Q/A: Global Family Business and Family Office Trends
A Q&A with Marc J. Halsema (MJH), Executive Director of Ernst & Young – Moscow, Russia (EY)
Q: How can your global experience with highly successful family businesses translate into assisting a family to develop best practices for its single family office?
Q: Which global and industry trends do you see as directly impacting the development of SFOs outside of the United States?
Q: Executives in the SFO are critical to the overall success of the enterprise. However, how do you know if you have, as Jim Collins would put it, “the right people on the bus”?
Q: The SFO at the end of the day is a family business. How can metrics and a plan be customized to ensure maximum effectiveness of the SFO?
Q: How can SFOs bene t from the collective wisdom of an adviser which deals with many different global enterprises?
Q: Taking into account that each family has different goals and objectives, how do you develop benchmarks and goals for the SFO, which is not by de nition in the business of taking on outside clients and is not in the true sense a marketing enterprise like many other businesses?
Q: While recognizing that culture and approach to family business differ in various parts of the world, what are the principal strategies which global advisers must adopt in order to provide what you describe as exceptional client service to SFOs in the strategic growth markets?
AJR: How can your global experience with highly successful family businesses translate into assisting a family to develop best practices for its single family office?
MJH: Highly successful family businesses around the world face an increasingly diverse array of risks and opportunities in today’s highly-connected global business environment. Family businesses clearly have unique needs in comparison to corporate business operations and similar challenges exist for a single family office (SFO).
Our approach in developing best practices for the family business as our first and most important priority – for example, forging strong and independent corporate governance, implementing critical internal controls, advising with respect to domestic and cross-border tax, legal and business issues, sourcing and retaining key talent, planning for the next generation and frequently working with our family business clients to attract third-party stakeholders – sets the stage ideally for our continuing work with successful families in the logical next stage of their business evolution, which frequently involves the creation and management of its SFO.