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The challenges and opportunities of family leadership

The challenges and opportunities of family leadership

Stephen Campbell

By Stephen Campbell

Chairman of Citi Private Capital Group

June 13, 2019Posted InFamily Office

The challenges of effective leadership are not confined to the realms of business and politics, but are front and centre for many of today’s affluent families. There are few things that trouble wealth creators as much as the question of how the next generation of family members will assume the mantle of leadership and contribute positively to business, society, culture, or politics. We find this to be a universal imperative for families regardless of geography, culture, or religion.

Similarly, many wealth inheritors — often in their 20s, 30s, and 40s — are keenly aware of the obligations of great wealth and the expectations of their families and society that they will lead meaningful and impactful lives. Indeed, many current wealth inheritors are driven to help solve fundamental social and economic issues, or create new companies, or perhaps even lead the family business or foundation. Regardless of an individual’s priorities, finding a path towards leadership in an affluent family can be highly challenging and requires careful preparation and execution.

While different generations may disagree on how wealth inheritors should act upon their ambitions, there is always agreement on the need for effective family leadership. The notion that one can actively change the world for the better permeates the values of many of the world’s wealthiest families. The extended family’s shared desire to remain united and perpetuate the family’s role, resources, and influence in business, culture, or philanthropy often leads them to ask “Who will lead the family and its various enterprises in the future?”

In a new book written by our Global Family Office Group, we aim to help families and their family offices successfully transfer leadership to the next generation.

In the book, we:

  • Explore the crucial elements of successful family leadership transition;
  • Examine the most common behavioral and emotional responses by both those who hand over leadership, and those who take it on;
  • Identify the numerous potential leadership roles that can be assigned to family members; and
  • Identify pitfalls and failure modes to be avoided in succession planning.

We believe this book will be a useful resource for families and family offices regardless of what stage they are at in their succession planning process.

Clients can request a copy of the book by contacting their Private Banker.