A 2021 Review of Family Business Director

Special Topics

We hope you had a great Christmas and a happy holiday season. To end the year, we summarize some themes and most read pieces from Family Business Director you may have missed throughout the year.

Tax Policy

The more things change, the more things stay the same.  Several themes from 2020 were back: COVID-19 was still a part of our lives, political divisions seemed to only widen, and Alabama is still in the college football playoff.

Tax overhauls from Washington were on theme too: big plans, followed by horse trading, name calling, special elections, and an infrastructure bill. In January (and April, August, September, and October) we did our best at the Family Business Director to summarize and digest the numerous proposed tax changes. But, at the end of the day, as of this writing, the Build Back Better (BBB) omnibus bill appears dead on arrival. Senator Manchin (D-WV) has publicly pulled support for the bill, leaving capital gains taxes, removal of the basis step-up, estate tax changes, and income taxes unchanged from the beginning of the year. After a year of tax consternation, it might be nice to ring in the new year with less tax anxiety immediately on the horizon. But rest assured, the fight is not over.

Lessons from the Public Markets

Family Business Director featured several articles and studies on public market data and meaningful stories for family business owners and directors. We summarize your favorites below:

2021 Dividend Survey

This summer, we partnered with Family Business Magazine to conduct our inaugural survey of dividend practices at family-owned businesses.  We featured an article that we wrote for the magazine summarizing the survey results and presented the detailed results to survey respondents.

A headline statistic from the survey indicated while about half of public companies pay dividends to shareholders, over 80% of the family businesses responding to our survey indicated that they do. However, nearly half of respondents reported not having a formal dividend policy. In other words, a significant group of family businesses are paying dividends, but they’re not sure why.

Read more and check out our detailed write-up and summary results.

That Is the Right Question

Family business owners don’t stay on top by having all the answers, but by having the ability to ask the right questions. Family Business Director posed a few questions to spark important conversations. Readers’ favorite questions include:

As we enter 2022, feel free to email anyone at Family Business Director with ideas, complaints, praise, or content ideas. We would love to hear from you, and we thank you for your continued readership.