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Our Process

A structured, comprehensive and integrated review

Our process includes:

  • an initial meeting,
  • an in-depth exploratory meeting,
  • a discovery phase,
  • our assessment, and
  • a discussion of feedback and recommendations.

Our initial welcome meeting is an opportunity for us to learn more about you and our family and to share information about the integrated services we offer. Typically, this meeting will be attended by our primary point person, Karen Laprade, and perhaps one other Lead team member, as well as one or two family members. You are welcome to bring an existing advisor to this meeting.

The goal of this initial meeting is to begin the conversation about your family and outline how we bring clarity to the often confusing and complicated issues – and competing goals – experienced by family enterprises.

The next stage is an exploratory meeting with a broader group of stakeholders, including all key family members, any advisors they wish to bring and select members of the Lead team.

We’ll discuss the advantages of a holistic and unbiased examination of all the pieces that make up the family enterprise, answer questions about our process and outline the next steps. We will be seeking mutual understanding and successful negotiation around wants and expectations; both yours and ours. Once the logistics of time, money and effort have been agreed upon, we will create an agreement to proceed.

In the discovery phase, our goal is to collect the information we need to develop a clear picture of the family enterprise as a whole. We’ll meet individually with family members to facilitate conversations on issues of importance to your family.

This phase is a quantitative and qualitative process that enables us to truly understand the family enterprise’s history and the relationships of individuals within the family.

At the end of the discovery phase, we will meet as a team to go over the results of our review. We will identify issues and areas of risk, and we will highlight where decisions need to be made.

Our multidisciplinary team of experts will then design creative and practical solutions that focus on your family’s needs, requirements and wants, while addressing risk, minimizing complexity and enabling the pursuit of opportunities and the achievement of family goals. Our integrated advice looks at the family, business and ownership circles both separately and as a system to address issues that include:

  • family business strategy,
  • family business governance,
  • family business succession,
  • entrepreneurship in the family business,
  • family foundations,
  • family offices,
  • family business culture,
  • family mission and values,
  • family relationships, and
  • legacy planning in terms of passing on knowledge,wisdom and expertise in addition to assets.

We will meet with you, your family and key stakeholders, to discuss our integrated assessment of your situation. This assessment includes high-level recommendations to address the enterprise as a whole, as well as specific actionable items to preserve and grow your financial assets and family enterprise.

Our team will seek input from the family in terms of priorities and we will then help you make decisions as to what, when and how you implement any or all of our recommendations.

Our recommendations often fall into the categories of:

  • Education: Helping the family develop skills and understanding so that each member can contribute and succeed in their roles.
  • Strategic planning: Identifying the strategies, structures, policies and processes to achieve family unity, owner stewardship and business success over generations.
  • Capital allocation: Helping the family and the business find outside capital and providing advice to implement optimal capital structures.
  • Wealth: Developing strategies, structures and investment policies to grow and prudently use family wealth over generations.

This is a completely objective process. The family enterprise as a whole – and individual family members – can take our proposed solutions to any advisor they choose. It is entirely up to you to decide if and how you would like to act on our suggestions.