From humble beginnings Mr J (66), who immigrated to the UK from East Africa, has built a large food services business, part of which has recently been sold providing the family with significant investable wealth. The family’s four children continue to work in the remaining family business, from which Mr J is soon hoping to retire. With Mr J firmly in charge, there has been little need to deal with issues of future leadership, succession, accountability or governance. In addition, until now, the family have not had significant liquidity outside of the business. With part of the business now sold and Mr J talking of stepping down, these issues are in sharp focus causing Mr and Mrs J to be concerned about the future of their family and the business.
MDR Mayfair have helped the J family identify a set of ‘soft rules’ enabling them to better navigate between their personal and business relationships. This has allowed the family to deal with future family leadership on the one hand and business succession on the other. Working together, we have agreed governance arrangements designed to promote accountability and trust amongst family members. These include the formation of a family council, a formally constituted company board and a separate family investment committee, all of which help ensure transparency and provide a system of checks and balances. This has been captured in a Family Charter to which all family members are signatories.
Through this process the social fabric of the family has been strengthened and delicate questions resolved. Mr J is now preparing to retire, confident of a frictionless transfer of responsibility and authority to the next generation and of the ongoing prosperity of the business and the family. MDR Mayfair continue to work with Mr J on his estate and legacy plans.