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Family: The Compact Among Generations

ISBN: 978-0-470-88457-7
352 pages
May 2010
Family: The Compact Among Generations (0470884576) cover image


Why do some families thrive for generations? What accounts for the sad deterioration that others experience? This book takes families and the professionals who serve them beyond the now widely accepted practices offered in Family Wealth and offers a view of Hughes's panoramic insights into what makes families flourish and fail. It lays out the basis for the vision of family governance the author has been developing through his work and research. His advice addresses not only what to do but how to think about the complex issues of family governance, growth, and stability and the ongoing challenge of nurturing the happiness of each family member.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xvii

Part One—Families of Affinity: Their Nature and Practices

1 A Family of Affinity 3

2 Defying a Proverb 13

3 Obstacles to Affinity: The Seven Paradoxes 21

4 The Physics of Affinity 31

Part Two—Defining the Journey

5 Essentials for Success 47

6 Happiness: Finding the Spiritual Path 61

7 Self-Actualization: Lessons from Psychology 81

8 The Evolution of Family 91

9 From Family to Tribe: The Emergence of Governance 101

Part Three—Principles of Family Governance

10 A System for Joint Decision Making 117

11 Participation and Commitment 129

12 Function and Structure 13713 Change and Accommodation 147

Part Four—Family Leadership

14 Family as an Organization 157

15 Ensuring Dynamic Ownership 169

16 The Second Generation: Leadership’s Critical Stage 189

17 Women and Ownership 203

Part Five—Tools and Pathfinders

18 The Essentials for Learning 211

19 Educational Assessment Tools 221

20 The Personne de Confiance: Service Redefined 233

21 Roles and Characteristics of a Personne de Confiance 247

22 A Father’s Wisdom 265

Epilogue 283

Appendix: Recommended Reading 287

Index 309

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Author Information

James E. "Jay" Hughes Jr., Esq., a sixth-generation counselor-at-law, was the founder of Hughes and Whitaker, a law partnership in New York, where he focused on the representation of private clients throughout the world. Now retired from active practice, he frequently facilitates multigenerational family meetings, with an emphasis on governance issues. He serves on the boards of various private trust companies and is an adviser to numerous investment institutions. Before starting his own practice, Mr. Hughes was a partner of the law firms of Coudert Brothers LLP and Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (now Jones Day), both in New York.

Mr. Hughes's articles on family governance and wealth preservation appear in professional journals, and his series of reflections on related issues are featured on his Web site. He is the author of Family Wealth: Keeping It in the Family, published by Bloomberg Press, and a member of the editorial boards of various professional journals. A widely recognized speaker, Mr. Hughes is frequently called on to address international and domestic symposia on helping families to avoid the fate of the shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves proverb and to instead flourish through the growth of their human, intellectual, and financial capital.

Mr. Hughes is an emeritus member of the Board of the Philanthropic Initiative, a counselor to the Family Office Exchange, an emeritus faculty member of the Institute for Private Investors, a retired member of the Board of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, and former adviser to New Ventures in Philanthropy. He is also a member of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a member of the Roundtable of the Hastings Institute, a member of the board of the Spiritual Paths Foundation, and a member of the board of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Educated at the Far Brook School, Mr. Hughes is a graduate of the Pingry School, Princeton University, and the Columbia School of Law.
Readers may contact the author and learn more about his ideas at www.jamesehughes.com.
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"From time to time, something happens that requires us to change the way we typically act, either temporarily or permanently. The publication of Jay Hughes' second book, Family: The Compact Among Generations, for me, is one of these events.... My wish for all our readers is that they will take the time to read the book--in the active sense of the word 'read'--and experience the same pleasure of discovery and mind expansion as I did."
—Jean Brunel writing in the Journal of Wealth Management

"Jay's words dance off the page as he shares his theory and practice on how we all can inspire future generations to create and fulfill their dreams. His disciplined research and common-sense practices are mustreading for anyone interested in making the world a better place and living every day to its fullest. How fortunate that Jay Hughes has shared his wisdom for all to read."
—Jesse Fink
President, Marshall Street Management

"Jay Hughes, the wisest of counselors to successful families, brings a Renaissance man's perspective to the most fundamental challenges of family, of wealth, and of continuity. He also brings a deep confidence and optimism for human nature and for the future. Thousands of families have heard Jay's messages. With this book, new generations of counselors will be able to support even more families. That's a great gift. 
"The deep wisdom Jay shares in this book can only be the result of decades of experience and a special, genuine care for families. His conviction for stewardship is exemplified by this sharing of his unique wisdom with others who counsel families. This book gives honest hope to families seeking healthy and successful continuity, and also to those who serve them and who share Jay's sincere concern. 
"This is the best book ever written for counselors to business families. Thank you, Jay, for sharing your wisdom and passion."
—John L. Ward
Principal, The Family Business Consulting Group
Clinical Professor of Family Enterprises,
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"Jay Hughes has changed both the philosophy and vocabulary in family-wealth advising. He is both an historian and innovator, creating context and advice for those families who define their success in much more than financial terms."
—Ellen M. Perry
Founder, Wealthbridge Partners, LLC

"Family: The Compact Among Generations is fundamentally a book of deep, translational wisdom based on Jay Hughes's remarkable reading of philosophy, religion, and psychology as they apply to the complex journey of family life. The book is based on Hughes's lifetime of service and counsel to families of great wealth, but as I read the book and began to understand its central metaphor--"shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations"--words other than family kept coming to mind, words like community, society, and citizenship. Hughes may not have intended the metaphor to apply to the journey of the human race, but in a world precariously balanced between disastrous decline and the potential for the resolution of major social dilemmas, it is the investment in human capital and the awakening of the citizen within that will tell the difference. 
"This book is a gift. Read it. And when you do, consider its wisdom from your individual and family persona and your public persona."
—Peter Karoff
Founder and Chairman, The Philanthropic Initiative
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