During the International Wealth Advisors' Forum in Cascaïs, Ineke has tested this excecptional crowd on the topic of Responsible Stewardship as a Driver to Maintain Family Success. Together with two US based independent family / family office's advisors Mary Duke and Kathryn McCarthy, we moderated a discussion on this very important topic with the following introduction:
Where families traditionally have taken a domination and control view on structuring their assets towards younger generations, we are facing a global paradigm shift to more ‘conscious capitalism’, trust and inspire form of leadership, where stewardship is the new norm.
Most families who are successful in the very long term (more than 100 years in existence) tend to a culture of stewardship which also may be explained by the notion of ‘Borrowed from Grandchildren’ according to Dennis Jaffe, a well-known family governance expert. Long termism in general requires another attitude more than just focusing on a single transaction.
With a view on recent revolutionary examples of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia and his family who transferred the $3B USD company into two ‘stewardship’ entities in September 2022.
This session will stimulate discussion by considering the following topics:
- What is the definition of success and the definition of purpose in family wealth stewardship?
- How does responsible stewardship relate to family values?
- Is a family office a friend or a foe in this?
- What is the role / purpose of learning and education for all generations?
- Challenging present structures: Do commonly used structures enhance or detract?
- Consider behavioral research input on what makes people happy.
- What new possibilities – philanthropic or otherwise - open up by changing the current way of thinking?
- What are the challenges and opportunities for advisers?
How does avoidance of taxes affect responsible stewardship? What does it mean to have a reputation as a (semi-philanthropist)?
The majority of the attendees shared the opinion that in the current circumstances, advisors have to consider as their duty of care to take into account these more holistic considerations. This is a very promising outcome and for all professionals in this field, it means that we will need to have more challenging conversations with our clients.