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Family business

Family Business Insights

Supporting the ‘family’ in your family business.

Family Business

Jim Copeland

National Service Line Leader

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Build a legacy for your family

Whether built on generations of legacy or newly starting out, family businesses are valuable contributors to Canada’s business landscape—but they can be complicated. Emotional challenges combined with interpersonal dynamics can strain relationships and create roadblocks.

We understand the unique needs of family businesses. Our experienced Family Enterprise Advisors (FEAs) can help establish harmony among all stakeholders in your family business by maintaining a neutral position and bridging the gap between competing interests to find a unified purpose and mutually beneficial path forward. With stronger collaboration, everyone will be able to regain their passion for the business and commit to its success. For us, it’s about empowering this generation—and beyond.

Our approach

Our approach comes from a deep understanding of the three-circle model which includes the intersection of the family, ownership, and the business itself. These three connections are crucial to knowing your family business’ challenges and opportunities and how best to create your unique path to success.

Governance and Planning

As your family business evolves, it needs strong governance to maintain focus and continuity. Without it, broken communication, strained relationships, and ultimately the breakdown of the family business can happen.

Our FEAs establish communication processes with sincerity, empathy, and a deep understanding of your business and relationships so that all stakeholders have a shared voice in defining a strategic direction together.

We can help you with:

  • assessing your current governance, family, and ownership structures
  • implementing family protocols and channels of communication
  • facilitating annual meetings, management meetings, and ownership councils
  • establishing an advisory board
  • developing long-term growth strategies aligned to the family’s purpose and values

Transactions

Whether you’ve run the business from the beginning or have taken it over from a family member, selling your family business or growing it by buying a new business is not easy. It takes careful planning, structured intention, and a lot of emotional processing by you and your stakeholders. Our FEAs can translate the technical side of transactions while providing the empathy and emotional support needed to make critical decisions.

We can help you with:

  • facilitating pre-transaction discussions with the family to understand individual expectations and help diagnose potential conflict
  • assisting family members with the post-transaction phase of business
  • supporting family members with their personal transition
  • executing the transaction strategy
  • developing the post-close vision and strategy
  • guiding the family through post-transaction requirements as needed, including family office

Family Wealth Planning

Whether you’re looking to grow, manage or preserve, your approach to your family’s wealth should have purpose and reflect everyone’s shared values and beliefs. These will likely evolve over time, requiring foresight and strategic planning.

Our FEAs recognize wealth goes beyond finances—it includes intellectual, social, and human capital. We can help you navigate complex family relationships and harness and manage each of the wealth categories to fulfill your family’s unique purpose.

We can help you with:

  • preparing consolidated family wealth reports
  • developing and tracking family enterprise models
  • refining estate planning objectives to include wills and trusts, inheritance and wealth transfer, philanthropy, and the protection of assets
  • ongoing management of estate planning objectives which may include renumeration policies, lifestyle management, family and enterprise shareholder agreements and leadership and talent management of family and non-family members
  • liaising between family members and the family advisors which may include an accountant, facilitator, lawyer, investment or wealth advisor, insurance advisor, banker, family therapist, independent directors, and non-family executives

We’re here for you, your family, and your business. Let's talk.

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