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Twelve Tasks in Succession Planning

Ivan Landsberg (Family Business Magazine)

Planning a leadership transition is hard, stressful work. Not every family has the stamina to stay the course, or the courage to face the choices that must be made. In this article for Family Business Magazine, Ivan Landsberg covers the twelve most important tasks that a family must complete in order to ensure a successful leadership transition.
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The successful transition of a business must give proper attention to the ‘soft issues’ of family dynamics. It is one of the most important factors that, in all probability, leads to a successful family business succession.
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Succession problems rank highly among the common causes of family business mortality. Ineffective succession can be caused by factors outside of the family’s control (for example, the sudden death of the business leader) but is more often caused things the family can anticipate and manage. The costs of mismanaged succession can be disastrous for the business; for its employees, customers and owners; for the family, and for family members who work in the business. The family that understands what can derail succession can prepare to meet these challenges. A business that is well led, supported by capable owners and a united, contributing family, with a long-term view of success, a business that is prepared for the future will stay on track.
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Succession Planning for Business Owners

Sean Sebold (Sebold Capital Management)

There are two equally important components of succession planning for business owners – transactional planning (selling or transferring the business) and wealth management (managing the proceeds of the business sale). The latter needs just as much attention as the former.
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The owner of a closely held business is selling his means of livelihood and more – the configuration of his financial portfolio. He’ll have to make the transition from relying on business earnings to living off the pool of liquid investment generated by the sale. Many business owners see this trade-off as inherently risky.
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Re-Energize with Enterprise

Scott Winget (Ascent)

Family wealth is notoriously difficult to maintain across generations. Exponential growth in the number of family members, combined with a lowering of risk tolerance invariably leads to low returns, ultimately causing the wealth to disappear and the legacy to collapse. How can wealthy family members overcome the natural inertia that exists in generational families, and how can they encourage their family to envision how they can contribute back to the pool and reinvest at an appropriate level of risk?
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