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The Family Wealth Sustainability Toolkit: The Manual

ISBN: 978-1-118-41698-3
128 pages
September 2012
The Family Wealth Sustainability Toolkit: The Manual (1118416988) cover image


An interactive assessment tool and companion manual for wealthy families and their financial advisors that analyze the behaviors and knowledge that impact a family’s overall wealth, while also providing best practices needed for improvement

The Family Wealth Sustainability Toolkit gives wealthy individuals, family offices, and the financial planners, advisors and wealth managers who counsel them, the tools they need to better assess their wealth sustainability skills. One part assessment software tool and one part companion book, the online Index allows readers to assess their family enterprise across four dimensions of sustainability, while the Manual acts both as a roadmap to analyzing their results and provides a foundation in best practices. 

The index asks individual family members to assess how much the family, as a unit, utilizes best practices to help build structures, decision making processes, and leadership over generations. The manual shows readers how to reflect on what’s working in their family to build and maintain sustainable wealth and how to fix what isn’t. Throughout both components, the authors emphasize the importance of human, intellectual, and social capital, as well as financial capital, as drivers to sustainability over the long haul. The Family Wealth Sustainability Toolkit:  

  • Helps affluent families and their advisors assess how well they are managing wealth now and for the future
  • Evaluates wealth sustainability practices to help readers find out what’s working and what’s not
  • Emphasizes the importance of human, intellectual, and social capital, as well as financial capital, in the quest for wealth sustainability 

Comprehensive and highly practical, The Family Wealth Sustainability Index carefully explains exactly how affluent families and their financial advisors can best utilize and prepare their wealth now and for generations to come.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

CHAPTER 1 Achieving Sustainability: The Challenges, Opportunities, and Complexities of Enterprising Families 1

The Business of the Enterprising Family 3

Moving Toward Sustainability 19

CHAPTER 2 Family Legacy and Connection 21

It’s about Family, More Than Financial Assets 22

Combining the Mindset of Shared Risk and Shared

Opportunity with a Family Emotional System 22

Family Connection: More Complex over Time 26

Family Connection Independent of Sharing Assets 30

CHAPTER 3 Governance Structures and Processes: Helping Families Achieve Goals 35

Family Mission: The Cornerstone of Governance 39

The Shape of Governance: A Thoughtful, Inclusive Process 42

CHAPTER 4 Financial Accountability and Management 49

The Individual’s Role in Oversight 50

Financial Responsibility across Generations 52

Long-Term Management of Finances and Risk 56

CHAPTER 5 Human Capital and Leadership Development 61

How Does Human Capital Develop? 62

Relationship-Based Competencies Are Most Valued 63

Human Capital: People at Their Best 69

CHAPTER 6 Roadmap to Sustainability 75

Designing Your Unique Roadmap 77

About the Family Wealth Sustainability Index 80

Results: Setting the Base Point for Creating the Family Roadmap 82

The Roadmap to Sustainability: Planning the Future 93

APPENDIX 1 Genogram Key 95

APPENDIX 2 The Samson Brothers Family Genograms 97

Index 99

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Author Information

Fredda Herz Brown is acclaimed by clients and professional colleagues alike for her groundbreaking work with enterprising families and their trusted advisors. From her numerous contributions over a quarter century, she has helped to establish standards of professional practice and develop the body of knowledge that defines the work of the field to this day. Fredda's distinguished career accomplishments have been honored by awards from the Family Office Exchange and the Family Firm Institute, where she is a Fellow and founding board member. She is the author of Reweaving the Family Tapestry, which encapsulated her model for understanding and working with families as they evolve through their life cycle. Among her numerous academic appointments over the years, she continues as a guest lecturer for the MBA students at Columbia University.

Fran Lotery has more than thirty years' experience and knowledge in family economic and emotional systems gained from working with professional firms, family enterprises, owners of closely held companies, and large nonprofit institutions. Since 2006, as one of the principal founders of Relative Solutions, she has collaborated on research and tools that contribute to advances in developing human capital and leadership in family enterprises and understanding the dynamics associated with wealth and the multigenerational family. Fran has been an expert contributor on radio and television, a speaker at professional conferences, and an adjunct faculty member at leading colleges and universities in California.

Relative Solutions is one of the leading firms helping multigenerational family enterprises manage the complex decisions related to their shared assets. Their frameworks, tools, and methodologies are considered to have established the gold standard for the professional practice of trusted advisors, and the development of families and their enterprises. The firm's Family Enterprise Leadership System (FELS) is the only leadership assessment framework of its kind, created exclusively for family enterprises. In 2011, they introduced with 21/64, two new tools to assist families to start conversations: the Family Quest Cards on "Exploring Wealth" and "Family Giving/Philanthropy."

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