Bernard Arnault, founder of LVMH and the world’s wealthiest person, is meticulously planning the future of his luxury empire. Through a blend of creativity and pragmatism, Arnault has built LVMH into a global powerhouse while maintaining its status as a family business. Learn how the “Wolf in Cashmere” has prepared his children for leadership roles, and the Arnault family’s approach to long-term planning, stewardship, and collaboration.
New Video Released on Family Business On Demand Resource Center
Looking to unlock the secrets of corporate finance in just 5 minutes? This concise and engaging video will demystify the world of finance, providing you with an essential understanding of key concepts and strategies. Perfect for aspiring business leaders, entrepreneurs, or anyone looking to expand their knowledge, this video will give you the background you need to understand financial business decisions made by your company’s board and directors.
Mercer Capital sponsored and attended last week’s Transitions conference, where enterprising families came together to discuss the most critical topics for family business success. This year’s event revolved around the “3 New Circles” – engagement, succession, and governance – and tackled the essential questions family business leaders need to address. In addition, our breakout session, How to Be a Good Owner, presented 5 questions associated with developing good owners for your family business. How would you answer these questions?
The failure of Silicon Valley Bank will be talked about for years. What really happened? What caused SVB to fail? Was it just the long-term Treasury securities that everyone has talked about? Well, no. SVB was on a self-imposed path to destruction that had been waiting for an adverse change in the economy or a rising interest rate environment to kick it into oblivion.
There are, indeed, lessons for family business directors from the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. In this week’s post, we discuss four.
In this week’s post, we attempt to divert your attention from interest rates and banking crises by looking at recent private company transaction multiples and some implications of these measures. As detailed in the latest edition of “Mercer Capital’s Middle Market Transaction Update,” transaction activity, both in terms of deal values and volume, ended 2022 with a thud, as expected. Multiples on deals across all size tranches in the middle market (which we define as deals with total enterprise value between $10 million and $250 million) fell to close the year—implying a broad decline in private company valuations in that time. However, asset prices across most classes were susceptible to these declines, creating opportunities for prudent family business managers and directors to evaluate potential transactions in a “down” market. Family business owners should not bury their heads in the sand regarding the current environment–one of the most important facets of a successful transaction is that sellers have reasonable and informed expectations of what their business may command in the market. These reasonable and informed expectations are difficult to develop without a solid understanding of current market conditions for privately held businesses.
On January 1, 2021, Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) as part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. The main purpose of the Corporate Transparency Act is to protect the United States financial system from being used for money laundering and other illicit activities. Effective January 1, 2024, the CTA requires a range of different entities to file a report with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). The CTA regulations are written so broadly that nearly every family business in the U.S. will be swept under this new law.
So, what does that mean for business owners? In this week’s post, we answer the main questions stemming from the Final Reporting Rule of the Corporate Transparency Act that will most likely affect you and your family business.
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) imploded last week in a “gradually, then suddenly”’ fashion. Regulators stepped in quickly and aggressively, promising to back up deposits at the bank of the VC world and stave off a contagion of fear at other banks. And while the body was still warm, politicians stepped in and dusted off their 2008 talking point notes.
This post from Family Business Director aims to highlight three relevant family business lessons from the failure of SVB: diversification, succession planning, and keeping a long-term focus.
In this week’s Family Business Director post, we look at a few key macroeconomic trends that developed in the fourth quarter of 2022 and early 2023 and their impact on family businesses. In the final quarter of 2022, the effects of the Fed’s rate hiking campaign began to permeate throughout the economy, particularly in inflation readings. Still, GDP outpaced consensus estimates, and U.S. equity markets reacted positively to signs of slowing inflation in October and November. The Fed continued to raise the benchmark rate with a 75-basis point increase in November and a 50-basis point increase in December. This post provides a brief look at these trends.
Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META), released fourth-quarter earnings and full-year 2022 results earlier this month. The stock is currently trading at its highest level in the last six months, albeit still at relatively low implied valuation multiples. This comes after a notably tough year for Facebook, as its stock fell 64% last year due to heightened competition from TikTok and a slump in the digital ad market.
So, what changed? The two main changes for this significant increase are cost cuts and the announcement of a $40 billion increase in their share repurchase authorization. While Meta previously taught us about long-term planning and plant/harvest decisions, Facebook’s belt-tightening and share repurchase plan bring up another few lessons on forecasting and share repurchasing, which we revisit in this blog.
And Other Takeaways from the Heckerling Estate Planning Conference
We had the opportunity to attend the 57th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, one the largest conferences for estate planning professionals. This year’s week-long conference was the first to be held in person in a few years, and the exhibit hall and education sessions were full of good information and details on the estate, gift, and tax planning fronts. We share just a few topics of conversation and tidbits we picked up from the sessions and conference last week.
As we begin to put a bow on 2022 and turn our attention to 2023, we suspect that the dreaded “R word” is on the mind of many of our readers as they contemplate the myriad challenges and obstacles their businesses will face in 2023. As a family business owner or director, now is the time to think critically about how your family business is positioned for a potential economic slowdown. This post offers a few practical steps family business owners and directors can take to ensure their business continues to thrive even if Santa brings us a recession this year.
We have traditionally advised you about what not to talk about at the Thanksgiving dinner table, but this year, we thought we would highlight a more positive family business conversation that you might want to have with your family shareholders.
With economic data for 3Q22 beginning to trickle in, we look at a few key trends that developed during the quarter. The tale of the tape in the third quarter was the same as it has been for virtually all of 2022—volatile equity markets, ongoing inflationary concerns, and rising interest rates. In this post, we provide a concise and unbiased look at some of the manifested trends.
The 2022 midterm elections are here, and, as usual, one of the most significant differences between Democrats and Republicans is tax policy. While voters are contemplating significant issues ranging from inflation, immigration, and gun control, the election outcome will also influence which tax priorities Democratic and Republican lawmakers will pursue over the next few years.
For many family business leaders we talk with, “private equity” is a four-letter word. In this post, we identify a couple of potential “pros” for private equity that family business directors should be aware of and also confirm a couple of the well-known “cons” to accepting private equity investment.
This week we welcome Nick Heinz, ASA to the Family Business Director Blog. Nick is a Senior Vice President at Mercer Capital and a member of the firm’s Transaction Advisory team. This article originally appeared as part of an ongoing series, Buy-Side Considerations, from Mercer Capital’s Transaction Advisory team and highlights key considerations for family businesses looking to engage in a merger.
Any good CFO or Controller knows what’s on their business’ balance sheet, including cash, inventory, property, and debt. But for enterprising families, it is often necessary to go one step further and ask what’s on the family’s balance sheet? It may be your great uncle’s antique car collection, a ski chalet shared by you and your family, or rare art that adorns your office. Whatever it may be, there are three things we think you should consider regarding your more esoteric family balance sheet items: valuation, diversification, and allocation.
Most family business owners desire to provide financially for their family. Due to this, one of the widespread concerns of these owners is the ability to transfer ownership of the family business to the next generation in the most tax-efficient way. In this post, we explain the importance of understanding the concept of fair market value when evaluating an estate planning strategy and some potential next steps to take to ensure the estate plan accomplishes the desired goals.
We are excited to announce the grand opening of our Family Business On Demand Resource Center. The Center is a one-stop shop for enterprising families and their advisors facing the financial challenges that are common to family business.
How to get a non-family CEO and a family ownership team on the same page regarding financial goals, dealing with a family member who needs to step down from leadership, and the turnaround story of family-owned Radio Flyer are some of what we’ve been reading about as fall approaches. In this week’s post, we share a few interesting articles you and your family board members may enjoy.
With economic data for 2Q22 trickling in, we take a look at a few key trends that developed during the quarter. Volatile equity markets, ongoing inflationary concerns, and rising interest rates drove headlines in the second quarter of the year. The information in this post provides a concise and unbiased look at some of the trends that manifested themselves during the quarter.
In this post, we discuss three simple rules that can help promote impactful and productive dialogue between parents, children, and different generations in your family business: big picture first, be transparent, and remember priorities. Having these transitional and educational conversations is essential for family businesses.
Benchmarking is a powerful tool for family businesses. Done well, benchmarking provides managers and directors with valuable insight and context for evaluating the operating performance of the family business and the strategic investing and financing decisions made by their leaders.
This blog post summarizes some of the findings in our 2022 Benchmarking Guide for Family Business Directors.
Do you know how much cash is on your family business balance sheet? How about receivable health and your debt position? Reading this blog, you likely answered “yes” to these questions.
Do you also know how much your family business is worth?
If you answered “Yes,” you are in a select company as 98% of small businesses polled by M&T Bank over the past two years didn’t know the value of their businesses. Knowing and understanding the value of your family business is essential to making critical decisions around dividends, capital structure, or capital budgeting that have long-term effects on your family business.
Travis Harms, who leads Mercer Capital’s Family Business Advisory Services Group, spoke to CNBC recently on the importance of valuation and understanding the value of your business. This week’s Family Business Director post highlights the piece, and we hope you check it out.