All articles by Urs Feller

Organising the Family Business

Family reunions and family council Transparency fosters trust. As former US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis once noted, "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants ...." This holds true for families as it is applicable to the sound management of large commercial companies. The place where this transparency can be achieved in families is the family reunion, a gathering of family members at regular intervals during which information is provided to the...

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Family governance – Getting the basics right

Advantages of family businesses What makes family business different from ordinary businesses is that they commonly have a small base of manager-owners. This can translate into fast strategic decision-making. At the same time, family shareholders are more likely to take a long-term view of the development of their company than financial investors thus giving more importance to sound basic structures and operational principles. Contrary to businesses held by unrelated owners, family businesses are conducive to a family ethos being realised...

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Family governance

Practical advice for the family-run enterprise

Introduction In Switzerland, as in many other countries, successful businesses are frequently managed and owned by families: a company once founded by an entrepreneurial grandfather decades ago is then build on by the next generation and the following generations managed to expand and consolidate the enterprise. This process is, however, frequently wrought with challenges, not only of a commercial nature, but frequently due to challenges with a more personal, family-linked character. Families and family members are regularly less...

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succession switzerland

How to organise succession?

Prerequisites The family members should actively lay the groundwork for the active involvement of the next generation through upbringing and education. By familiarizing the children with the history of the business and talking openly about current developments, parents and elders can reinforce identification with the family business. The children should be actively involved from an early age. This enables the older generation to identify their interest, involvement and commitment. Preparation phase At some later point in time the...

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