Open and trusted communication within the families working in a family business is a major challenge for over half of family run or owned companies, according to a recent survey by Families in Business (FiB). To support the region’s 250,000 family businesses to overcome these types of challenges, FiB, the national support organisation for family and owner-managed businesses, has extended its presence in Bristol and the South West by appointing Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) an Approved Adviser in the South West – the first professional firm to be appointed in the region.
As a FiB Approved Adviser, CBAM will deliver wealth management advice and services to family businesses across the region. FiB launched in the South West earlier this year at an event at Bristol’s family-owned Old Down Manor, led by guest speakers Richard and Henry Williams of local fourth generation family business Williams Automobiles. In the South West, FiB is focused on providing support for the main issues and challenges facing the region’s family businesses, particularly those revealed as being of greatest concern in the FiB 2014 Annual Survey. Amongst the survey’s findings are that open and a trusted communication is a major challenge for 58 percent of family businesses, and tackling issues such as succession and shareholder agreements with family colleagues are regarded with trepidation for 69 percent of family firms. Just 16 percent of family businesses have a full and protected shareholders agreement, according to the Survey, and 30 percent believe they don’t need one at all. Over 70 percent of family businesses have no formal succession plans, and 22 percent admit they don’t believe one is necessary.
“The FiB survey revealed that just five percent of family businesses have a formal succession plan,” commented Richard Watkins (pictured), certified financial planner at Close Brothers Asset Management. “Our ﬁnancial planning service for family businesses has been developed to help them identify, review and attain their goals. We focus on areas including planning for succession, extracting value to enable the current generation to retire in comfort, and leaving a well-capitalised business for the future. Working with the family, our ﬁnancial plans routinely look ahead to develop a strategy and the skills for a smooth succession and our approach identiﬁes the most important priorities for each family. We are looking forward to expanding our work with the South West’s family business sector by working with FiB and its business network community.” FiB Head of Development and Delivery in the South West is local businessman Peter Doggett, who said:
“The South West is home to some 250,000 family owned businesses, many of which are amongst the region’s largest employers and the UK’s most thriving companies. CBAM clearly understands the family business sector and the unique challenges faced by family firms, which adds up to a cohesive set of values which make CABM an excellent FiB Approved Adviser in the region, and nationally, and a great addition to our national network of advisers.” Dani Saveker, FiB Founder and CEO, added: “FiB is focused on supporting business leaders and stakeholders within family businesses with the ‘nitty gritty’ of day to day life in and around their business – it's about rolling sleeves up and understanding what matters most to them.
“The South West has many of the industry sectors that tend to have a high percentage of family ownership – tourism, agriculture, food and drink production, agriculture and fishing, all of which play a significant role in and make a vital contribution to the local community. “By working with our network, FiB is helping to challenge, evaluate and solve an assortment of strategic and operational issues that are unique to South West family businesses, and our network of Approved Advisers is an essential element of our support service. CBAM is a proven leading adviser in wealth management and financial planning, and an exceptional specialist adviser for us in the South West.
The firm will be a huge asset for FiB and the South West’s family businesses that we work with. Richard and his team have a national focus on supporting family businesses and we’re thrilled to be working with them.” FiB delivers focused consultancy, membership, events and tools tailored to the needs of family and owner managed businesses, and its national network of advisers is a vital component of its specialist support for the UK’s family business sector. In the South West, CBAM joins FiB marketing adviser Ambitious PR, a Bristol-based independent communications agency that specialises in high-impact integrated PR solutions for entrepreneurial family businesses, and Pertemps Network that works with FiB in a number of key regions across the UK, including the South West. MD of Bristol’s Hobbs House Bakery, Trevor Herbert, is a Champion of FiB. Dani added: “We have a number of initiatives and events planned specifically for the South West region, including an Insight Group for family businesses in and around Bristol, and CBAM will host the launch event on Tuesday 9th December 2014. These are peer groups designed to allow leaders and next generation leaders to meet and open up about the challenges they face as part of their family’s business in a guaranteed highly confidential and non-judgmental environment.“ For more information about Families in Business, visit: www.fibcommunity.com, and follow @fibcommunity on Twitter.