The BURGHER HAGGARD staff has lived and worked in multi-generational family enterprises; we understand the components necessary to sustain wealth and unity across generations.
We use our experiences working with multi-generational families as a springboard for our family administrative consulting services – planning and assisting other families to find the right formula that works for them. Through our experiences, we have gathered a team to address the myriad of situations that arise in planning for continuity across generations. Our family office and family wealth gurus employ principles from the Family Firm Institute, which provides research and tools for driving success in family enterprises. We can help you manage the soft side of family interactions as well as provide strategic planning for your family business.
Burgher Haggard can provide consulting regarding continuity of business and relationship interests, succession of assets and family business, and/or business strategies and the corresponding effects on family continuity at every generational level. As a family office outsourcing specialist, Burgher Haggard can also help you develop effective workflow processes, an online bill pay approval process and separation of duties for effective family office accounting. Our team effort enables our consulting practice to provide flexible, flowing support in the areas that need assistance while not hampering or interfering in those areas that remain healthy. Like a snowflake, every family and every individual is unique. The challenge is finding the unique solution. This is where Burgher Haggard excels.
Our clients benefit from years of practical, hands-on experience in proactive management of private business, family, and individual enterprises. We’re confident that you’ll benefit from the following Consulting Services as well.
Continuity and Succession Planning
It is important to plan the transfer of ownership and eventual transfer of control. Your estate planning attorney can help you with the tools and documentation to transfer ownership to minimize estate taxes. But let us help you with the bigger picture: the tools and documentation to minimize the conflict, or potential for conflict, that may arise before or after this transfer. BURGHER HAGGARD can assist your family organization in developing and implementing a continuity plan that complements the estate planning.
Continuity planning covers a vast range of options. We have seen different strategies work for different families when a strong patriarch/matriarch or sibling team is planning for succession. Whether control stays with one person or is shared with a group of siblings or cousins, if the desire is to manage assets together, there are many options for family members to stay in control even into the next generation. A properly built family board, which guides day-to-day family and/or non-family managers, can be very effective when siblings and cousins start to share ownership and control. The topic about whether a family member is best suited (and willing) for the day-to-day operations compared to a non-family member should be addressed during the formation of a family board. Voting control does not have to be facilitated by the same hands that are responsible for the day-to-day operations like in prior generations. Whatever the family decides is the right form of control, a great deal of the success lies in the questions and group discussions that BURGHER HAGGARD facilitates leading up to the decisions.
The families we work with share a common denominator, which is that for every situation there is a unique solution. And the more time there is for gradual implementation, the better the long-term results will be. BURGHER HAGGARD can utilize its experiences to provide expertise in strategy education and to provide objectivity as an impartial party to ensure continuity and cohesion between what it is now and what will be.
Facilitated Discussions: Purpose of Wealth, Vision and Mission of the Family Office
Whether you have just had a liquidity event, are thinking of creating a family office or have an established family business or family office, facilitated discussions with the next generation are helpful for eventual succession. As objective advisors, we use the knowledge acquired from working with other families to help facilitate discussions and to present the appropriate questions to determine the purpose for the wealth, a vision for the future and a mission for the family firm. As a non-family member, we are able to ask some of the questions family members are not able to ask and to identify problem areas that family members may not realize. Involving BURGHER HAGGARD allows the family to engage in necessary and beneficial discussions in a safe forum without the possible repercussions that could arise in a non-directed scenario. We encounter many established family organizations that have not had any strategic planning regarding the purpose of their existence, where they are going and how they intend to get there. Like going on a trip, the destination determines what you pack in the suitcase. Having the entire family weigh in on the destination becomes even more important when you are planning a family vacation. Our experienced family office consultants understand the importance of legacy planning, and we’ve worked with many Texas multi-generational families to create a 100-year plan for enterprise succession.
Governance, Family Councils, Board Creation
Once the family has identified their ultimate goal and how they intend on achieving it through the visioning process, it often makes sense to establish a governing body to make decisions that address perspectives from all generations. BURGHER HAGGARD can help families form and implement an appropriate governing body. Part of governance consulting includes facilitating discussions about creating family policies, which allow family members to engage in business together while avoiding potential pitfalls. Some of the important areas to address include a code of conduct for family meetings, family mission and vision, family values, family constitution, compensation structures, establishing roles for outside advisors to provide objective input and/or expertise, and establishing family business conflict of interest policies Establishing parameters for conduct prior to possible conflict helps to either avoid the conflict entirely or provide a means for resolution once a conflict arises. An ounce of prevention is often worth even more than a pound of cure. In addition, we can help develop succession plans for the CEO, CFO and other important leaders on the board.
Family Conflict Resolution
The possibility for conflict more than doubles when business and family are mixed together. When succession planning is added, the upheaval can equal a tsunami. BURGHER HAGGARD is able to understand both the financial and relational implications of the conflicts and can help your family resolve or mediate disagreements so that the focus is on moving forward instead of backward.
Facilitated Annual Family Meetings
Guided family retreats are one of the most effective and efficient methods for improving a family’s inter-generational communication. With the right blend of aid from financial, business, or relationship professionals, we provide necessary tools for families to build their listening, empathy, leadership, teamwork and communication skills through facilitated and entertaining activities at family retreats. We can either arrange the whole trip from arrival to departure or we can join you for a day at your existing family gathering to provide retreat facilitation. Family retreats are an enjoyable part of a much broader plan to help with overall succession planning and family unity.
Education For the Next Generation
Continuity planning is critical to ensure the preservation of the family wealth. Most multi-generational families have diverse backgrounds, educations and passions in life. In order to be an effective shareholder in shared family assets, each shareholder needs a general education in the family holdings. It is necessary for each shareholder to understand the family income and the means by which it is generated. An accurate picture of the depth and breadth of the assets is helpful to enable the shareholder to comply with the purpose and vision for the wealth. BURGHER HAGGARD can help the next generation build their business and charitable insight, which will inevitably equip them with the knowledge to communicate better with the family firm or business executives who are implementing the ideas of the family.
BURGHER HAGGARD can also educate individuals on how to handle their own financial interests. With the help of the parents and older generations, we can organize and conduct age- and skill-appropriate projects for the next generation. The projects are designed to educate the heirs in the financial areas that are relevant to their future needs. The projects, which are specifically designed for assets currently held in trust or are held at the parent’s level, take place in a safe environment that encourages open family communication. In essence, we allow the next generation to experiment with the inheritance in a controlled environment to permit maximum learning with minimum negative financial implications. Whether mistakes are made or not, the projects are about what was learned, not what was earned.
It is also crucial to allow the next generation opportunities to work together on making financial decisions. Teamwork is an integral part of the projects we administer. Every estate contains a portion of non-liquid assets that the next generation will have to work together to preserve. While some estates have more non-liquid assets than others, it is essential for the heirs to work together to prevent the liquidation of the assets simply because of conflict within the heir group. Assets should become liquidated due to group shared interest consensus, not because of conflict. Conflict resolution skills within the heir group are essential for the preservation of wealth.
BURGHER HAGGARD is not financially associated with any financial products; instead, BURGHER HAGGARD, which has a family office management background, acts as a non-biased educator for general financial and estate topics. This provides an opportunity for the next generation to ask questions without the perceived pressures many of them feel from other generations. It also provides a vehicle for education that is not driven by a sales quota, wealth management or other conflicts of interest. Let BURGHER HAGGARD assist your family in providing the next generation with the tools necessary for their success.