Sadly, one aspect of family businesses is that there can be a breakdown in the key relationships. That is most common with separation and divorce, but can also include disagreements between children and siblings. Understanding the impact this has on the business, the individuals and key stakeholders such as the Bank and employees, is really important.
Sometimes the business aspects can be resolved with mediation and an impartial advisor, but sometimes there will be conflict and confusion.
Many situations will involve trying to agree fair values for a business or other assets for one party to leave, as well as resolving changes in working roles they may have. Once agreed we can then find the best mechanism to achieve the transaction in the most efficient way for all parties. Similar issues may also arise on the death of a shareholder, and action should be prompt, sensitive and commercial.
Our objective is always to find a fair compromise that all parties can accept, but we must always be vigilant to those situations where conflict damages the business and costs escalate so there are no winners in the end. This requires a careful balance of financial expertise, negotiation skills, sensitivity and an understanding of the family dynamics, as well as knowing how the business will be affected by the changes proposed. In most of our client’s situations, we are uniquely placed to manage all of these issues.