Succession planning

The Family and Owner Managed Business sector is arguably the dominant form of commerce in the United Kingdom. Business owners have a passion for what they do, they're builders who take satisfaction in making their business grow and they focus on the future.

However, problems often arise when the time comes for the founding generation to transfer ownership and leadership to the next generation. Retirement and an insignificant role on the sidelines leads to resentment amongst the founding generation, whereas on the other hand conflict between the generations results where the incumbent generation is determined to be the architect of the business's future for ever.

At HPH we believe that Succession Planning is an imperative not an optional process. The question is how and when, not if.

We work together with the generations to achieve an answer to that question by:

  • Planning a role for the founding generation after succession - there are many tasks and responsibilities with the potential to be challenging.
  • Being sensitive to the right timing for transition - too soon or too late are equally bad.
  • Striving to achieve the founding generation's primary goals such as perpetuating the business and family harmony.
  • Identifying why the succession may be threatening and fixing it - for example by transferring voting control later after the succession plan is in place.
  • Acting in a caring way, making sure everyone is aware of and understands the goals of the family and its individual members - too often the founding generation and the next generation are surprised to learn the other's feelings.

"Every succession plan should define a role for the senior generation that incorporates the owner's personal goals “ - Jim Bieneman