Family governance is a framework for joint decision-making among family members based on shared values, a common mission or purpose, and a collective vision for the family’s future.
Family governance can help families recognise and manage their wealth, define roles, set boundaries for individuals and enable members to manage competing and interrelated interests. If implemented successfully, it provides a platform to allow families to resolve conflicts that would otherwise lead to dissolution or sale of the family enterprise, the destruction of family wealth and a breakdown of family unity.
Wealth often leads family members to live more separate lives. Families that relate well together as a social unit are better positioned to manage and transition wealth.
We help you anticipate and address threats to the family unity. We advocate governance based on trust and familial bonds underpinned by agreed upon structures, policies and rules with a focus on:
- Family dynamics: activities and skills to build community, improve communication, bring the best out of each other and resolve conflict
- Family leadership and decision-making structures and processes
- Establishing formal governance structures and documents including a family council and family constitution or charter
- Succession planning and transition management
Family Charters & Councils
The aim of a family charter is to stabilise the element that is most crucial to the long-term success of the family enterprise…namely the family itself. Whilst most commonly used in the context of a family business, they can be useful for any family seeking to establish an agreed upon set of rules and values. By agreeing these together and documenting them, families reduce the chances of misunderstanding and dispute within the family which can be hugely destructive of family wealth.
Family councils are a representative body of the wider family and are particularly useful when the number of interested family members is large. The scope of their possible role is substantial but in essence they function to ensure good communication between the various elements of a family enterprise and the family itself. They can adopt decision making, advisory or communication only functions.
Leveraging our many years of experience of working with international families of wealth we will facilitate the necessary discussions and guide the family through the process of writing their own charter and/or establishing a council. We will provide you with examples of approaches used by other families and options for consideration, but each family is unique, and it is important that all concerned own the outcome.