Succession planning for family businesses

As the private client industry in Jersey seeks to attract clients from the emerging jurisdictions, it is likely to become increasingly involved with putting in place succession planning and asset protection structures that relate to family businesses.

For this reason, it is important to understand a little about the importance of family businesses to the global economy and the sort of governance structures that are likely to be of interest to a family looking to manage the future succession of a family business. Armed with this knowledge, we can tailor the structures that we are already familiar with such as trusts, foundations and family partnerships to meet the needs of family businesses globally.

A family business is a business in which one or more members of one or more families have a significant ownership interest and significant commitments toward the business’s overall wellbeing. In some countries, many of the largest publicly listed firms are family owned. A firm is said to be family owned if a person is the controlling shareholder: that is, a person (rather than a state, corporation, management trust or mutual fund) can garner enough shares to assure at least 20 per cent of the voting rights and the highest percentage of voting rights in comparison with other shareholders…

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