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Communication is central to effective succession planningPublished on 10 Aug 2020
Two minutes with Ari Tatos, Managing Partner
Ari joined the Group in 1986 and has been a key member of the leadership team for over 20 years, directly overseeing a major expansion of the Group.
Our corporate culture is highly collaborative. In the early years, as a small close-knit team, we lived and breathed our values without needing to define them. As the business grew, we realised the osmosis that had existed before was being diluted and that different teams in different offices viewed the business differently. At that point, we dedicated time to clearly defining and communicating our values and vision to preserve our culture firm-wide.
Lack of leadership is the biggest risk for today’s wealthy families. Ensuring the right leaders are in place for the next generation provides the best chance of managing unforeseen future risks. It is a challenge and many families do not succeed, often because they do not communicate effectively. It is important to bring a family together regularly and involve multiple members, across generations, in the decision-making process. There is no excuse not to keep in touch with today’s technology-enabled communications.
Our ‘Senior Partners’ play an important role in training and developing our next generation. Internally, they act as mentors, providing others with the tools to attain our ambitious global growth targets. Externally, they provide the ‘grey hair’ in client relationships, bringing to bear the firm’s experience and extensive service offering.
Reputational pressures for wealthy families are only going to increase. We help clients to develop a reputation ‘balance sheet’, looking at how they support charities, work within their communities and support and treat with their employees and business partners. Reputation can take years to build but only minutes to ruin, particularly in today’s digital age where social media and stringent reporting standards mean a wealth of data is now public. We encourage families to put a strategy in place to address these issues, particularly post COVID which has accentuated the difference between the wealthy and the rest of society.
Implementing a succession plan for ‘global’ families is increasingly complex. The greatest challenge is remaining united. Often our clients live in different jurisdictions to their parents, children and other family members. When you have people growing up in different places, exposed to different life experiences, you suddenly have diverse cultures within the same family. A family has to work a lot harder to keep moving in the same direction and to create a strong sense of community.