Family Business Matters

Family Business Matters global columnists cover a range of NxtGen topics from their unique perspectives.  

Art for Art’s Sake – Art Market Update

Welcome to NexGen Nexus' newest column, keeping you up-to-date on all things art market-related. I would argue that the last year wrought more changes to this sector than the entire last decade! On the auction front, there was the extraordinary dead-stop to sales at the start of the pandemic last Spring, followed by the quick adoption of […]

Planning Your Family’s Declaration of Independence

Originally Published Steve Legler Family Business Guide This week we’re going to go over some old ground, and cover some things that are brand new to this space. There’s an “A-Ha Moment” involved, as well as a new way to attack an old problem. One thing most regular readers will recognize is that we’re once again […]

Dis-Covering your Enterprising Family

Originally published Steve Legler Family Legacy Guide Business families, or “families in business”, as they’re often called, come in all shapes and sizes.  Advisors who work with them, like me, sometimes have trouble agreeing on the labels that we should be using to identify this segment of society. Recently, a term that’s been garnering some […]

How to Write a Set of Shared Family Values

by Meghan Juday (originally appeared on . Along with the family vision statement, shared values are one of the most important things a family can document. Identifying shared values allow a family to focus on what they have in common as it pertains to the family business. What shared family values are – and what […]

HR WARRIOR: What? You Don’t Want to Run the Business? (By Dr. Keri Ohlrich)

Ah…complexity. Like any business, those that are family-run have their own unique challenges. In particular, planning ahead for who will take the reins when the time comes to do so. Do you have your children vying to run your business? Maybe you have an “Empire” or “Dallas” type situation happening? Or perhaps you have a child who begrudgingly accepts running the business as in “Arrested Development”? Or maybe […]

Where Are You in the Lineup?

I recently heard Shankar Vedantam, NPR’s social science correspondent, talk about the effects of birth order on how children develop. No surprise, the segment got me thinking about how birth order plays out among siblings in family businesses.

FAMILINESS LAW – When fear enrobes family businesses!! (by Hania Hammoud)

Although family businesses are originally founded, built, and nurtured with courage, passion, love, persistence, full dedication and commitment, still, by time, different forms of fear permeate its layers. By time, fear becomes multi-dimensional and develops into different forms of resistance. The latter could hit all stakeholders, namely, individuals, groups and entities; so as to emerge across the […]

OPPORTUNITY ZONES: The 411 (by John Churchward)

Despite and maybe even because of COVID, Opportunity Zones are front and center in the investment world. The wealthy have the ability to make long-lasting impact on our nation’s marginalized communities and to do so with unique financial benefits. If done right, investing in Opportunity Zones will be a win for all. Some Opportunity Zone […]

FAMILY EXCEPTIONALISM: George Washington, Chief Succession Planner (by Jason Ma)

Happy Washington's Birthday.  As chief mentor of next-gen leaders, I’ve been reflecting on the extraordinary accomplishments and leadership of George Washington, hands-down one of the greatest military and political leaders in human history. In 1775, the American Revolutionary War against imperial Great Britain began. Washington was made Commander-in-Chief of the newly formed Continental Army. After […]

CROSSING THE GENERATIONS: Wealth Transfer and Family Conflicts (by Meshie Mai Ronit Lami)

Estate planning is both a practical and emotional process. Often with children and inheritance the idea of when and how to give our money away can make us feel uneasy. It evokes various feelings and highlights our relationship with money, with our children and ourselves. Nonetheless, in today’s world, the complexities of estate planning require […]

FAMILY BUSINESS WOMEN: Work boundaries. Family boundaries. Family business boundaries? Help! (by Susanne Bransgrove)

If I were to ask everyone in my cycling group which behaviours were ok in the workplace and which ones weren’t, I would get a lot of different responses. Chances are, though, there would also be a lot of overlap.   However, if I asked an auditorium full of family business members the same question, their responses would be much […]

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: Ambidexterity: the best way to strategize your family business  (by Renata Barcelos)

Family business are constantly ‘accused’ of being slow on strategic decisions and oriented to personal interests. Well, of course, there are some examples like that, but they are not enough to allow us to generalize this perception. Following an evolutionary perspective, companies who have grown and sustained themselves for decades have to be especially good on […]

RESPONSIBLE INVESTING: Let your checking account by your Guide. A Call to Action. (By Logan Yonavjak)

In my last post, I described responsible investing broadly. I shared an orientation and some key definitions, a lay of the land, so to speak. We learned that there is no single approach to Responsible Investing, or a single term to describe it. Broadly, it’s an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance to generate long-term competitive financial […]

FAMILINESS LAW – Liberating the Family Business (by Hania Hammoud)

Scholars, researchers and consultants agree on the uniqueness of the family business and its predominance in the world market. Despite this recognition, a wide void emerges as a legal and financial well-defined differentiated entity.  Although, countless endeavors have been taken the road to draw up the right definition for the family business; some prevail family over business, or vice versa. […]

OPPORTUNITY ZONE: Go to the Hoop (by John Churchward)

We were tied but poised to go on a 20-2 run of pure domination to start the second half. Then COVID killed the power. The game clock kept ticking but game play froze…    If the Opportunity Zone (“OZ”) investment game were like a basketball game, that’s how things felt in early 2020. When COVID hit, player confidence and purpose gave way to fear and apprehension: It can’t stay dark forever can it? Have the rules changed? Today, savvy players are still moving slowly around the dimly-lit floor getting in position for […]

FAMILY LEGACY: Martin Luther King Sr. / Martin Luther King Jr.

Since 1971, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been celebrated in the United States to commemorate the life, work, and tragic untimely death of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The holiday provides us with an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s myriad contributions to American and global society in the pursuits of racial, […]

FAMILY EXCEPTIONALISM: Why Exceptionalism Matters? (by Jason Ma)

Despite our turbulent, ever-changing world, which has turned upside down since the global pandemic started earlier in 2020, I remain optimistic and pragmatic. I have been reflecting a bit lately...  “Full Sail Ahead” was the theme of one of the eight annual Forbes Global CEO Conferences to which I was privileged to be invited and that I […]

Overcoming dysfunction, hardship in a family business

(the whole of this article appeared in MyBusiness, written by Adam Zuchetti) Cobram Motorcycles & Mowers was launched by Ron Wilson in 1987 in Cobram, Victoria. And while his family — comprising wife Vikki, son Reid, daughter Shelley and son-in-law Braden — work alongside him, they all admitted that Ron ruled with an iron fist and was extremely reluctant […]

What’s best for business – Family firms vs public companies

(by David Birnbaum for In 1606 the British Government granted a charter to the Virginia Company of London – thus creating the world's first publicly listed multinational corporation, while at the same time beginning a 400-year debate between family firm and professionally-run corporations. This was the age of enlightenment, and the joint-stock company became […]

Are your kids ready to run your business?

(By Alaina Tweddale written for (This is part of The Handover, an original Chase series that aims to help business owners think strategically about succession planning. It is presented by Business Banking.) When Lisa Mazzoni graduated from college in 1997, she didn't plan to return home to take the reins of her family's 100-acre vineyard, Zialena Winery, […]

A guide for family business to managing an exit strategy

(written for and by Being part of a family business does not come without its challenges, however, family businesses also provide a wealth of benefits for individuals and the wider economy. Despite this, working with family members is not for everyone, therefore, it’s important to have an efficient exit strategy in place for when […]

Scaling up a family business

(Article by JAMES WADDELL AND CLAIRE MILLER for BQLive) Creating any successful business is a very personal achievement.  The closeness of the relationship, and shared vision and values, can often be a family business’ core strength.  However, that intensity can also make clear-eyed strategic decision-making particularly difficult.  Emotionally, the participants in a family business often really […]

Why Fresh Eyes Are Key for Family Businesses

(by Gene Rebeck writing for Twin Cities Business) Every family business is different, yet they all share many of the same challenges. And most of those challenges fall under one category: the future. With headquarters in North Mankato, Coughlan Cos. has passed through many futures since its founding in 1885. It began as a quarry […]

Brothers With Vision

(by Ankita Varma writing for The Straits Times) Brothers Silas and Shamus Hwang could have coasted on the success of their family's eyewear business, but instead, they decided to take a risk - revamping the company and launching a new brand. Their minimalist eyewear label O+, which entered the market just three years ago, is […]

Four reasons why family businesses fail

(Written by David Harland for Smart Company) Many of the world’s most successful businesses are run by multigenerational families. Walmart, BMW and Samsung are three prominent examples. But while over 70% of Australian businesses are family run, only 30% survive the transition from first to second generation and just 12% making it to the third generation. What […]

Protecting Your Family Business Name and Brand Internationally

(by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Family Business Resource Center) The trademark laws of the United States provide businesses with significant advantages in protecting their brands, even without perfecting those rights with the state or federal governments. This is because the United States trademark law confers trademark rights based on use in commerce, meaning in many […]

A unique family business

(By MEAGAN MACEACHERN for Bonnyville Nouvelle Canada) “A lot of people get into funeral service for different reasons. Some, it’s because they’ve had a loss in their family and they see it as something they want to do. I think initially people get into it to help others, they just have that nature of wanting to help […]

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