitte in Canada, explores how families can improve the likelihood of achieving their hopes and ambitions by considering preventable reasons why they may fail.