Family Businesses are special

Family businesses are the cornerstone of the British economy

Family businesses are special

Family businesses really are special with one very important differentiator from non – family business; the day to day involvement of the family in the affairs of the business. You may be wearing the hat of a shareholder, a manager, a director or an employee.

Here are some of the characteristics that set family businesses apart:

  • Balancing family and business interests often requires a compromise between family and business perspectives.
  • Some members of the family business system think more as family members; other as managers; others as owners.
  • The company’s business plans must be integrated with leadership and ownership succession plans.
  • Non-employee family owners want, need and deserve a role in the business’ strategy, culture and governance system.
  • Gaining the motivation to become a successful successor can be difficult, particularly given the ambivalence that heirs often feel.
  • Preserving the business can appear more important than economic rationality.
  • Paternalism is promoted due to long terms of leadership and the need to gain people’ allegiance without sharing too much power or information.
  • If we maintain that family businesses are special we must conclude that advisers to family owned or run businesses need to have a special understanding of their family business client.

Pete Wilmer

Corporate Finance Partner

0114 266 7141

[email protected]

Martin Wilmott

Partner, Doncaster

01302 367 262

[email protected]

David Cairns

David Cairns

David Cairns, Northampton