Best practices for family firms

Governance is uppermost in everybody’s mind today. But governance means different things in different organisations.

Take family enterprises. No matter what their size, the unique—and often volatile—mix of personal family dynamics, business strategy and ownership criteria can create an emotionally charged environment that makes decision-making, not to mention day-to-day management, challenging. And as the founding generation ages, succession and power issues across an expanding family can create cascading concerns.

Safety in structure

Many family businesses have learned that a little structure can be extremely helpful when it comes time to discuss sensitive issues—such as ownership shares, rights and responsibilities, the competence of family-member managers, and agreeing on a strategy that is best for both the business and the family.

At PwC, we address family business governance from a holistic perspective. From family constitutions to family councils, boards of directors to family and non-family managers, we can help you improve your governance and thereby preserve family harmony—setting the stage for the commercial success you deserve.

It begins with a clear vision—and clear lines of communication

Like any business, a family enterprise must be built on a foundation of mutual agreement on certain fundamental questions: What is our vision—and our mission—for this business? What strategy should we follow to reach our goals? What structures and people do we need to succeed? How do we handle shares, inheritance, in-laws?

We know that good family and business governance go hand in hand with sustained benefits. Our family business services professionals are well placed to help you capture those benefits, whilst strengthening your organisation.

If your family and business have expanded over the years and the family dynamics are changing—or if your business is just starting to grow—we invite you to contact us to learn more about how we can help you meet your goals for optimal governance and performance.