Family Business Advisory:
Family businesses stand at the centre of the global economy. They are a major growth driver in most national economies and make unique contributions to society in general. In 2018, it was estimated that globally, the top 750 Family businesses generated $9.1 trillion in revenues and employed 30.5 million globally. They drive global economic growth.
In India, over 70% of the GDP contribution is from Family businesses.
Many of the best performing companies in the world are family-owned. Amongst the World’s Top 20 Family Business Groups are Walmart (#1), Berkshire Hathaway Inc (#3), Volkswagen AG (#2), Tata Sons (#7) Reliance Industries (#20).
Source: The World’s Top 750 Family Business Ranking -by David Bain in ‘Family Capital’ 3rd Mar 2020.
Family businesses are being tested severely by multiple impacts at the same time – worldwide economic crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, increasing redundancy of people skills, shifting global business behavior, breakdown of traditional relationship within the family.
What is now being acknowledged is that despite their inherent strengths and global economic significance, family-owned companies face unique vulnerabilities.
Regulatory changes are driving family businesses to retool governance, separate ownership from Executive roles & professionalize. Disruptive technology is enabling as well as challenging them to transform or perish. The opportunity itself is bringing out generational and cultural faultlines within the families be it about business ownership, diversification, wealth management etc.
Potential sources of discord among family members are generational transitions, major investment decisions, appropriation of profits, leadership appointments, mix up of personal relationship and business roles. The consequences are, perhaps, the greatest destroyer of value..
To protect family wealth and provide sustainability across generations, business families need to manage both their family and business relationships on a consistent basis through a well thought out and agreed process – where the next generation is either inducted or already into the businesses or where they are not willing to take on Executive responsibilities.
Kaizen Consult assists families, owners and managers in navigating the challenges of Business, Redundancy, Leadership Transition, Succession and Governance.
With insights gathered over 35 years of working for and advising highly reputed business families and their Boards, we work closely with family Members, Boards and Directors to build alignment around their ownership, philosophy and approach to business, to:
• Set up Family Boards and Trusts for Wealth Protection
• Plan Succession / Transition
• Restructure Businesses / Jumpstart legacy Business Practices and Operations
• M&A / Exits
We provide Advisory and Execution in the following Areas:
Family Governance & Business
It is important to articulate a governance framework that separates business from ownership and define a clear process for families and owners to resolve family and business issues. There are many options like Family Board, Family Councils, Owners’ Councils, Advisory Boards, etc.
We bring deep knowledge and experience to help you craft the appropriate governance frameworks and define the remit of these bodies.
Based on a clear assessment of the strategy and the ownership structure, we assist our clients in creating a road map for the Business, Leadership roles for Family Members, the selection criteria for independent Directors, Advisors and Professional Management.
We also ensure these governance mechanisms are implemented at the ground level. We provide periodic reviews on the effectiveness and changes required as part of our Relationship Advisory Lifecyle.
Business Evaluation and Restructuring
“Typical family business advantages such as strong values, patience capital, long-term goals are being tested right now,” says Peter Englisch, global family business leader for PwC.
While all these are people issues, the impact is high and heavy on the business.
Therefore, it is imperative that families look at their businesses constantly and evaluate if they are relevant to the market, are being efficiently managed and whether there is head room to scale. If yes, how to do so effectively and with short runway of time and cost; if not, how to exit with least haircuts or to develop a plan to pivot the businesses (by retaining customers and offering a new suite of products, services or technology) model or area of operation.
Deep Dive into Existing Businesses, Create Strategic Road map & Help in Execution
A large Indian Business Group pivoted its traditional Shipping Agency Business into a profitable Logistics business by leveraging its relationship with the Shipping Lines. It got into repair of Containers and built an asset base of Containers which it leased to the Shipping lines – whom they were representing as service agents. Financial Dividend – it moved out of a low margin into a high value, annuity business; Strategically, its’ offerings were critical to its clients’ business.
The above is one example of our Advisory to our client, where we picked out their strong relationship with their customers as the USP and married it to the demand for repair and lease of containers – helped them pivot the business, scale, be more profitable and increase their criticality to the clients business thereby increasing business stickiness.
Founder and Next Generation Transitions
Founder transition is an issue that faces every family business. It is mentally challenging, at times emotionally draining and has high impact on the business and the family.
While it is an opportunity to reflect on the future strategy and the ownership and management structure, it is the most postponed decision due to cultural and relationship issues.
Preparing for this transition in advance is critical to the continued success of the business. This process needs to be thoughtfully planned rather than managed only as an eventuality.
We assist in the planning for transition by mapping the existing family talents, benchmarking them against both internal and external resources, analyzing their suitability for the period immediate to transition of Founder as well as in the long term, keeping in view the future strategy of the business and the vision of the family.
We help the family decide whether the tenure of the successor is for a holding period or long term and help identify the potential candidate. (Especially critical where a family member is being groomed – potential but not yet ready to take over).
We also evaluate and assess next generation family leaders to identify fitting roles and to develop plans for grooming these individuals to fully realize their potential.
A large Diversified Promoter led Business Group of $ 2 Bn with operations in India, US, MENA region, built over 30+ years required a Stand in for the Promoter due to an emergency and the resistance of the Promoter until then to plan for his succession. The Family also wanted to take this opportunity to deep dive into the various businesses and understand the ground realities and shareholding pattern for themselves.
They also wanted a Business study and a total revamp of shareholding, cleanup of cross holdings, wealth protection etc as they went along and understood more about the businesses.
We stepped in to Provide a Group CEO who led the revamp of the Businesses, the Financial and Shareholding restructuring, set up the Family Board and its Charter, hand held and mentored the Next generation Family members into more active roles, helped set up Family member roles, compensation, Professional Leadership induction, Governance model and strengthened the operating systems.
This led to the establishment of a Family Trust, A Governing family Board, Creation of clean Business SBUs without cross holdings, a Structured Financial set up.
Finally, it led to a smooth transition of the Group CEO Role to a family member who was groomed over 4 years during our association with the Founder and his family.
Family & Succession
Succession is one of the biggest milestone events in a family business. Whether it is the Founder level transition to family or non-family member or baton to be passed from one member to another member of the family, getting it right is critical for not only business continuity and growth but also for the stability of the Family relationship and their Wealth.
For many family businesses, recruiting Leadership from outside represents a major challenge. The integration during the first few months is vital for the Family, the business and the individual. Within the family, the decision to go in for a Leader from Outside, happens many months prior to selection, involves a lot of introspection & back and forth discussion.
Succession therefore needs to be planned well and much ahead of transition.
We work closely with the Family and the Board to help determine the best option and help in candidate shortlist (if it is a decision to hire an Outsider), build role clarity and induct the Leader. If the successor is from within the family, we create specific grooming program (including if required mentoring sessions with Industry leaders)
A US$ 200 mn diversified group with interests in Hospitality, Construction and Infrastructure across multiple geographies was in the midst of multiple unplanned events – Headwinds across its Businesses, Forced Step down of Family Head, no clear Successor within the family and professional leadership.
This was an assignment with Cultural and Business Impact. We had to strategize to reorganize & helm the Business, strengthen the cross-border compliance and governance model; redefine Board roles; ensure recalibration of the Founder’s role; build long term resilience in the family members by a defined succession plan– with discretion & without impacting business. We were able to deliver on the above within 18 months and were mandated for a further period to hand hold the Founder’s transition as a Non-Executive Chairman Emeritus, mentor the new Business Head and ensure the smooth establishment of the Family Board Charter.
We understand the challenges in establishing / introducing governance practices and the dynamics of succession issues in business families. We provide practical solutions.
We build deep relationships spanning multiple assignments and over several years, with our clients – we work closely with Founder/ Promoter, family members, Boards etc to understand their philosophy and requirements.
We operate with 100% confidentiality & do not reference Client names without permission.
We conduct Business Due Diligence (Sell Side / Buy Side) for M&A; Industry and Company level Research; Background check of Founders, Potential Business Partners, Key Hires; Board Members & a variety of Confidential Business Services.