Family Business

Business family interaction with professional advisors


4 min




Listen to Experts and Business Family Members talk about interactions with professionals and advisors working with business families. An effective advisors must be able to build a relationship based on trust with the family, however, maintain a level of professionalism when delivering recommendations. The use of an advisor in a family business allows the family to obtain and objective view putting their emotional components aside.





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John Davis
There are lots of different kinds of advisors now in the family business field. There are advisors that work largely with the family to help the family stay organized, communicate, work on developing plans, and policies, and agreements, but really more on the family side. There are other advisors now that are focused more on the financial or ownership side, and still others that are focused largely on the business side. Different advisors have different kinds of roles and can affect different kinds of changes, but for the family advisors these are the people that get typically closest to the family and the business leader. They have an obligation to really speak the truth about the situation that the system is facing and their obligation to make certain changes to keep the system moving.

Pankaj Dinodia
I think my father does have informal ... View More mentors in the business that he got his legal training and what not from, but you know, from the experience that we have had with clients the role of advisory board and corporate board has become a very, very important area of discussion.

Lavanya Nalli Ramanathan
I see the merits of having an advisory board, because it is a non-threatening way to bring about a dialog on issues that are very critical to the business. And it comes from a source where it is easier for you to be objective in working through the process, but it is hard if it comes from someone who you know as a family member and you have worked with. And there are all of those layers.

John Davis
The advisors need to know that talking, planning, and creating agreements is essential to the healthy functioning of these systems, and they ought to be capable of doing-facilitating those three things, or linking the family to people who can. They also need to, you know, really recognize that being brought in to a family to help them with these kinds of issues. It is the kind of, I will use the word pointedly, sacred duty or sacred responsibility that was previously entrusted to priests and rabbis, that only those people who were considered the most trustworthy and quiet would be allowed to help people with those kinds of issues, and today families are inclined to turn to other professionals, but it should mean that we have the same sense of real responsibility to those clients to keep these issues private and to really help them work through these issues in a very professional way. Being a good advisor means being extremely loyal to this person and to their family and their cause, what they are trying to achieve, and at the same time risking that closeness from time to time by telling them exactly what you think they need to hear.