DiscoverThe Business of Family
The Business of Family

The Business of Family

Author: Mike Boyd

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Mike Boyd interviews successful families and their advisors to learn how they steward their wealth across generations, managing succession issues to "keep it in the family".
Very few family businesses do the work and even fewer make it beyond the third generation.
Follow along to learn about family governance structures, family office investing, succession planning and raising happy, healthy and enterprising children of wealth.
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32 Episodes
Tiho Brkan ( is back for a second conversation about family office investing, including a deep dive into real estate mezzanine finance investing, uncorrelated assets for downside protection, citizenship by investment, second passports, territorial tax systems and his global view of markets today. Tiho is a Global Citizen & Investor, and today runs the multifamily office, The Atlas Investor ( on behalf of his family and other ultra high net worth families and individuals. I've been fortunate to build a friendship with Tiho since connecting last year and always enjoy our multi-hour conversations about the state of the world, investment opportunities and challenging eachother to see things from different perspectives. Tiho has a mind like no other person I've met and it's a privelege to listen and learn to him whenever I'm given the opportunity. To hear Tiho's first appears on the podcast, please visit: Tiho Brkan – Global Deal Flow for Family Office Investors ( Standout Quotes: * "Is Cash going to be King or is cash going to be trash?" - [Tiho] * "While it's easy to make money today and everything seems to be working, the question for very smart investors is to anticipate what's around the corner" - [Tiho] * "If you think about a Real Estate cycle, you have 4 stages; Early-stage, mid-cycle, late-stage, and downturn... in Early-stage, you want to be in equity as much as possible" - [Tiho] * "We don't do deals with any developer that doesn't have more than one exit strategy" - [Tiho] * "If a senior lender is doing 37 million, talk to them, ask them about the due diligence because they're putting far more money than you are and they've done it all" - [Tiho] * "The way that you diversify your portfolio, you can also diversify your life" - [Tiho] * "Stick around very experienced people who have been around for a long time, who have survived the cycles... Stick with a talented group of people who have a low personnel turnover" - [Tiho] * "Negotiate... Negotiate... Negotiate" - [Tiho] Key Takeaways: * Mike's previous episode with Tiho Brkan is one of the most downloaded episodes, and by popular demand, he had to bring him for a 2nd episode. * Tiho shares that a lot of investors in this period want to make a lot of money as quickly as possible, as this time is not very suitable for long-term investment. * He explains the reasons why this recession has been the worst in a long time, but this does not reflect in some assets and certain locations. * In normal valuation, reprisals happen where you hold cash which gives you optionality and the ability to be selective, but where money supply around the world is increasing at a rapid speed, is cash going to be King or is cash going to be trash? * Tiho explains that as a contrarian investor, you ride a certain wave until valuations become extreme for you, understanding that high valuations today entail future disappointing returns and so rather, you go and look for relative value elsewhere. * Family offices don't have to be restricted to one type of asset, they have an 'Open Mandate' and Tiho describes the various opportunities available for family offices. Most investors are asking, 'how much money can I make by next Monday?' while he is asking 'How do we only lose 20% rather than 50% in the upcoming downturn?' * The capital stack' and 'Mezzanine debt': There are 3 Real Estate strategies which are Core Real Estate, Value add Real Estate or Opportunistic Real Estate. Mezzanine debt is most commonly a strategy seen in opportunistic Real Estate investment. Mezzanine debt exposure is the most versatile in all 4 stages of the Real-estate cycle(early, mid, late, and downturn). With Mezzanine debt, you can get up to 50% returns per annum. * Tiho's due diligence process before investing: First, the deal must be 'shovel ready' meaning construction starts immediately. Next, note the purpose or theme and planning of the project, location of the project, the track record of the borrower, feasibility studies, the general contractor or quantity surveyor, Securities, and the Exit Strategy. * What is the Monitoring process? This involves Weekly and fortnightly communication to get updates on the project. it may also involve site visits by you or a Real Estate expert, and construction status updates. * Discussing Residence Planning perspective: What is the purpose that we're trying to accomplish here? * The OECD tax model: This is divided into 4 segments of how income is taxed. First is the "No Income Tax", second is "Territorial Tax". "Residence-based Taxation" is third. Last is "Citizenship Based Taxation". * An important investing lesson: Stick around very experienced people who have been around for a long time, who have survived the cycles. Stick with a talented group of people who have a low personnel turnover. * Everything is negotiable in the world of finance. Episode Timeline: * [00:50] Introducing 2nd-time guest "Tiho Brkan", by popular demand. * [02:30] From your perspective, what have you seen evolve over the last few months from this pandemic? * [09:03] Are Contrarian investors nowadays taking advantage of the increased supply of money or sitting on their hands? * [13:52] Discussing the impact of the increase in money supply on preferences regarding the duration of family investments. * [22:38] 'The Capital Stack' and 'Mezzanine debt' in Real Estate projects. * [35:03] Tiho describes in critical detail, his due diligence process before investing in a deal. * [46:00] The 'Monitoring Process' * [52:50] Are there advantages to the double taxation agreement in a cross-border environment that investors should be thinking about? * [57:26] The OECD tax model * [01:05:10] An investing lesson to his kids For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Tiho Brkan.
Aaron Chin is a second-generation business leader and CEO of Organika (, a family-led Canadian company dedicated to providing innovative, premium health products to help inspire people to live healthier lives. Growing up in the business motivated Aaron to build on what his father started 30 years ago. Since assuming leadership of Organika, in partnership with his brother Jordan, they have increased business seven-fold and have grown the company into an award-winning, globally recognized brand, focusing on innovation and a vibrant company culture. Standout Quotes: * "You start with the mission of the company and that'll help drive your decisions after". - [Aaron] * "If you can tweak one little thing in your process that could save you it". - [Aaron] * "You are going to determine yourself, how well you do". - [Aaron] * "I really do believe there's nothing like good old hard work". - [Aaron] * "My relationship with my brother is bigger than the business... I think I can pass that down to my kids" - [Aaron] Key Takeaways: * Aaron's dad had the dream when he moved from Malaysia to Canada to give his kids a chance to get ice cream whenever they wanted. * Following the treatment of his kidney stones using natural products, he started the business with a vision to make healthcare accessible for all. * Despite the rejection, his father persistently put himself and his products out there, till the business took off. * Aaron shares he always had an interest in the family business although his father never tried to impose any expectations to join. * Aaron narrates a simple experience where he noticed the boss employed by his father to manage the business got to the office one morning, and deleted all his office voicemails without listening to any one, inciting Aaron's suspicion of the poor management inherent in the business. * Realizing the diet differences between the newer and older generation, the company pivoted from mostly vitamin pills to be more involved in superfoods, powders, drink mixes. * The surprising eventuality of Aaron becoming CEO in an Asian family where he is the younger brother and always at odds with his older brother, was partly made possible by the family dynamic which started to work out following certain events that strengthened the bond between them. * Aaron shares his vision for the company: I want to see us in every single home in Canada. * Explaining that his dad wasn't overprotective but rather allowed them to make mistakes, and these mistakes helped them learn how to make fast and efficient decisions. * The question: What are you doing about it? * If you teach children what wealth means, it's rather thoughtful to leave wealth for them, but if not then it's just an expectation, and things could go wrong. * To Aaron's kids: Know the importance of Family because it is more important than even the business Episode Timeline: * [00:49] Meet today's guest "Aaron Chin". * [01:25] Where did the family business begin, and how do you become involved in this story? * [07:40] About Aaron's entry into the business: Was it always an expectation or some other circumstance? * [16:09] Describing the business today. * [19:55] How did the leadership transition come about? * [24:40] Being the younger brother in an Asian family, how did you arrive at the CEO role? * [27:15] What sort of investment process did you go through, and how did you formalize the business? * [33:33] Would you say the company culture remains unchanged or has it morphed as a result of the impact of Private Equity coming in? * [37:45] Aaron shares major lessons learned by trying things and making mistakes at the beginning * [38:50] Is there a multi-generational plan to continue the legacy that your father started? * [41:03] How do you feel about children inheriting wealth? * [42:39] Aaron's letter to his kids. For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Aaron Chin.
Adii Pienaar ( is the founder of three technology companies, two of which he’s exited so far to create first generation wealth for his family. A prolific reader, writer and maker, Adii brings a refreshing perspective to the way he views family, business and wealth. I was fortunate enough to preview his new book which was released last month, titled Life Profitability ( In Life Profitability, Adii provides you with a new perspective for becoming self-aware, recognising your values, and understanding your impact. An enriched life and successful business are not mutually exclusive. In fact, this book will provide you with the first steps in building a business that is more sustainable with increased options for you, your employees, and your family. Life Profitability by Addi Pienaar ( Standout Quotes: * "The biggest burden I felt was that transition from wealth generation to wealth maintenance" - [Adii] * "I think in any kind of business partner relationships, as long as everyone is aligned towards the same goal, then everything is hunky-dory, and as soon as someone is not aligned with your process then everything is not hunky-dory" - [Adii] * "Whatever I do, it should be that truest expression of self" - [Adii] * "There are multiple things that pull us into different directions on a daily basis but having an awareness of when that happens... that's Mindfulness" - [Adii] * "I truly believe in transparency for the kids" - [Adii] * "The family office should serve as a leg up for the trustees and that's the kids, right? it's not a handout" - [Adii] * "Neither the family office or any of our individual lives should be so rigid like we're constantly trying to fit into a single recipe" - [Adii] * "The cost of anything we do in life is just Life" - [Adii] * "I don't care if they miss 99% of it, even if they become 1% of the context of this conversation" - [Adii] * "The way I think about legacy is, if I were to die tomorrow, the goal would be to have left my kids or anyone who cares enough breadcrumbs about who I really was" - [Adii] Key Takeaways: * A major transition point for Adii was moving from wealth generation to wealth maintenance. * With little information on how to run a family office, he was able to get started by asking questions and got propelled into motion when the law firm got the right people around him to explain the process. * Adii describes his value system: How can I wake up every single morning and spend my time manifesting the truest expression and version of myself in anything that I do? * An ideal day for Adii is "being present". * Adii explains that the main reason he went back into entrepreneurship was he wanted to create again, he was enthusiastic about building a team, and those are his higher values for now. * While admitting that his kids have a great life especially from the financial perspective, he is concerned not to bring up spoilt kids who can't be individuals with their purpose. * Adii describes the strategies he uses to help build his kids to become individuals with a backbone: Transparency, which involves letting the kids be fully aware and involved with the ongoings in the family office, as well as the concept of Gratitude. * The family office should always prioritize business ideas from the trustees. * Expounding on the concept of 'Paying a Life Dividend': A business that's not just financially profitable but profits your whole life. Adi discusses the relevance of having assets that mean more than their financial value to the family, which is selected by stress testing, effective communication, and evolution. * It is important to sequence things, rather than doing two things at once and have none getting your full attention. * Every single minute of our day, we only have finite attention, time, and energy to do anything, so the decision to anything is costing us life. * Unfortunately, mainstream media has created a narrow definition of success that serves barely 0.1% of the world, but there is a much wider and diverse definition of success for the rest of us, and it is our responsibility to define it. * To Adii's Children: Do the work, continue learning towards discovering who you are, and figure out how to manifest that in most of the things you do in life. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] About today's guest, Adii Pienaar, describing his origin story and path to First-generation wealth. * [08:26] What does a family office mean to you, and how did you know what to do when you set out to do this for the first time? * [11:19] How have you and your understanding of value systems evolved? * [13:59] Adii describes his picture of an ideal day. * [16:13] His motivation for diving into entrepreneurship for the 3rd time. * [19:20] How have you explored this concept of multi-generational wealth or the family office? * [29:50] 'Paying a Life Dividend' * [37:34] Adii recounts a significant failure with the lessons learned. * [40:15] About Adii's book: "Life Profitability" * [49:12] What was the motivation for writing and publishing a book? * [53:00] How else do you document your history within your family for the next generation to discover? * [54:40] Adii's letter to his children. For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Adii Pienaar.
Mitzi Perdue ( is the daughter of one family business titan (her father founded the Sheraton Hotel Chain ( and the widow of another, (her late husband was the family business poultry magnate (, Frank Perdue), and she is also a businesswoman in her own right. She started the family wine grape business, now one of the larger suppliers of wine grapes in California. Mitzi likes nothing better than to share insider tips for successful family businesses. Her family of origin (the one that started the Sheraton Hotels) began with the family business, Henderson Estate Company, in 1840, and her Perdue family started in 1920 in the poultry business. These two families have a combined tradition of 276 years of staying together as a family. Family Business Books by Mitzi Perdue ( Standout Quotes: * "The odds of a family business lasting 100 years are 1 in 1000" - [Mitzi] * "The families who put a lot of effort into designing their cultures are the ones that survive, the ones that let things happen as they may, that rarely supports keeping the family business together over the generations" - [Mitzi] * "70% of family businesses won't make it to the next generation, so if you want your family to last, put a lot of intentionality into letting the family members know from the youngest age that they're part of something bigger than themselves" - [Mitzi] * "The biggest reason families don't last is family quarrels" - [Mitzi] * "So a big piece of advice I'd have for every family is, deal with the problems, get them out, come to a resolution but don't go the press, don't go to adversarial lawyers" - [Mitzi] * "We're measured by what you can give, not what you can get" - [Mitzi] * "I don't think you can be happy if you're not part of something bigger than yourself... * If you want to be happy, think what you can do for somebody else, if you really want to be miserable, think what's owed to you" - [Mitzi] * "In general, your family will be better functioning the more it knows its stories" - [Mitzi] * "If your children turn out right, nothing else matters, if your children turn out wrong, nothing else matters" - [Mitzi] Key Takeaways: * Mitzi is a part of two multi-generational business families, each of which has lasted for over 100years and over 5 generations. * Mitzi explains that a lot of conscious effort was put into strengthening the families over the years, noting in particular one of the strategies being the "Service to the Family" award. * Every single family that exists has a culture, but is it a culture that came about by accident or by design? * It is critical to be intentional about designing and maintaining family culture as it plays a major role in the success of a family business over generations, rather than just allowing things to happen as they may. * People need a lot of guidance to be steered away from selfishness, and that takes intentionality. * Separating Ownership and Control helps create a perspective of the family as an entity bigger than any one person, and consequently gives a better understanding of the role of stewardship. * Mitzi explains her innovative idea to inculcate the family values in family members, right from childhood. * Noting the importance of knowing how to handle family quarrels, Mitzi strongly emphasizes avoiding the press or lawyers but rather encourages outspokenness within the family. * Three ways that a family can intentionally stay together: Family Newsletters, Family Reunions, and Philanthropy. * Mitzi highlights the positive effects of connecting with both present and past members of the family on the well-being, physically and mentally, of the family. * As a personal preference, Mitzi would rather use books as a means to archive family history compared to other forms of technology, as it may be difficult to access the archive in the future if the technology used to archive it is outdated by that time. * Mitzi recommends entering a new family with humility, observing them, noting what gains you points and what doesn't, also pointing out that while the two families had very different values, the values were very compatible. * Mitzi's letter to her kids: Be generous, be kind, be honest, work hard but be a good steward. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] Introducing Mitzi Perdue, to discuss actionable advice on how her family has maintained their businesses and family dynamics for generations. * [02:28] Mitzi shares the origin stories of both business families she is a part of. * [04:46] What generation are you in each of these families and what generation are these families up to? * [10:08] Every family has a culture. * [13:22] About the family values and how they are inculcated with other members of the family. * [25:53]How big was the business when it went from family control to external control? * [34:02] How has the endowment grown to keep up with the growing size of the family? * [35:34] The 'What It Means To Be Us' book. * [38:35] Do you have a process or value system around how you keep records for the family? * [52:50] How was the process of assimilating two different value systems upon joining another family and what differences did you observe? * [57:15] Is there a constitution for the family? * [01:00:43] A letter from Mitzi to her children. For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Mitzi Perdue.
Ginny Gilder, is an American former competitive rower and Olympic silver medalist. As a second generation entrepreneur, Ginny’s day job is running her family investment office, Gilder Office for Growth ( but her heart leads her to focus on expanding access to opportunity in the realms of sports and education, especially for youth. A serial social enterprise entrepreneur, co-owner of the WNBA Seattle Storm (, and a writer, Ginny continues to look for ways to expand the footprint of women's professional sports in the U.S. Standout Quotes: * "The way that people really become good at something and grow wealth is by concentration" - [Ginny] * "There are gifts hidden in tough times" - [Ginny] * "You should keep doing something only as long as you're learning and growing" - [Ginny] * "For any family that's lucky enough to have financial wealth you've got to think about whether you are going to insist that people get along, and at what price" - [Ginny] * "The biggest thing that's probably shifted is recognizing what we really want, which is adult relationships with our adult children" - [Ginny] * "If you want to see change in the world, well, you've got to invest, cos nothing's going to happen if you're not going to invest" - [Ginny] * "What's really most important to most people is Human Connection... and if you really want to be connected, you've got to deal with the stuff that's the toughest" - [Ginny] Key Takeaways: * After making many mistakes starting a nonprofit, Ginny set up a business that helps start-up nonprofits avoid similar mistakes and achieve their goals. * Early in her career, she had goals that were not related to working in the family business. * Having a financial cushion had benefits, like the freedom to work without being tied to a focus on amassing wealth, although it came with less attention from their father. * When the time came for a transition of the family business, she knew she had to step up to the responsibility placed on her despite her lack of knowledge or passion in the family business. * There has to be a lot of very direct conversations if you want to be in business with your siblings. * Ginny clearly explains that she has no passion for the investment business, but got involved, for the love of family, the financial security, and the business relationships that come with it. * Having an investment office rather than a family office with bells and whistles was geared at equipping her kids to be independent, self-sufficient, and capable human beings. * Honesty has been hugely instrumental in navigating the family dynamics in Ginny's family, she also had to understand the importance of having adult relationships with her adult children. * When things go wrong, that's when you have to figure it out and it's also when you find out the relationships that are solid. * The importance of dealing with difficult family relationships: it's so easy when life is good to think everything is fine but as soon as life gets hard if you haven't dealt with challenges and learned how to disagree and resolve differences, you're not going to make it through the hardest parts of life. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] Meet Ginny Gilder; sharing her personal and professional background. * [01:34] Her family history and the origin of the family business * [08:20] How Ginny got into the investment business. * [22:50] What was your father's position when you started your nonprofit organization? * [29:00] Ginny describes how the family dynamics affected the transition of the business to her generation. * [30:42] What would you say that you've learned from the separation of roles between family and business? * [33:22] What is the family business structure going forward? * [40:05] How do you differentiate your investment office from a family office? * [41:20] About Gilder Office for Growth * [48:56] How do you navigate through your family dynamics in the world of wealth? * [53:15] Tell us about what you're most passionate about in terms of one of the businesses that you own today. * [01:00:40] Ginny's letter to her kids *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Ginny Gilder.
Khalid Muhmood ( is from the UK and through the family business holding company Dragonfly Education Group (, is an operational investor in education. He has been active in the business of education since 1994 when he and his wife, Arabella Peters, co-founded Apollo English ( and then the British University Vietnam. Since then they have invested in a number of businesses all focused on education. Khalid and Arabella see themselves as the founding generation of their family enterprise and intend to never sell their Dragonfly Education hold co. They’re actively involving their young children in business conversations and laying the foundation for generational wealth, legacy and impact. Standout Quotes: * "What's your biggest headache?" * "Learning from successful family businesses; so many of them do not load up on debt" - [Khalid] * "The future of education is blended, that means you've got to incorporate online with offline" - [Khalid] * "Sophisticated multi-generational families.. have taken generations to figure out that they need to separate the Governance from the Operations, and that the family needs to be excellent stewards and owners first before they can consider playing an active role in Operations" - [Mike] * "A well-run family business is difficult to beat, especially during downtimes" - [Khalid] * "Why trade anything in, when we've found purpose?" - [Khalid] * "If you’re building any business, I'd say that 'Focus' is the thing that's often lacking, especially if the entrepreneur at the beginning thinks they have to say yes to everything" - [Khalid] * "Look for the good in life... because it really helps you enjoy the journey" - [Khalid] Key Takeaways: * If you want to be truly in control of your journey in a business, you need to be the owner, not the manager. * At the very beginning, the vision was simply to get the business to survive. * It's only when you move from surviving to thriving that you can ask, "what do you want to do?" * When asked "what is your biggest headache?" at an event, many of the entrepreneurs answered "My father". * If you're not happy with 60000 pounds per year, then any more money might not change anything. * Khalid describes the challenges of Covid-19 as a learning period for the business as a whole. * Finding a way to create balance and incorporate online with offline learning is pivotal, that will be the future for the family business. * Khalid and his wife, Arabella involve their kids as much as possible in the family business even at the early ages of 8 and 10, with some tests to determine their level of interest and perception of the business as a whole. * In the future, the key role for the kids is going to be "Good Owners" * The stewardship role is critical * One of the tips to help foster togetherness among children is that if one of them does something wrong, punish them all. * Other points to note is to never elevate one sibling above the other and to always leave them to sort out their arguments without being the judge. * Khalid shares that the preferred investments taken by DragonFly are those in which a controlling stake can be bought. * A major mistake that was made at some point was accepting an offer from Nokia when it should have been turned down because it was distracting from the core competency of the business. * Khalid shares that his source of knowledge includes mentors, peer to peer learning, and mistakes. * From Khalid to his kids: Look for the good in life because it really helps you enjoy the journey. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] About Khalid Muhmood and the inspiration for starting the business of education * [06:01] Khalid explains some of the reasons behind the choice of Vietnam as a location for starting the business * [08:59] What was the vision at the time of starting the business * [15:03] The new vision for Dragonfly Education Group * [19:41] How did the business hold up in this period of Covid19, do you have an interest in online learning? * [24:34] Is there a vision of bringing your kids into the business if they're interested? * [31:20] Do you have any other family structures aside from stewarding Dragonfly as the main asset? * [32:53] Khalid shares some of the values, principles, and parenting approaches to raise well-rounded children amidst wealth. * [36:37] Where does this family business DNA come from? * [41:17] Where do you think you'll make the next operational or financial investment? * [43:01] One of the major mistakes made in running the business: Losing focus * [47:50] A letter from Khalid to his kids For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Khalid Muhmood.
Ashok Melwani started his career as a teenager, working in his family’s fashion retail stores during the school holidays. In 1982, he joined the business full-time, working his way up from brand manager to an executive director of the 4th generation Indian family business. He's a seasoned entrepreneur with decades of experience in retail, food & beverage and distribution, and now an executive coach. Ashok is a guide to the road less travelled. His story is a fascinating journey of a struggle to leave the family business and ultimately forge his own path. Standout Quotes: * "My most disliked few words, 'You should know what to do'." - [Ashok] * "If the CEO of a business is not passionate about a business, he has no business to be the CEO" - [Ashok] * "If the family business is the only thing on your resume, it's not very worthwhile" - [Ashok] * "Crowd brings crowd to a restaurant" - [Ashok] * "Two things I and my wife can never give you as parents, we cannot give you resilience, it only comes from hardship... We cannot give you self esteem, it comes only from achieving your own goals and making a name for yourself" - [Ashok] * "Everybody has a price at which they might do something which is borderline unethical, and the price depends a lot on your socio-emotional background" - [Ashok] * "When one door closes, another door opens.. in order for that to be true, you have to do your part which is don't hang around too long when the door closes" - [Ashok] Key Takeaways: * Ashok shares that although he wasn't particularly excited to work in the family business, the incentives and knowledge gained made it a perfect introduction to the retail business. * If the family business is the only thing on your resume, it's not very worthwhile, even if you were the MD. * Ashok discloses that following the impact of the Asian financial crisis on his transition out of the family business, he had fallen into depression for close to a year. * If you leave a family business, you don't want to have some small share in the business and start second-guessing whoever is left behind. * Although he had a clean exit, there were effects on the family dynamics at the time, as some family members didn't understand why. * Despite the many setbacks, looking back, there is no doubt that leaving the family business was the right step to take for Ashok. * I have no respect for trust fund kids. * You have a life outside and beyond the business, a lot of entrepreneurs are consumed by their business even when they should be spending time with family. * Ashok admits that based on his experience with his family business, he was not encouraged to start another one involving his children * After interacting with younger family business executive owners, a common notable point was that they were given time to work outside the family business before coming back. * From Ashok to his kids: when one door closes, another door opens, don't wait around too long afterward. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] Introducing "Ashok Melwani" * [01:56] Ashok narrates how he joined the family business * [02:50] What sort of products was the business offering? * [13:03] Your career with the family business, where did it reach, and what happened next? * [31:32] Ashok explains he had a clean exit from the family business. * [34:00] Would you say that leaving the family was the right decision for you? * [35:04] How is the family business going today? * [36:31] Did you ever try and nurture your children to work with you and create another family business? * [38:28] Ashok's opinion on children inheriting wealth * [40:39] A notable experience that helped shape his journey. * [44:00] What advice would you give to a driven entrepreneur who aspires to be the founding generation of a multi-generational family business? * [44:57] What's your take on generational businesses? * [46:46] My next stage in life involves venturing into Leadership Coaching * [47:35] Ashok's letter to his children For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Ashok Melwani.
George Isaac’s grandfather founded the first Isaac family businesses in 1899 in Bryan, Ohio, beginning a long history of serial entrepreneurship and the subsequent creation of several successful enterprises. A lot has changed since then, but the Isaac Group continues to thrive, now under board oversight and management by its third and fourth generation. George grew up as a child of family business owners and has run several Isaac multigenerational family businesses as a CEO and board member. More recently, he is the founder and president of GAI Capital Ltd. (, a family business consulting firm and the author of a newly released book titled Your Business, Your Family, Your Legacy: Building a Multigenerational Family Business That Lasts ( Your Business Your Family Your Legacy - George A Isaac ( Standout Quotes: * "I realized that some of the things I did in running our family business and what a lot of people are doing today are not best practices" * "I used to think that the goal was to get everybody in the family to stay in the family business and figure out a way to make them live happily ever after... My goal now is to understand the real needs of each family member and see if they fit within what the family business is going to be about" * "The majority can rule and figure out what they want to do but you need to deal with the minority issues... so that you can satisfy their needs" * "The most important to me of the whole thing is just being certain that your ownership group is aligned" * "There are times when you should sell your family business" * "Shareholder returns are much different than business returns... Figuring out how you provide real-life shareholder returns is an important step that many of us don't recognize" * "Money is not everything by any means" Key Takeaways: * Although George had gotten involved in the family business at a very early age and had planned to join fully after school, he decided to go out and get outside experience first. * George notes that the Authoritarian leadership style of his father, although a good leader, made for a rather weak management team generally. * The 2 conceptual parts to George's 9-step succession planning roadmap: Family Transition Planning and Business Transition Planning. * George explains that formerly his goal would be to make everyone stay in the family business and be happy, but now he tries to understand the individual needs of each family member, to see if they fit into the family business as a whole. * It is necessary to revisit the topic of people's needs and be sure the business is aligned with taking care of these needs because those needs change over time. * The 2 Basic components of selling the family business: the financial side and the personal side. * Headwinds that perpetuate a multi-generational family wealth: FIST ( Family units, Inflation, Spending rate, Taxes) * George shares some insight from the book "Everybody matters", describing how attention to the little things can go a long way in making workers satisfied * Think about what you want your legacy to be; are you aligning yourself with that legacy? * Be Curious and Have Empathy Episode Timeline: * [00:49] A short overview of George's background and the Isaac family business * [05:12] George is the 3rd generation of the family business * [05:28] What sort of product lines is the business in? * [06:22] How did your story evolve into the family advisory work? * [09:44] About the A 9-step succession planning roadmap from George's book * [17:16] George highlights implications to consider in selling a family business * [23:37] The Family Business Wealth Evaporation Trap * [33:05] F.I.S.T * [36:51] Is it possible to maintain wealth at a reasonable level even though the family grows at a compound rate as the generations go on? * [39:47] George shares his opinion about children inheriting wealth. * [41:51] George recommends the book "Everybody Matters" by Bob Chapman * [44:31] From George to his kids *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: George Isaac.
Gautam Goel is the fourth generation Managing Director of Dhampur International Pte Ltd (, the parent company and Dhampur International Pte Ltd. Founded in India in 1933 by Gautam’s great grandfather, he along with fellow members of the current generation continue to steward the family and business legacy today. Listen on to hear how the business was intentionally split off from a wider family group to resolve in-fighting, how they’ve professionalised the business and what challenges they face when contemplating the 5th generation’s involvement. Standout Quotes: * My dad used to tell me "if you want to join the work, you have to make sure you are capable, I won't yield an inch if I don't think you are capable and you have to fight for your position, I am not going to give it to you" - [Gautam Goel] * "I don't believe in the saying Look before you leap because very often you don't leap, only when you leap do you realize what your capabilities are" - [Gautam Goel] * "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - [Gautam Goel] * "Don't be fixated on results, put in your best, do your effort and leave the results" - [Gautam Goel] Key Takeaways: * Gautam encouraged his daughters to go to college, explaining that going straight to work makes you grow up fast and there is no need to rush the experience when you can enjoy it. * When trying different things, it is important not to move too fast from one to another because you might not give each your full attention * Business can't be a democracy, one person has to make the decisions * Gautam explains that to be in this industry in India, you cannot solely be profit-oriented, you need to have a mindset to do good for your community. * Not encouraging recklessness, but as long as you have common sense, it's good to be adventurous and make some mistakes to figure things out. * Don't be fixated on results, results are not in your control, your effort is Episode Timeline: * [00:49] About Gautam Goel and the history of his family business. * [14:31] How did you end up joining the family business? * [20:25] Gautam describes the natural process of his succession noting how this affects decision making in the business * [24:55] What does the business look like today, from where it started? * [34:36] Is there a next-generation that is interested in joining the family business, and what challenges do you foresee? * [40:36] Integrating the idea of outside leadership in the family business * [42:26] Are there structures or plans in place regarding family governance? * [43:48] Gautam's thoughts on children inheriting wealth * [45:50] Are you taking any steps to document the history of the family business? * [46:25] Gautam's letter to his kids For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Gautam Goel.
It's not often we get to hear from a 7th generation American manufacturing family with a company that dates back to 1728 and in their family since 1793. The Hollingsworth & Vose Company ( is a technical manufacturer with a rich history of R&D and innovation. Here to share their story with us are Val & Annie Hollingsworth, first cousins and both members of the 6th generation, stewarding this incredible and impactful company to the next generation. Val Hollingsworth has served as President of Hollingsworth & Vose Company ( since January 1997, and added the title of Chief Executive Officer in January 1998. He began in operations, working as a Shift Supervisor and as a Production Manager, then held a series of manufacturing, sales, and marketing positions. He served as Mill Manager of our West Groton Mill and General Manager of the Battery Separator Business Unit. While the majority of his career has been at H&V, he also spent two years in the Investment Banking Division at Lehman Brothers in New York. Val earned a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. Annie Hollingsworth was elected to the H&V Board of Directors ( in 1997. She currently serves on the Nominating & Governance and the Executive Compensation committees of the Board. Prior to joining the Board, Annie worked at H&V starting in 1984. She held several positions in Sales and Marketing including Product Manager, Battery Separator and Marketing Manager, Nonwovens. She was instrumental in getting H&V into the battery separator business. Annie’s father, Mark was the CEO of H&V from 1963 – 1983. Standout Quotes: * "Our company's history has been one of finding new and more technically oriented products in order to replace products that are maturing and obsolescing… Because the family had so much invested in this, we couldn't take the risk of being obsolete" - [Val Hollingsworth] * "If you're trying to optimize profitability, which we all are, how do you start to invest in things that may cannibalize an already existing product?" - [Val Hollingsworth] * "If we could be a good company.... that would attract good people, those good people would do good work" - [Val Hollingsworth] * "Ultimately, you have to trust other people to become the real experts and get in-depth, so it's more a matter of helping find and develop the right people and giving them what they need" - [Val Hollingsworth] * "There has always been an unwritten ethic of having to go the extra mile if you're from the family and you're in the business" - [Val Hollingsworth] * "If the family can contribute in helping set the right tone, and helping nurture the sense of purpose and values that are relevant, both for the family and ultimately for the company… that's invaluable in creating the atmosphere and dynamic that attracts good people" - [Val Hollingsworth] * "Be a good steward, Don't take it for granted" - [Val Hollingsworth] Key Takeaways: * Annie highlights that the company's resilience over the decades comes from a strong focus on customer relationships as well as Research and Development. * Val notes a conscious intent in the company from the beginning to continually reinvest, describing some of the intricate planning involved in the company's production line. * The business tries to keep up with a mantra of having the best product in the market, a better one in customer evaluation, and an even better one in the labs. * Val also describes the role of the workers in building the company's resilience, stressing the importance of having and keeping good people. * Trusting the employees plays a vital role in creating a balance for Annie and Val, between having knowledge of the technical expertise required in the family business and the job of stewardship. * Unlike Annie's Father who had to step up to the needs of the company without having much of a choice, Val and Annie were not under any pressure and joined purely out of interest. * The challenge for the older generation (6th generation) is to be open to change, to understand the important things that can make the company relevant to the next generation, and to know how to communicate with them. * Annie shares that she would encourage her kids to pursue their passion, as there are many ways to be a good family member or stockholder, but to ensure they continue to honor the company. * Val points out that with good stewardship, the family business could give meaningful contribution to the world. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] Meet Val and Annie Hollingsworth, as they share the early origins of their family business dating back to the late 1700s * [07:17] What is it about this company that has allowed it to remain so resilient for so many years? * [14:55] Val points out that the business also has multiple generations of employees * [16:42] Can you share some of the more notable products that the company is known for manufacturing today? * [22:14] Annie and Val each highlight events leading up to their entrance into the company and the journey so far. * [29:35] How do you balance understanding the depth of the technical expertise in the business with your stewardship role as a family member? * [33:33] Some of the strategies employed in keeping all the various stakeholders up to date with happenings in the business * [39:04] The business has an associate development program that exposes workers to the different areas of the business so that they can make a good match. * [43:38] Val describes the role of non-family members in the success of the overall business. * [46:30] How does the governance side of the family business work? * [54:24] Does the family do anything to ensure that the business's history is documented over time? * [55:50] The future of Hollingsworth and Vose. * [59:44] Annie's letter to her children * [01:00:40] Val's letter to his children For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guests: Annie Hollingsworth and Val Hollingsworth.
Jeff Gould ( is the founder Lineage Asset Advisors (LAA) ( a full-service commercial real estate advisory and consulting firm providing customized commercial real estate services to help families make seamless transitions with their properties – from one generation to the next. Lineage collaborates with estate planning advisers to develop and implement portfolio solutions that meet the goals of multiple generations. Their aim is to preserve and enhance family wealth and legacy during difficult life transitions while establishing a culture of respect, peace of mind and financial sustainability. Standout Quotes: * "Like most forms of financial planning, the sooner you plan ahead, the much easier it is to implement and follow through" - [Mike Boyd] * "Even if the family is risk-averse, I think it is really critical for them to understand that the risk of doing nothing may still be higher than the risk of doing something if they plan to keep the assets" – [Jeff Gould] * "I think many families need to stay nimble in the future and really adjust for change" – [Jeff Gould] * "Wealth and wealth transfer doesn't always lead to happiness, in fact in many cases it leads to conflict and challenges and strife among family members, so we want to try to shift that conversation, and that takes effort and planning" – [Jeff Gould] * "Life is generally empty and meaningless, and we have the ability to establish positive and productive meaning in the midst of a world in constant transition" – [Jeff Gould] Key Takeaways: * The ideal scenario would be to involve Jeff early in planning for the transition but the reality is that he is engaged much later when things need to move quickly. * There is a unique skill set that is needed to be a trusted adviser to help the family understand what they have in regards to Real Estate, and develop a plan with that Real Estate called a "Shared Asset Ownership plan" that considers the variables of the next generation. * The 3 phased process includes Discovery, Planning, and Implementation. * Addressing the issue of Deferred Maintenance; the 'Do Nothing Scenario' and the 'Do Something Scenario' * 5 Transition Strategies in Real Estate planning: Communication and Education, Conflict Resolution and Accepting differences, Rediscovering your commercial Real Estate portfolio, Developing a mindful asset transition plan, and Implementing the plan and adjusting for change * Jeff's advice to Real estate entrepreneurs: Creating your estate plan and developing a shared asset ownership plan that aligns with the next generation. * Jeff explains that he helps the family understand that it is a fortunate situation to be carrying on and stewarding the transition of the assets rather than focusing on the personal value of the asset to each family member. * Be respectful to everyone you encounter. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] Jeff Gould and his professional background * [06:06] Do you usually get called in at the time of a transition event in a family or ahead of that time to plan a healthy transition? * [08:37] Jeff gives a general picture of the different categories of clients he works with. * [11:12] What are the particular challenges with the real estate space that create the need for Jeff's specialty, to steward assets in family transition rather than a generic accountant or financial planner? * [16:51] Jeff describes the 3 phased process of his work with families * [24:00] Addressing Deferred Maintenance * [30:50] What would you say is the appetite for innovation in Real Estate? * [35:06] 5 transition strategies in Real Estate planning * [39:44] What advice would you give to a founding generation or Real Estate entrepreneur to best prepare themselves to have a great plan in place? * [43:24] Do you work with any families that are multigenerational into the 3rd, 4th, or 5th generations? * [49:38] From Jeff to his kids *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Jeff Gould.
Jim ( and Paul Warner ( work together in multi-generational family dynamics helping all parties establish and sustain authentic, synergistic, relationships. Paul leads young adult retreats, focusing on authentic relationships, navigating change, and leadership development. He also coaches young adults seeking clarity on their life purpose, mission, and vision, and guides them to take full responsibility for their lives. Jim’s work has led him to write three books and an audio series based on high achievers’ yearnings for identity, meaning, and connection. He has been married 44 years and enjoys enriching relationships with his wife, their three adult children, and a granddaughter. Jim and Paul work extensively with Young Presidents’ Organization and Family Business Network Families Worldwide. The last dozen years they have also guided several S.E. Asian families in their quest to establish enduring principles across multiple generations. Standout Quotes: * "One of the major issues of families of wealth is they make the mistake of insulating the kids from the realities of living outside of the wealth bubble" - [Jim Warner] * "Without being able to experience pain, you cheat people out of the ability to experience joy; I'd like to think of pain and joy as opposite sides of the same coin and if you mute one, you're gonna mute the other" - [Jim Warner] * "If we want our young adult children to step into their sense of destiny, are we modeling that ourselves?" - [Jim Warner] * "If you've worked with one family, you've worked with one family" - [Jim and Paul Warner] * "Introduce a common language within the family so that we can play in these intentional spaces, to stretch towards each other." [Paul Warner] * "Harmony is impossible without the willingness to go into painful discussions" - [Jim Warner] * "If you choose not to discuss the Elephant in the room, you forfeit the right to complain" - [Jim Warner] * "When all parties are willing to play ball, when all parties are willing to take responsibility, we'll often say "right now this family has 600% responsibility" each of you takes 100% responsibility for what is within your control." [Paul Warner] * "Love is unconditional, relationships are not" - [Jim Warner] Key Takeaways: * Jim explains the need to distinguish supporting and protecting, from enabling, because oftentimes families blur those lines. * Mike and Jim agree that being insulated from the rest of the world does not necessarily protect wealthy children but may do more harm than good. * Governance structures are secondary to parental modeling of core values. * Rather than jumping right into getting the kid fit for succession, the key thing a parent should ask is "How do I help my young adult find their own passion in life?" * Jim highlights 3 key steps to balancing being a nurturing parent while not enabling children: Active listening, Allowing children to face disappointment, and Guiding them to take responsibility for their lives. * Many professionals who go into a family environment have a relatively small toolbox; if all you've got is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. * Harmony is about truth-telling, it's not about being nice to one another * Jim stresses that the goal of discussing the painful topics (the elephant in the room) is the potential of having an authentic family relationship as opposed to a transactional family relationship * If a sense of self-awareness is instilled into children, then when they're adults you can have mature transformational discussions as a family, but without it, the children may never grow up. * The components of the "Trust" that sets elders apart: Credibility, Reliability, Honesty, Vulnerability and Adaptability. * There are two ways life happens; life can happen to me where I'm the victim, or life can happen by me where I'm a creator and I create my own options * Life is a journey and the important things take time; part of that journey will be your individual discovery and deeper understanding and connection with yourself. * Don't change, I love you just the way you are Episode Timeline: * [00:50] Mike briefly introduces both Jim and Paul Warner, and they share some of their background stories * [04:45] Paul describes the impact of his father in his eventual choice of profession * [07:22] What are some of the challenges that you've seen for parents raising motivated and happy children amidst wealth? * [13:47] What role do you think formal governance structures play in shaping strong family values and bonds? * [17:05] Paul's definition of the rising generation, describing the common dynamic between them and the older generation. * [20:25] How do you help people identify their own path and whether or not they're fit for succession? * [22:46] How Paul got into the family business * [28:02] Jim describes how a parent can be welcoming and nurturing without enabling the children * [29:55] The approach to working with different families * [33:45] 13 guidelines for authentic interactions in any environment * [39:10] Discussing the "Elephant in the room" * [51:37] What sets an elder apart with respect to the ability to influence the success of a family? * [01:00:06] From Paul to his kids * [01:01:07]From Jim to his kids For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guests: Jim Warner and Paul Warner.
Jonathan Goldhill is an Experienced Coach to Entrepreneurs and Family-Owned Businesses. He states that the dwindling chances of multigenerational success are due in large part to the issues unique to family businesses that are often wrapped up in a tightly woven knot of unspoken plans. In his new book DISRUPTIVE SUCCESSOR (, Jonathan offers a proven framework and playbook for unwinding this knot, scaling up your business or planning your exit. Standout Quotes: * "Perhaps all multi-generational businesses should have a family constitution, while we're naming secretaries and treasurers... why not name a historian?" – [Jonathan Goldhill] * "There's no evil to money... it's the absence of instilling good values as to what the significance of that money means" – [Jonathan Goldhill] * "There's a requirement of the older generation that if they're going to leave money to a younger generation that they provide some guardrails around it" – [Jonathan Goldhill] * 96% of all business in the US are under a million dollars in revenue, and 64% of the GDP in the US is coming from family businesses. – [Jonathan Goldhill] * "It takes time for one generation to let go and release and enjoy what they've built, and trust the next generation to grow it bigger and do it safely" – [Jonathan Goldhill] * "I'm not in the business of family coaching, I'm in the families doing business coaching" – [Jonathan Goldhill] * The hardest part I think of running businesses is managing the people and getting the right people in your company. – [Jonathan Goldhill] * "There's a time for family, a time for business, and then there's time for the family business or the business of family where they overlap in between" – [Mike Boyd] * "Life is hard work and if you're not working on yourself then nobody else is going to" – [Jonathan Goldhill] Key Takeaways: * One of the downsides of being wealthy is that wealthy people can be very busy at the expense of spending time with children * Jonathan emphasizes the importance of a family business archive as he explains he does not know exactly how his grandfather's family business was shut down. * The blessing and curse of setting up a trust fund: there's lots of misinterpretation of younger generations when they inherit that wealth * There's a requirement of the older generation that if they're going to leave money to a younger generation that they provide some guardrails around it. * Jonathan explains that there is a generational gap with unspoken conversations between generations, and the families he knows had the best transitions communicated as peers. * Business coaching is not about hitting a mass number of people, it's about the business of the family. * If you're not having important conversations, then you're not building a healthy business. * Hard work isn't always in the form of just long hours and physical toil, it comes from commitment and dedication to improve oneself and be better. Episode Timeline: * [00:48] Introducing Jonathan Goldhill who shares some history of his grandfather's family business. * [08:09] How exactly did the business end? * [11:57] Jonathan describes one of his attempts at starting a new business and the challenges that effectively impeded the success of the business * [16:08] The impact of wealth on Jonathan growing up * [21:40] How did you take this formative experience from your own family to help other business families through their situations? * [32:50] Who typically engages you; is it more of the successor generation or the boomers who have built the family business and are looking to hand over? * [34:55] About Jonathan's book: "The Disruptive Successor" * [41:10] The role of the different cultures in the family business * [44:50] Defining "Family" * [48:00] A letter from Jonathan to his kids *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Jonathan Goldhill.
Dato’ Loy Teik Ngan, the eldest son of a well-known entrepreneur who built one of the largest business conglomerates in Malaysia, Teik Ngan took over the rein of his family company upon his father’s demise. Within a year, the sprawling business empire that took 35 years to build, collapsed under the weight of huge debts amidst the 1998 Asian financial crisis. 14 years passed before all personal liabilities of his family from the days of the financial crisis were eventually settled. In the process, he built a new family business, in education. The Taylor’s Education Group ( is today the largest private education group in Malaysia. Focused on premium education, Taylor’s K-12 schools & higher education institutions are widely recognised as the top education institutions in their respective categories. Taylor’s institutions operate in Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam. The struggles during the tough financial period of his life shaped Teik Ngan’s stewardship views for family business. Appreciating unity, his family has introduced concepts and activities that promote collaborative conversations & strengthen relationships. He is dedicated to the development & transition of his family’s next generation of 13. Teik Ngan’s family are active members of the Family Business Network Asia ( & he is the current President of the Board. Standout Quotes: * "We had to learn how to live together; we had to form a Living Together Committee" * "One thing that normally goes wrong when families end up in dispute is lack of proper communication" * "The family unit is important and sometimes we are subservient to the larger family" * "We try to always emphasize that the family comes before the business, the business allows us the blessing to be able to have the lifestyle that we have, but we have to work together as a family first" * "Do you want to be Rich or do you want to be King?" * "I would encourage my kids to understand the context in why they do what they do... What is it all for? Wealth is fleeting; wealth is something that we cannot take with us when we die" Key Takeaways: * Dato’ informed the bank he was indebted to, that they could either push him into bankruptcy or loan him more money to rebuild and pay back the company debts. * A living together committee had to be formed to help the large family live in one compound. * Knowing that lack of communication was a common cause of family disputes prompted the introduction of Forums to build positive communication. * Dato’ shares that the most important thing that has been done as leader of the family business in recent times is Annual Vacations. * The difference between "Family Business" and "Business family" is that in 'Family Business', the family comes before the business. * Guided by the shared family values, one of which is "Achievement and Learning", Dato’ explains how the next generation is encouraged to follow their passion even when it may be outside the family business. * The concept of a "Personal Portfolio" in creating an education plan for the family * The difference between being rich and being a king is that a king has ultimate authority, loyal subjects and lots he has to look after but being rich is just going for performance, the best point is somewhere between both * Dato’ explains the concept of the "Deathwalk", an exercise involving walking into our death, looking back at our current age, and giving ourselves the advice we would. Episode Timeline: * [00:49] Introducing Dato’ Loy and 'The Taylor's Education group' * [01:59] Dato’ narrates the events surrounding his transition into his father's company, which was is debt before the overwhelming challenges brought about by the Asian financial crisis * [07:02] Dato’ admits he was ill-prepared for the scale of complexity involved in the business, worsened by the lack of adequate resources to surmount the crisis at the time. * [08:43] From a collapsed family business to a thriving one * [13:45] Dato’ describes in detail the current size and scale of the family business * [14:50] How did these experiences shape your views towards stewardship of the family business? * [20:50] The living together committee * [23:28] Dato’ explains the different strategies employed to keep the family harmony * [29:25] Differentiating between "Family Business" and "Business family" * [33:35] Are you actively planning and anticipating succession with the next generation? * [35:16] The concept of a "Personal Portfolio" in creating an education plan for the family * [40:53] In the last 5 years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your family business? * [43:26] Dato's letter to his kids: 'the Deathwalk' *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Dato’ Loy Teik Ngan.
Caroline Link, a 4th generation family member who is being groomed to run B.Grimm (, one of Thailand’s oldest family-owned industrial conglomerates. Caroline grew up in a family where the common driving value and belief was to conduct business with compassion and in harmony with nature. Through multiple generations of management, and multiple business areas and geographies, B.Grimm (which was founded in Bangkok in 1878), has managed to cultivate a spirit of innovation and empowerment among its staff. Standout Quotes: * “All the family members that are not in the business are just as important because they also form who you are, form your opinions, and influence you in some way” – [Caroline Link] * “I think the most important thing that we invest in, is our reputation and that is really the most important thing that we have” – [Caroline Link] * “Being a family business; that really helped in a way because these strong values, they weren’t only passed on when you became a leader within the company, but they were lived in the household” – [Caroline Link] * “Keep working on yourself, and if you want things to change you have to initiate it and change yourself” – [Caroline Link] Key Takeaways: * Caroline explains that the resilience of the family business over time was born from the entrepreneurial spirit in the leaders, as well as a strong culture that is value and purpose-driven * A family business is different from normal business; families come from a place of love, harmony, and support, and it’s important to look at this dynamic * Caroline describes that the most important thing the business invests in is “Reputation”, and a lot of the reputation is based on the company's purpose and culture. * Following an exercise aimed at creating an in-depth definition of the company as a whole, it was realized that the key to the success of the company, even from the founders, was an inherent drive towards helping society and creating value. * Caroline also shares that a workshop on family values revealed the two main values in her family to be ”Contribution” and “Sense of Freedom” * It is important to develop a strong sense of self-awareness; keep working on yourself, and if you want things to change you have to initiate it and change yourself * Find what makes you happy professionally and gives you meaning, and make a contribution Episode Timeline: * [00:48] Meeting the guest; Caroline Link, and the B.Grimm company * [01:33] A brief history on the founding of the B.Grimm Company up to the 3rd generation * [06:48] Caroline shares that she was lucky her interests were aligned with many fields that the family business was already involved in. * [08:40] How has the family business remained resilient for such a long time? * [09:53] How the family has governed itself successfully * [15:52] Diversifying the family wealth outside of the business * [16:54] Caroline describes that the family strives to build an archive of the business history even though so much of it has been lost to wars and a fire accident. * [20:23] What is the most worthwhile investment you have ever made? * [22:01] Who is B.Grimm? * [23:20] The two main family values shared by Caroline’s family * [25:17] The scale of the B.Grimm enterprise * [28:06] Caroline’s thoughts on the children being a part of the family business * [31:58] A letter from Caroline to her Kids For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Caroline Link.
Richard Eu is a fourth-generation Eu. His grandfather was tycoon and philanthropist Eu Tong Sen who remains a legend in Singapore for the vast commercial empire he built across Southeast Asia in the early 1900’s. Tong Seng had 11 wives with whom he had 24 children, setting the stage for a complex and conflicted period of succession following his death in 1941. One of the family's last remaining businesses, Eu Yan Sang (, a network of Traditional Chinese Medicine dispensaries, was founded by Richard Eu's great-grandfather Eu Kong and the family's fifth generation are still in the business today. This is a gripping story of family politics, loss of control, re-consolidation, an IPO, and ultimately privatisation of the family firm once again. Standout Quotes: * “My father told me when I was still studying that I would not expect to be able to work in any of the family businesses after graduation because of the family politics” – Richard Eu * “If you want to institutionalize the business, it cannot be in family hands forever” – Richard Eu * “When an institution buys into a business like ours, to a large extent they also buy into the culture that's been set up there by the family and they should be crazy just to lose it” – Richard Eu Key Takeaways: * If you want to institutionalize the business, it cannot be in family hands forever * One of the problems that we had from the 3rd generation was that nobody called the shots, yet because they were individuals they didn't think like as institutions, they just thought about their situations * When an institution buys into a business, what they should do is preserve the culture and manage it in a modern and efficient way without trying to kill the original culture * It's not just about financial ratios or balance sheet, you have to bring in the heart * Good communication helps build trust in the family business * From Richard to his kids: when I’m dead and gone, they should look at themselves and see if they are on the path that we set off to follow as a family Episode Timeline: * [00:48] A brief introduction to Richard Eu, who shares a detailed history of the multi-generational family business * [08:15] Richard joined the business at 42, although his father did not expect he would be able to work with any of the businesses because of the family politics involving his uncles * [16:56] About the TCM family business "Eu Yan Sang", with more emphasis on the challenges posed by politics affecting the family business. * [34:20] Despite all the challenges, the family business experienced consistent growth almost every year. * [38:20] Richard describes one of the problems that began from the 3rd generation * [42:01] How two members of the 5th generation joined the family business * [47:00] Do you have any favorite failure that set you up for success in the family business? * [50:42] A major learning point for Richard; Communication * [52:26] From Richard to his kids *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Richard Eu.
Crystal Lam is the Managing Director and second generation to manage Vinawood Ltd. (, Vietnam’s largest wood component manufacturer specializing in customized window covering, millwork and architectural mouldings. With 10 years of operations experience in Vietnam, Crystal has lead the firm’s expansion into new markets, product categories and strategic ventures. Standout Quotes: * “My father raised me with the same belief systems; to be traditional in values but modern in action" - Crystal Lam * “It's not just experience or skill, it's really just the heart” - Crystal Lam * "I've always found it to be important to be happy with who you see in the mirror when you wake up every day" - Crystal Lam * "Know what you stand for" - Crystal Lam Key Takeaways: * A crisis or challenge can create the opportunity to show your heart and grit in your family business. * It's not just experience or skill, it's the heart, so wherever your heart is, you will be great and you want to find people whose hearts beat the way your heart beats. * You will make decisions your entire life but the way you come to these decisions is rooted in your belief system and your value system. * If you don't know what you stand for, you will continuously feel conflict which holds you back from being the best version of yourself. Episode Timeline: * [01:37] Crystal's journey in the family business started at a young age * [03:03] Balancing growing up in America (an individualist society) with the expectation of family in Asia (an honor or face-based society) * [04:57] Crystal describes 3 major obstacles she had to face, working in the family business, and how she overcame them. * [07:50] The impact of the pandemic on the family business in 2020. * [13:14] Addressing the challenge of forgetting more sensitive family topics while focusing on the business. * [19:00] Crystal describes the admirable qualities of her grandmother, narrating a key event that occurred while she was a journalist. * [21:11] A key failure experienced by Crystal that shaped her journey * [23:19] The future for Vinawood * [27:29] Implementing their Father-Daughter forum * [33:01] A letter from Crystal to her kids: "Know what you stand for" *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Crystal Lam.
Chris Herschend is a third-generation shareholder and Chairman of Missouri-based Herschend Enterprises (, the largest family ( themed attractions company in the US. HFE properties span 26 locations and 10 states, employing over 10,000 people who collectively host over 13 million guests annually at properties including Silver Dollar City, Dollywood and the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters ( Standout Quotes: * "That's not your board members' primary role; to be experts on your business, they're really there to be a resource for you, a check for you..they also provide a level of protection" – Chris Herschend * "I hear a lot of family businesses that do not have shareholder agreements in place, and that's a mandatory first step, you've got to have a shareholder agreement before you do anything else" – Chris Herschend * "You can't trust somebody if you don't know them; you can't know them if you never see them" – Chris Herschend * "You'd be amazed at what millionaires would do for a $250 plane ticket" – Chris Herschend * "It's not about you and you are not your own" – Chris Herschend Key Takeaways: * Humility and Accountability define the principle behind the business model of a majority independent board for their family-owned company. * The primary role of your board members is not to be experts in your business, they are there to be a resource, a check, and for protection * Humility of an owner who wants a true board is so attractive to high-quality board members and business thinkers that they want to be a part of that * You need to know where you are in the generational business cycle * The primary role of the board is to be truth-tellers * One of the hardest things you have to do as a larger family is to define 'Family' * The simplest most important thing done in their family business is "Gathering" * Chris emphasizes to his kids that their job is to steward the family business Episode Timeline: * [00:49] An Introduction to Chris Herschend * [01:26] The mission of Herschend Enterprises is to create memories worth repeating; Chris shares the history of the company * [07:26] The day to day operations of the business as a theme park * [10:10] Chris gives a detailed description of the governing structure of the family business * [13:30] Reasons behind the business model of a majority independent board for a family-owned company. * [21:33] The family is constantly around the business but rarely in the business. * [26:03] Chris describes his role in the family business * [35:40] The different phases or eras in handling the wealth of the family business * [48:50] Are there any key resources that your family has invested in to get to where you are today? * [56:27] A letter from Chris to his kids *For more episodes go to * ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Chris Herschend.
Dr. Jim Grubman ( has provided services to individuals, couples, and families of wealth for over 30 years. His work with clients at many levels of affluence - from the “millionaire next door” to The Forbes 400 - has earned him a reputation as a valued family advisor. Jim is the author of Strangers in Paradise: How Families Adapt to Wealth Across Generations ( and co-author with Dennis Jaffe, PhD of Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations (, offering ground-breaking explanations of how individuals and families can adjust to wealth effectively. Standout Quotes: * "At the affluent and perhaps high net worth level, it's not that families leave wealth, it's that wealth gets distributed" – Dr. Jim Grubman * "People come to wealth without preparation for how they're going to sustain it in their family and that's really why it is so difficult for families" – Dr. Jim Grubman * "Most people just focus on the money and they forget adaptation" – Dr. Jim Grubman * “Everybody wants to get to the land of wealth but they don't realize what is going to be like once they get there and what their life is going to be like, the new problems that they're going to have and the adjustments in identity” – Dr. Jim Grubman * “Many inheritors are really disenfranchised citizens of the land of wealth, people think they have money but they really don't, it's in trust, tied up in partnerships... they don't control most of the wealth that is associated with them” – Dr. Jim Grubman * "Don't chase happiness; Happiness is a result, it's not a goal" – Dr. Jim Grubman Key Takeaways: * Cross-cultural adaptation is much harder than people anticipate when they make the journey to wealth * In trying to adapt to a new environment, 2 dimensions make the greatest difference: the degree to which people hold on to or let go of connection to where they came from, and the degree to which they take on or resist getting involved with the new culture * Many of the things that are necessary for the business of family are completely unknown to the people coming to wealth. * Many inheritors are really disenfranchised citizens of the land of wealth, they don't control most of the wealth that is associated with them. * The 3 main cultural prototypes: HFD Dignity culture/individualist culture (the West) Face culture/harmony culture (East/Asia) Honor culture (across several countries) * The natives of global wealth get transformed into the 4th culture; a hybrid blending where they have roots in Honor or Harmony culture with strong influences from individualists and understand the struggle that their families have gone through cross-culturally * Is the 4th culture the destination for all of these different cultures? * One of the most difficult transitions for families is to move from a strong focus on the individual to understanding how much you have to build skills, processes, and structures for the interdependence of significant wealth. Honor and Harmony culture are much more prepared to understand interdependence. * The 3 main questions on adaptation; What from our background still serves us that we can keep? What from our background no longer serves us that we need to let go of? What from our new circumstances do we need to take on for the journey ahead? * Chase purpose; happiness comes from a fulfilled life Episode Timeline: * [00:48] Mike introduces Dr. Jim Grubman and describes some of his work * [01:54] Dr. Jim narrates the history behind his involvement in Family wealth psychology * [04:16] The concepts of 'Coming to wealth' and 'Coming from wealth' * [10:19] The contrast between statistics that 80% of the wealth is created in the current generation and the amount of family wealth that is lost from generation to generation; where is all the wealth going? * [16:09] How do immigrants to wealth acquire the mental template to transition into the new culture? * [19:03] The known strategies that people go through in trying to adapt to a new environment. * [20:56] What individuals go through in making the journey to wealth * [26:08] Do the models and strategies for wealth preservation differ for those native to wealth compared to those coming to wealth? * [29:10] The main types of cultures as categorized in the book 'Cross Cultures' * [44:39] Jim's recommendation for G1s or wealth creators starting a healthy transition to G2 * [47:00] Are there new trends emerging? * [50:16] Jim's letter to his kids For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Jim Grubman PhD.
Spencer is a Principal with The St. Louis Trust Company (, a multi-family office for 50 families in the United States managing in excess of US $10 billion, where he heads the Family Business Advisory Practice. Spencer is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Family Business at the Olin Business School ( at Washington University in St. Louis. Standout Quotes: * “Multi-family businesses are acts of inadvertence in the initial years or the initial generation, they're usually a force of necessity, and then it becomes more opportunistic as the family gets bigger, and by the time you get to the 3rd generation it's more process-driven and ultimately becomes strategic” – Spencer Burke * “At the end of the day, it's not about having a board and all that, it's about the quality of the people, the vision, the culture and purpose of the organization; that's what creates great companies of all kinds and family business is just a large subset of great companies in the world” – Spencer Burke * "In the United States, you can own 100% of the votes and not own any of the economics of a company" – Spencer Burke * "I don't think there's anything better to own than your own company and the ability to compound earnings" – Spencer Burke * “When it is time to sell the business that's great, that's not a failure” – Spencer Burke * “The key to happiness is, don't let other people be the measure of your success; If you're not happy doing what you're doing, go do something else” – Spencer Burke Key Takeaways: * Some families walk away from a wealth of knowledge because they don't know what they're getting; although they need the advice, they just have the wrong person giving it to them * Multi-generational family businesses are acts of inadvertence in the initial years or the initial generation, but get more opportunistic as the family gets bigger, and by the third generation, ultimately becomes strategic and process-driven. * “Hygiene" refers to some cost-free measures that can be set up in the beginning to increase your chances of getting beyond the 2nd and 3rd generation, however, if not taken care of, you have no chance of success * The key characteristic shared by enduring companies whether family business or not is "Total Control by One Person” * In most families where there are issues, how the socio-emotional wealth is getting shared is just as prominent as how the money is being shared. * To succeed over long periods (100 years), successful families have extracted a great deal of wealth out of the business so they have the resources to protect the business when necessary. * The 3 fundamental factors that may impede the success of a family business; the Family tree is the first because it tends to grow faster than most business * One of the number 1 keys to family business success is "Set the policies for the future when there are no names attached to them". * The matriarch of the family is usually the keeper of family harmony, the patriarch of the family is usually the keeper of running the great business, but the patriarch more often than not, does not have the power in that family. * The three interest groups represented in a family business; the people in the business, the people that own the business, and the people that are just in the family neither as owners nor in the business. * The key to happiness is ‘don't let other people be the measure of your success; If you're not happy doing what you're doing, go do something else’ Episode Timeline: * [01:28] A concise overview of Spencer's professional background * [07:55] Spencer's thesis on starting a multi-generational family business * [10:50] Instead of a Family Business Course, Spencer calls his course Ownership Insights * [11:36] Common characteristics shared by enduring companies whether family business or not * [14:19] The concept of Spoils of Ownership * [16:35] The 'tyranny of the internal rate of return' versus 'creation of real wealth' * [20:41] The 3-circle diagram ( in family business education depicts Family, Business, and Ownership, with how they interact. * [22:32] The 3 fundamental undertows that affect a family business * [28:57] The continuum of behaviors; a Business Family and a Family business. * [35:20] The tradeoff between running a great business and maintaining family harmony * [38:00] How is family harmony maintained as businesses progress through multiple generations? * [53:40] A letter from Spencer to his kids. For more episodes go to ( Sign up for The Business of Family Newsletter at ( Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeBoyd ( If you feel it's appropriate, I'd so appreciate you taking 30 seconds to Leave a Review on iTunes (, I receive a notification of each review. Thank you! Special Guest: Spencer Burke.
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