Most family business owners and wealth creators share an important vision: perpetuating family and wealth for many generations to come. To ensure wealth continuity, many families put into place various structures, plans, and processes, including estate plans (which may include multiple trusts), ownership succession plans, governance structures/strategies, and others. These sometimes-elaborate plans are aimed at preserving family wealth. In reality, for many families, they don’t. In fact, it has been estimated that a majority of estate plans in place fail, largely as a result of family conflict or communication problems. Author David Lansky reveals here that too many one-size-fits-all and elaborate continuity plans fail to take into account the idiosyncratic family factors that can interfere with continuity planning. Lansky details further how building the right foundation will help families implement the best continuity plans. Addressing that foundation effectively includes understanding the building blocks that make it up, assessing their strengths, and developing strategies to improve them. The specific building blocks include:
• Learning Capacity
• Safe Communication Culture
• Commitment to Personal Development
• Effective Leadership of Change
While richly informative, this book is not intended as a training manual, but rather as a starting point for important ideas and conversations. In fact, the goal of this book is to help families consider several related factors that go into a foundation for continuity, and to build more effective continuity plans and strategies based on their assessments.
About the Author
David Lansky, Ph.D., a Principal Consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, Inc. has played a key role in the growth and transformation of many enterprising families, and in the business interests which they share.
A clinical psychologist and family therapist by training, David spent over 15 years as a managing partner in a clinical psychology practice, where he observed the impact that personal relationships, family dynamics, and communication obstacles can have on families’ abilities to work, plan and live well together. Today, his clients include entrepreneurial families and families of wealth, multigenerational families with shared business or financial interests, family offices and private trust companies, all of whom want to plan well for the future.
A graduate of Montreal’s McGill University, David obtained his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Rutgers University. He has served as clinical faculty member and supervisor at Northwestern University’s Family Institute and taught marital and family therapy at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago.
David is well known for his expertise in the psychology and family dynamics of multigenerational wealth having published widely on family business and family wealth, including articles in Private Wealth Magazine, Family Business Magazine, and The Family Business Advisor and a regular column in The Journal of Practical Estate Planning.
Table of Contents
2. Learning Capacity
4. Safe Communication Culture
5. Commitment to Personal Development
6. Effective Leadership of Change
7. Putting it All Together
What People are Saying About This
“Lansky provides the rare honest count as to what it really takes for wealthy family continuity: honest family self-assessment, strategies adapted to the family, structures the family can live with, changing as needed, and family commitment. No formulas; no “best practices;” just a union of what the family is capable of and what it must do to remain a family in reality and not just in name.” (John P.C. Duncan, Private Client/Wealth Management Counsel)
“In his wonderful new book, Family Wealth Continuity, David Lansky teaches you how to build a strong foundation of powerful practices that will enable your family to achieve long term continuity, harmony, and, thereby, flourish.” (Jay E. Hughes, JR., author of "Family Wealth Keeping it in the Family")
“A treasure for both business families and families who are in the business of wealth management, Family Wealth Continuity is now the definitive practical, interactive tool for assessing, planning, and implementing continuity. Lansky’s structure of building blocks, clarified by self-assessment at the end of each chapter will help family members organize where to start and what to do.” (Thayer Willis, LCSW, Wealth Counselor and Speaker, author of "Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for Inheritors and Beyond Gold: True Wealth for Inheritors")
“This book is a wonderful handbook on how to assess the health of the family business, presenting thoughtful suggestions on how to work for better communication, processes, and structure in order to move the entity into the future. The description of these building blocks in this book will be helpful to any family business wanting to grow and thrive in the future.” (Mary Vermeer Andringa, Chair of the Board, Vermeer Corporation)
“Families, family leaders and their advisers need to understand the challenges to successful continuity planning. They also need to appreciate what makes growth and change possible. Lansky counsels wisely that a family's continuity plan and the planning process must fit the particular family. It's exciting how much and how many families will benefit from this very readable and motivating book.” (John L. Ward, Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise, Kellogg School of Management)
"Lansky's Family Wealth Continuity is an important contribution. For those families with the courage to truly pursue Wealth Continuity Planning, Lansky's work is a must read and reread. Lansky brings wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the challenges facing progressive families. The tools and perspectives he provides will help all families in their planning." (Bryan R. Dunn, President, Kinship Trust Company)