Succession is a stressful and exhausting time for families and family businesses, and ensuring these events are communicated effectively is key to a smooth, organic and commercially successful transition. It is important to have a plan in place to maintain relationships with stakeholders, including business partners, customers, suppliers, employees and the public, throughout the process.
We have advised some of the largest family businesses through difficult and challenging succession events. We support multigeneration family businesses where there are a significant number of globally dispersed family shareholders, as well as family businesses that are concentrated into the hands of a first-generation entrepreneur who is passing it to the next generation. We support high-profile businesses where succession events will attract a natural degree of press coverage as well as lower-profile businesses where communication may be targeted at only a small core audience of stakeholders.
Determining the visibility of next-generation members
We have decades of experience advising family business and family offices on the visibility of their next-generation members. In the run-up to a succession event, it is important for younger members of the family to take a gradually more prominent role in the company and its communications through the traditional media as well as online channels. This ensures that when the transition event does eventually happen that other stakeholders, both inside and outside of the business, have confidence in the new ownership. This is also an opportunity for businesses to showcase the new skillsets that younger members of the family often bring to a business.
Preparing a long-term communications plan
We have the expertise to provide family businesses with long-term communications plans to support succession, potentially preparing decades in advance of the transition. This may mean finding long-term strategies to build the credibility of next-generation family members, supporting them in increasing their profiles over the years, or working with the existing generation to find language that suggests that a transition may take place in the coming years, without spooking the markets. It is also important to plan for unexpected, sudden succession events in long-term plans, so that there is a clear, considered course of action that is well communicated if the ownership is incapacitated or otherwise unable to run the business, and the business passes to the next generation earlier than expected.
Safeguarding the digital profile of younger family members
We have the technical skill to audit the digital footprint of younger family members, ensuring that there is no potentially embarrassing or personal information online that could be used against them at a later date. We know that transition events will shine a bright light on younger members of the family, exposing them to a level of scrutiny they may not be expecting and may not have prepared for. It is critical that next-generation family members have taken concerted steps to ensure that their digital profile does not expose them or their businesses to risk.
How can we help?
Every situation needs a bespoke, thoughtful approach, blending our technical expertise. Contact us today to start a discussion about how we can support you and your family.
To discuss your needs on a discreet basis, please call us on +44 (0) 207 556 1040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.