Wealth transition between generations



An Ultra high-net-worth family had sold the shares in the family business and placed the funds in trust to secure the wealth for future generations. However, the structure was creating family friction. Was asked to look at the structure in place, how to ensure success in succession and safeguard the cohesion of the family.


The business was set up by the grandfather who had two children – a son and a daughter. Believing only boys should be in business, he spent more time with his son who then took over the company. The daughter herself had three sons, all of whom were very close to the grandfather when he was alive. Their mottos was a saying instilled in them by their grandfather.

The three grandsons were all married with children. By observing family dynamics and conducting one-to-one sessions, the cause of family friction became apparent, along with a pathway to create cohesion.


Many underlying issues arose, including:

  • Family members and their spouses holding different views on whether they are owners vs stewards of the wealth
  • Different attitudes and beliefs around money (e.g. one family member believed the middle class were happier and was on a mission to spend the wealth)
  • Different aims on how much wealth to leave the next generation

Worked with individual family members to:

  • Define their values, ambitions, and what legacy looks like for them
  • Explored potential avenues to see which would be the best fit
  • Brought the family together to share common values and develop a shared family philosophy
  • Discussed potential avenues raised during one-to-ones
  • Leveraging the family philosophy and overlapping values, reevaluated the structure and rules around the trust.
  • Developed a framework for decision making and conflict resolution that reflected the family values and philosophy.
  • Developed a path forward that was owned by all family members, not imposed.

Ultimately the family realised that beyond the financial wealth, it is the goodwill of the family name, its lineage and heritage that is their greatest asset.


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