Family Governance

Families are living, breathing and evolving ecosystems, deeply rooted in values, traditions and customs, all meeting at the junction of reason and emotion. As a collection of unique and complex characters, each family member has their own wishes and objectives that may sometimes misalign with THOSE OF THEIR relatives. Although they may share a bloodline, family members may not share the same aspirations.

Family governance is a constantly evolving process encapsulating a family’s values to transcend generations, in addition to educating and facilitating communication between family members. It also provides a forum for constructive discussion, problem solving and decisions about the family as it relates to the family business, in addition to the way the business relates to the family. You may know your business inside out, but family dynamics are a completely different matter and understanding what part they play in the succession planning for the business is vital for a prosperous future.

Our starting point is to work collaboratively with the client and their existing advisers to build a foundation that works for the entire family, while being conducive to the assimilation and convergence of different goals into one; preservation of the family’s wealth and the creation of a legacy. Whether a large multigenerational family or a small family unit, by combining planning, flexibility and communication, asset protection and wealth preservation can be achieved and the family office and advisers will be able to act as a sounding board.  It is a collaborative approach.

The Knox Private Office approach

To us, the key is to understand the family dynamics and create long-lasting relationships. Our approach involves working closely with you towards achieving your long-term goals, whilst obtaining family buy-in.

Although we are always flexible and happy to accommodate different views, based on our collective experience of assisting families with their governance needs, we would typically go through the following steps:

  • Hold an initial meeting with the preferred member(s) of the family to agree themes, which will form basis for discussion and understanding of the key issues of concern for the family and the business at present and in the future. This step is relevant for both young entrepreneurs and multigenerational families. It is never too early to plan
  • Speak with smaller groups or individual family members (depending on dynamics) to allow others to input their views and voice concerns in a confidential forum
  • Depending on complexity, review themes and discuss implementation options – focus on any areas that may not have been considered. Highlight options for creating a suitable framework with the main themes for the family. If required, hold ‘family retreat’ with different groups to further drill into matters of importance or concern
  • Work closely with the family’s existing advisers to ensure their perspectives and knowledge of the family are factored into the process

During all of the above phases and beyond, we will provide ongoing support to the family and their close advisers, making sure everyone understands and is comfortable with the journey.

To find out how we can help you and your family protect your long-term legacy please contact us to arrange an initial meeting.


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