At a recent meeting with longstanding family business clients, management mentioned that one of their independent directors had introduced the term “lazy capital” into the family’s vocabulary. We had never heard that term before, but it perfectly encapsulates something we see at too many family businesses: an undisciplined capital allocation process that tolerates sustained underperformance. We ran across a couple articles this week that, while written with public companies in mind, made us think about the perils of “lazy” family capital.
If family business directors are going to make good capital allocation decisions, they need to know what the right hurdle rate is. If the hurdle rate is set too low, the family may experience weak future returns. Setting the hurdle rate too high, however, introduces the risk that the family business will pass on attractive investment opportunities. In this post, we consider how the hurdle rate relates to the weighted average cost of capital.
Stewarding a multi-generation family business is a privilege that comes with certain responsibilities, and each family business faces a unique set of challenges at any given time. For some, shareholder engagement is not currently an issue, but establishing a workable management accountability program is. For others, dividend policy is easy, while next gen development weighs heavily. Through our family business advisory services practice, we work with successful families facing issues like these every day.
Corporate Finance & Planning Insights for Multi-Generational Family Businesses
This is the inaugural post for our Family Business Director blog. By way of introduction, we thought we would anticipate a few questions that you might have.