Family Business Director

Corporate Finance & Planning Insights for Multi-Generational Family Businesses

COVID-19 Coverage Taxes

Now Is a Great time to Transfer Stock to Heirs

Depressed Market Values Provide an Opportunity for Tax-Efficient Transfers of Family Wealth for Estate Planning Purposes

The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are dire, and family businesses are not immune to the economic fallout from the virus. Yet we are confident that family businesses are best positioned to survive and lead in the post-pandemic economic recovery.

For family shareholders who are optimistic about the resilience of their family businesses and focused on the long view, this is an ideal time to execute intrafamily transfers in pursuit of estate planning objectives.

COVID-19 Coverage Planning & Strategy

A 2020 Estate Planning Reader

Amid a Global Pandemic, It's Easy to Lose Track of Some Big Things That are Going On

In this week’s post, we have assembled some helpful resources we have come across that provide helpful insight on the estate planning opportunities and strategies available to family business owners during 2020.

Performance Measurement

How Much Money Do Family Businesses Like Ours Invest?

To be sustainable, family businesses need to invest capital wisely. As directors, the investment decisions you make today can define the family business for future generations. Before making a significant investment decision that will be hard to reverse, it is a good idea to evaluate how other companies in your industry are investing their capital.

Performance Measurement

How Much Money Do Family Businesses Like Ours Make?

The goal of “maximizing shareholder value” is fast assuming its rightful place in the dustbin of financial history as more families embrace a broader vision of relevant stakeholders for their enterprises.  The freedom to develop a balanced scorecard of performance objectives that includes both financial and non-financial goals is one of the most rewarding aspects of family business. 

Embracing non-financial objectives does not mean, however, that a family business can be unconcerned about their profitability.  After all, operating efficiency helps to underwrite the various non-financial goals and values the family chooses.  So, our first comparison when benchmarking performance for a family business is to evaluate profitability.

Performance Measurement

Seven Questions Benchmarking Can Answer for Your Family Business

Introducing the 2020 Benchmarking Guide for Family Business Directors

Managing a family business without benchmarking data is a bit like shopping for clothes in a store with no mirrors.  Without context, financial performance is hard to interpret.  Directors are responsible for making long-term decisions that can influence the course of a family business for decades.  Access to relevant benchmarking data is essential for directors as they contemplate strategic financing, investment, and distribution decisions.

We have structured our 2020 Benchmarking Guide for Family Business Directors around seven questions designed to provide the necessary context for financial decision-making in family businesses.

Dividend Policy

Five Things to Keep in Mind When Evaluating the Dividend Policy of Your Family Business

Dividend Misunderstandings?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Professor Alex Edmans of the London Business School offers an impassioned plea for public companies to stop prioritizing dividend payments. While his provocative suggestions may have some merit for public companies (which were, in all fairness, the professor’s intended audience), they do not translate well to most family businesses. So, how should family businesses think about dividend policy?  In this post, we provide a non-exhaustive list of five things to keep in mind while evaluating your family business’s dividend policy.

COVID-19 Coverage Special Topics

Family-Owned Real Estate in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Accumulating real estate seems to be a natural strategy for many family business owners. After all, real estate is generally assumed to be less risky than the operating business of the family. Further, so long as the properties have a reasonable range of alternative future uses, the returns to the real estate portfolio often have a low correlation to the returns from the operating business. However, the market data we review in this week’s posts suggests that these assumptions may not hold as well in a pandemic.

Consulting Services

Family Business Advisory Services

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