Only one in three family businesses survive past the second generation

Every month I am hearing of families in business where the subject of who takes over and how this happens is never discussed.

Some international research has indicated that up to 65% of parents in a family business have never discussed succession with their sons and daughters and do not know how to start the conversation. The head of PWC family business division , David Smorgon, says it's imperative to have a family meeting that is facilitated by a experienced external facilitator.

In my experience the first meeting is the hardest and is full of emotion. That's why I like to meet with all the individual family members first and have a confidential discussion. That way I get to understand each individual's own personal life and business objectives and where they see themselves fitting into the family business in the future.

This method allows me to facilitate the family meeting with the knowledge of the real feeling and ambitions.

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