Family Business Director

Corporate Finance & Planning Insights for Multi-Generational Family Businesses


How Should Family Businesses Respond to an Acquisition Offer?

Successful businesses don’t have to go looking for potential acquirers—potential acquirers are likely to come looking for them. Most of our family business clients have no intention of selling in the near-term, and yet they often receive a steady stream of unsolicited offers from eager suitors. Many of these offers can be quickly dismissed as uninformed or bottom-fishing, but serious inquiries from legitimate buyers of capacity occasionally appear that require a response.

Capital Budgeting Planning & Strategy Special Topics

Review of Key Economic Indicators for Family Businesses

This week we look at recent economic data and the implications of this data regarding the Fed’s upcoming monetary policy actions.  GDP growth in the U.S. economy slowed to 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024, lagging measures of 4.9% and 3.4% recorded in the final two quarters of 2023.  Leading economic indicators point to a further slowdown on the horizon in 2024, as The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, fell 2.2% in the six months ended March 2024.  We take a brief look at these trends and more. 

Capital Budgeting Planning & Strategy Taxes

The Case for Research and Development

A Case Study of Innovation and Taxes

Consistent investment in research and development is at the heart of many family business breakthroughs. Like any investment, R&D spending consumes family capital today in the expectation of generating more cash flow in the future, and for many years, companies deducted R&D costs from taxable income as those dollars were spent. However, a little-heralded provision of the Tax Cut & Jobs Act of 2017 upended the status quo for tax treatment of R&D expenditures. Taxpayers are now required to capitalize R&D costs, deducting them from taxable income over a period of five years rather than in the period the costs were incurred. With this in mind, we present a brief case study to help family businesses visualize this change and better prepare for capital budgeting decisions in the future.

Capital Budgeting Planning & Strategy

Your Family Business Is on the Clock – Are You Ready?

The 2024 NFL Draft occurred this past weekend, and while a family business director might not be sitting 8th on the clock in next year’s NFL Draft, there are certainly draft day themes that can be applied within your family business. NFL Draft “assets” may look different than those of the family business, but the themes of considering shareholder & owner preferences, allocating capital, and preparing for next-generation leadership mirror many of the responsibilities of a family business director. Read more in this week’s post.

Planning & Strategy Special Topics

Navigating Change in the Family Business

2024 Transitions Conference Recap

We’re back from Family Business Magazine’s 2024 Transitions Spring Conference, held this year in Tampa, Florida. The theme of this year’s conference was change and transition in your family business. The conference speakers and sessions struck a good balance of effectively facilitating organizational change while maintaining your family’s values and identity. We discuss three transitional forces facing you and your family business, inspired by the conversations we had at the conference.


Spring M&A Update for Family Businesses

Following up on our post from a couple of weeks ago regarding the acquisition of SRS Distribution by Home Depot, we provide a brief update on private M&A markets in this week’s post.

Although middle market transaction activity remained depressed in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to 2022, M&A activity and multiples improved a bit compared to recent quarters. Possible Fed rate cuts, a resilient economy despite 525bps of Fed rate hikes, and ample dry powder held by PE firms to deploy may be the catalysts for a stronger rebound in 2024.

Performance Measurement Planning & Strategy Shareholder Engagement

The Green Jacket Guide to Family Business Surveys

What Can We Learn from the Masters?

It is that time of year. The azaleas are blooming at Augusta National Golf Club and nearly one hundred golfers are gearing up for their shot at a green jacket in the 88th Masters Tournament.

What the Masters has developed in terms of interest and legacy lies in the unique traditions as well as the initiatives taken on by the Masters Tournament Foundation. The Masters Tournament Foundation’s primary purpose is to support, develop, and globally expand the game of golf through clear messaging, marketing, and communications across generations of golfers. Their commitment to creating a more accessible and welcoming golf community is critical to the longevity of the sport itself.

There is no tournament in all of sports more desirable to attend than the Masters. From the iconic pimento cheese sandwich and Azalea cocktail to the 9-hole Wednesday Par-3 tournament, it is truly one-of-a-kind. Similarly, family businesses are unique with traditions of their own that drive shareholder engagement. A shareholder base that is involved and passionate is a critical factor in building a sustainable and prosperous family business. But as family business directors know…

M&A Planning & Strategy

Home Depot Announces SRS Distribution Acquisition

An M&A Case Study

The Fed’s efforts to rein in inflation from early 2022 through the middle of 2023 also reined in middle market M&A activity.  Middle market transaction data provider GF Data reported data on 269 sub-$500 million acquisitions by private equity firms in 2023, compared to 464 such deals in 2021 (a 42% decrease).  Some of those “missing” deals may never happen, but we suspect most were simply deferred, leading to more robust transaction volumes as buyers and sellers acclimate to the new “normal” interest rate environment.

Home Depot’s recent announcement that it was acquiring roofing and construction material distributor SRS Distribution may signal the return of more robust deal activity.  Even if your family business has nothing to do with construction materials, there is plenty to note in this deal.

M&A Planning & Strategy Valuation

Your Family Business Will Transact: Are You Ready?

Approximately 75% of business owners regret selling their business within the first year following the sale, according to a new report. Have you checked in on your succession plan? How does your business’s succession and exit plan stack up? We explore a new report and why planning ahead is crucial to ensuring your future business transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Planning & Strategy Special Topics Taxes

Now Could Be a Great Time to Transfer Stock to Heirs

Rising inflation and higher interest rates have significantly affected business values and the broader economy, with some industries managing to navigate the higher-rate environment while others struggle. The Federal Reserve has indicated potential rate cuts later this year, which could have widespread implications for businesses and the economy. Now is the time to explore favorable opportunities for transferring business value to future generations and consult with estate planning advisors.

Consulting Services

Family Business Advisory Services

Mercer Capital provides financial education services and other strategic financial consulting to family businesses