Advantages of Engaging a Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA)

Published: Feb 22, 2022

Article 36

A FEA has gone through vigorous training and has many tools to share with business families.  In my opinion, the 2 greatest advantages of hiring an FEA is that 1) they have been trained to check in on their biases and have the added edge to be able to ask some sensitive questions to take a family further down a path of successful continuity planning and 2) they understand the advantage of the multidisciplinary team approach, opening doors to invite other advisors as needed to best serve the client.

The complexities a family enterprise faces are numerous.  It’s hard enough to understand just one discipline of the family business.  Intertwine that with family dynamics, future ownership, legal structures, estate planning, heirloom assets and all that makes up a family enterprise and no doubt there is confusion. No doubt many areas are not looked at. No doubt it is hard and why so many families give up and don’t even venture down this road.

I encourage you to be empowered by your vision and what you want to achieve as a family.  When a family finds the way to come together and co-own what an entrepreneurial elder worked so well at building up, the harmony and love that brings a family together grows exponentially.  I will repeat, this road of co-ownership is not for all families, it is very difficult and heart-wrenching to deal with family dynamics and the conflicts that for some seem so irrational.  Do you have the strength to endure the rocky road ahead, to have intentional conversations that move you forward one obstacle at a time?

Having a trusted advisor, a skilled Family Enterprise Advisor, who understands all the moving parts, who has been educated on seeing the family business as a paradox and has the tools to put the family client first and educate them as their journey together up the road of continuity planning, brings many advantages.

Some of these advantages are:

  1. An FEA better understands the complexities and challenges of a family enterprise
  2. An FEA takes a whole system approach
  3. An FEA has many strategies and tools to help families navigate the intricate and difficult issues they face
  4. An FEA understands the difference between content consulting and process consulting and that it is not about the end result but more so the process a family client experiences and provides a clear structure
  5. An FEA has the ability for strategic advising and their technical skills are augmented to include human and social considerations related to family enterprises
  6. An FEA brings forward the element of a multi-disciplinary team approach. To network and work with other family business advisors from a variety of different disciplines
  7. An FEA focuses on more than financial wealth and understands the concept of total wealth being more than the family’s financial assets. Total wealth includes Human capital which includes the relationships of the family and the talents of the next generation.  It includes Intellectual capital which encompasses each individual’s knowledge, education, and life experiences.  It includes Social capital, the networks, connections and the people you know. And it includes Spiritual capital which encompasses the family’s values, intentions, and legacy it wants to be remembered for.

Hiring a skilled FEA brings many advantages. Get all your family members on the same team and begin your training to this relay race. With the right team and determination, you can successfully pass this baton and succeed to being a successful multigenerational family enterprise.

Decision Tree Question: Engage a FEA

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