The challenge

Our client—an established family-owned Hamilton-based construction company—realized an immediate need for comprehensive strategic advice and planning in order to ensure that their business—and legacy—was protected and preserved for current and future generations. The business’ future was challenged by a growing chasm between the family and management. The business’ management wanted to purchase the business, thus presenting the family with a dilemma: potentially lose management or lose ownership.

How we helped

Built productive relationships with the entire family and management.

Discussed issues around ownership, governance, and succession.

Focused on the family’s most pressing concern—the offer from management to purchase the business.

Worked with all the stakeholders to craft a compensation package.

Allowed the business to remain in the family.

Family enterprises face unique challenges. Generational shifts and family dynamics must be reconciled with financial performance and cooperation among all stakeholders.

We were engaged by the family to objectively manage emotions and governance—and establishing trust is central to both concerns. We began by building productive relationships with the entire family and management and acted as a liaison to address the immediate issues around ownership, governance, and succession.

We then focused on the family’s most pressing concern: the offer from management to purchase the business. We worked with all stakeholders to craft a compensation package that satisfied management and left them engaged in the business’ success—but most importantly allowed it to remain in the family.

The impact

We were initially referred to the family by an extended family member, and in the span of one year, we delivered clarity and harmony to both parties. Our role as their trusted advisor continues to evolve, including offering family enterprise and estate planning advice and mentoring the next generation as they move to assume ownership. By cutting through layers of confusion and objectively managing a range of emotions and priorities, we offered the family a plan to optimize its success for future generations.

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