Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Join FFI
2014 Conference Sessions
Share |

FFI Global Conference 2014:
Family Enterprise: Complexities, Constituencies and Constellations 


October 8-11, 2014
Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill
Washington, DC USA 



The Family Firm Institute (FFI) is pleased to announce its 2014 Global Conference, entitled Family Enterprise: Complexities, Constituencies and Constellations.

This year the conference — which annually brings together contributions from prominent keynote speakers, professionals, educators, researchers, and family business owners from throughout the world — will address the problems of complexity, the power of constituencies, and the constellations of socio-cultural forces exerting themselves across the field of family enterprise.

Download the 2014 FFI global conference brochure here



Wednesday October 8, 2014

9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

The Evolving Role of Attorneys in the Delivery of Services to Enterprise Families
The objectives for this daylong session include:

  • Enhance attorneys’ awareness of the complex professional service needs of families who share business and financial interests.
  • Increase visibility into client engagement strategies involving challenging family dynamics, such as poor conflict management.
  • Identify blinders affecting attorneys’ abilities to add value to clients beyond legal transactions and planning.
  • Learn new engagement practices that support becoming a more durable and valued confidant of the family.
  • Identify risks associated with not challenging the way lawyers engage families.
  • Develop an understanding of how collaboration among other family enterprise advisors can and will lead to greater client service and not just new sources of referrals

Faculty: Scott Budge, Peter Leach, Nancy Drozdow, Mary Duke and David Harvey
Roundtable leaders: Jared Kaplan, John Riches and John Wofford

GEN 503: The Professional’s Toolbox: The what, why, and how of assessments in family businesses

This course provides:

  • An overview of family business assessment tools
  • Insights into what to look for, look out for and how to choose
  • Family business assessment tools
  • Methods for identifying risks and benefits, challenges and opportunities for professionals using family business assessments
  • "Hands on” exercises for using assessment tools and discussing them with family business clients

Faculty: Paul Karofsky, Pramodita Sharma

GEN 504: Philanthropy: More than money

This course provides a foundation in and an understanding of: n the historical evolution of philanthropy

  • Trends and ways of giving
  • Challenges and opportunities for professionals
  • Skills professionals need to facilitate family discussions about values, legacy and philanthropy through case studies

Faculty: James Coutré, Maya Prabhu



6:00 PM

Opening Plenary

6:30 PM

Opening Keynote

Peter Buffett - Life Is What You Make It: A concert and conversation
Peter Buffett is an Emmy Award-winning musician whose acclaimed career spans more than 30 years as a professional musician, composer, philanthropist and author. Buffett’s book Life is What You Make It is a personal and revealing, instructive and intuitive story about following passions over conventions, transcending your circumstances or status, taking up the reins of your destiny and living life to its fullest. The son of business magnate and philanthropist Warren Buffett, Peter Buffett ultimately conveys that it’s ones values — and what we are able to give back to society — that shape and define us as individuals.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

9:00 AM–10:30 AM Concurrent Sessions

Business Dealings with the Four D’s: Death, divorce, disability, and drug dependency
This presentation will discuss how to stay ahead of life’s four most common curveballs and explain how foresight can be the difference between companies that freefall and ones that thrive.

Frederic Marx, Hemenway & Barnes, LLP

Conflict, Decisions and Change: Challenges for the consultant

This panel of family systems, business, psychology and legal professionals will discuss how helping families make difficult decisions about immediate problems can be more useful than trying to change relationships. Techniques from mediation, including professional neutrality, consensus-building and party responsibility for outcome, can expand approaches to such conflict.

David Gage, BMC Associates, LLC; Kathy Wiseman, Working Systems, Inc.; John Wofford, Mediator

Ghosts II: Advising the toxic family enterprise

Toxic families poison and destroy relationships within the family, the business and with advisors. A model is presented which captures the depth, the complexity and the challenges of working in such an ever-changing and unpredictable environment. Multidisciplinary collaboration, the difficulties of this work and a useful, practical model will be discussed.

Patricia Annino, Prince, Lobel & Tye LLP; Gerard Donnellan, Brandeis University; Pascale Michaud, Parallel5

Opportunities and Pitfalls: The evolving role of family offices in private equity and venture capital

This panel will discuss private equity investments by single family offices, providing in-depth analysis of the opportunities and pitfalls in executing a direct investment strategy, how to structure direct investments and the competitive advantages of SFOs in private equity investing.

Jeffrey Blomberg, Justin Zamparelli, Withers Bergman LLP; Terry Hannafin, de Visscher & Co.

Putting Our Heads Together: Developing next-gen leaders

The development of next generation leaders is essential to the continuity of a family enterprise. Three expert panelists, each of whom grew up in a family enterprise, explore some of the complexities and challenges of cultivating next-gen leadership, including the leadership pipeline, cycles of development, and the needs of modern millennials.

Barbara Bird, American University; Felipe Ruiz, International Wealth Planners; Ayman El Tarabishy, George Washington University

Trusts: The overlooked owner

Almost all family businesses in the US will be held in trust at some point in the family’s tenure. Through case studies and recent research and discussion this panel will examine the conflicts that arise when trusts and trustees become part of the entities on family decision-making and governance systems.

Holly Isdale, Wealthaven LLC. Panelists to be announced.


11:00 AM–12:30 PM

All of Life and Work Is Improvisation
All of life is improvisation and the basic rules of improv are essential for our work with each other and family enterprises. This presentation will introduce participants to relevant concepts and then turn to a professional improviser and teacher. This presentation includes a working lunch and will conclude at 1:00 PM. Come have fun and learn!

Jane Hilburt-Davis, Key Resources, LLC; Deana Criess, Mike Descoteaux, ImprovBoston National Touring Company

From Surviving to Thriving: Success strategies in the quest for family firm growth and continuity

In this case presentation, two cousins and their executive coach share the journey of their family-owned manufacturing firm which navigated familial, business and cultural complexities in its quest for a smooth generational transition and transformation of company performance. They highlight six factors that promoted the enterprise’s remarkable turnaround.

Mark Mangiafico, Michael Mangiafico II, Peter Paul Electronics, Inc.; David Tate, Yale University

How to Assess Top Executive Leadership in Family Firms: The case of the leadership inventory for family firm executives

Building on a literature review on strategic leadership among family firms and on the development of a leadership inventory tool for family firm leaders, this presentation discusses the relevance and the need for adaptation of general models and tools of leadership.

Sylvain Daudel, Valérie Petit, EDHEC Business School

Children Who Fail to Launch: Their impact on relationships within wealthy families

This presentation focuses on the impact of under-functioning individuals and behavioral health issues on wealthy families and their associated professionals. Typical family reactions will be discussed as well as how advisors can help family members rebalance families and encourage them to lead healthy lives.

Michael Madera, Madera Partners; Arden O’Connor, O’Connor Professional Group

Protocols for Shared Consulting Work

A panel discussion from a multidisciplinary group of family business advisors who will share their experiences in collaboration and a written protocol for work on shared clients.

Barb Dartt, GROW The Family Business Advisors; Joe Kluender, Family Farm Dynamics; John McNutt, Latta Harris Hanon Penningroth LLP; Lance Woodbury, Lance Woodbury, LLC

Real Estate Families: A different paradigm

The unique challenges of real estate families will be discussed in the context of
a 3rd generation family feud concerning their $250M real estate management company. From acquisition to management and development, the presentation will explore what advisors need to know to help these families succeed in their generation.

Doug Baumoel, Blair Trippe, and Paul Faxon Continuity Family Business Consulting


2:00 PM–3:30 PM Concurrent Sessions

Centers for Family Enterprise as Catalysts for Constituent Unity
Juggling multiple constituents is a challenge at best. Centers for family enterprises are in an ideal position to be a catalyst for unifying their multiple constituents and to learn and prosper from each other. This session will present and explore specific ways to better unify constituents of family enterprises.

Ellie Frey, Frey Foundation; Lori Muse, California State University at Fullerton; Thomas Schwarz, Stetson University

Cutting Through Complexity: A case study and model for maximizing economic and emotional success through governance

Family business advisors have the challenge to cut through complexity in family enterprises. To help, Koeberle-Schmid, Kenyon-Rouvinez, and Poza have developed a comprehensive family business governance framework. With the model come tools, ideas, and examples to put sound governance in place. This allows improvement of emotional and economic value.

Christian W. E. Haub, Tengelmann Group; Alexander Koeberle- Schmid, KPMG AG Germany

From Managing to Governing: Building a culture of active ownership
When family firm ownership passes from founder to descendants, the business culture may be downright hostile to ownership governance. The presenters will introduce the AAA Process to help owners decipher cultural artifacts, attitudes and assumptions around ownership and proactively introduce culture change.

Don Opatrny, The Lovins Group; Amelia Renkert-Thomas, Withers Consulting Group

Stars Under the Southern Cross: Configuring complex family businesses to shine

Framed to provide insight into cultural norms and how to configure social, financial, physical and human capital resources, this case-based presentation chronicles the learning journey of an innovative family that has moved from operating a tangible assets business to creating a new enterprise that leverages their intangible assets.

Nick Bloor, Technigro; Anthea Moores, Ken Moores, Moores Family Enterprise

Taking the Pulse of US Family Firms: Policy and legislation impacting the state of the family enterprise

A panel of family business experts, owners and researchers will share findings from the FEUSA 2014 Survey of Family Firms. Current insights on family firm demographics, family businesses’ perspectives on the economy, tax code, policy reform, the deficit and national debt issues, regulations, healthcare and specific family business cases will be discussed.

Jeff Cook-McCormac, Policy and Taxation Group; Michael Harma, Family Enterprise, USA; Andrew Keyt, Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center; Preston Root, The Root Family board of directors; Moderator: Kirby Rosplock, Tamarind Partners


Values: A way to conflict resolution
This session introduces a new methodological approach for understanding conflict among family members. It shows how individual values can be used to better understand conflict and aid the succession process.

Anthony Devine, Philip Shrives, Northumbria University


4:00 PM

Thursday Keynote

Charles Duhigg - The Power of Habit

Charles Duhigg is the author of The Power of Habit, addressing the science of habit formation in our lives, companies and societies. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument — the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements and achieving success is understanding how habits work.


Friday, October 10, 2014

8:30 AM

Certificate Awards Breakfast


10:00 AM–11:30 AM Concurrent Sessions

A Changing World: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) challenges for family firms and their advisors
This presentation will summarize recent social and policy changes regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This discussion will explore how these changes impact advising family firms with regard to family dynamics, succession planning, tax and estate planning and human resource policies.

David Tate, Yale University; John Wofford, Mediator

Integrating Professional Management into Asian Family Companies: Complex cultural contexts

Through a series of case studies in Singapore, the Business Families Institute at Singapore Management University is developing a model of family firm professionalization that can assist Asian families in business as they expand. The cases reveal that the professionalization of the families is a needed first step. In essence, families must professionalize as businesses professionalize.

Annie Koh, Wee-Liang Tan, Singapore Management University

Leading Through Complexity: A case study of Luck Companies’ values-based leadership journey

What does a 3rd generation, family-owned stone company have to teach organizations of all sizes about leading through complexity by managing human capital? Luck Companies’ values-based leadership journey will show that leveraging a system of shared values that guides decision-making will help to simplify the complexities of family business leadership.

Charlie Luck, Luck Companies

Not About the Money: Bringing outside capital into the family business

Inviting outside capital into the family business has, at times, been considered a stigma. This session asks: How can family business leaders explore alternative forms of capital to fuel their business while advancing family goals? How can they uncover and work through the tacit but important issues and trade-offs beyond the money?

Eric Allyn, Welch Allyn; Debbie Bing, CFAR; François de Visscher, de Visscher & Co.

Oxygen and Life Blood: Innovation in family enterprise

Insights from entrepreneurial family firms will demonstrate they do much more than simply superficial incremental product improvements. In this session, panelists share why family firms might actually hold an advantage over non-family firms for innovation.

Justin Craig, Northeastern University; G. Thomas Lumpkin, Syracuse University

The People’s Impact: What government should do for family business and why
This panel session will discuss the role of family enterprise in society and the impact of national tax, fiscal and regulatory policies on family enterprise and, through family enterprise, on wealth creation and capital accumulation, job creation, wages, innovation, investments, business formations and social and cultural philanthropy.

Joseph Astrachan, Kennesaw State University; Jésus Casado, European Family Businesses-GEEF, other panelists to be announced

1:30 PM–3:30 PM Concurrent Sessions

The Business Transition Matrix: Family vs. the non- family business
Transitioning a business has numerous complexities. Traditional transfer strategies may not be effective when family dynamic issues are considered. Through several case studies, tax efficient transfer solutions will be examined that transfer maximum value to the owner irrespective of family dynamics and then recast in consideration of unique family dynamics.

Brett Coffman, Duncan Moseley III, John Marold, BB&T Wealth

The Complex Role of Culture in the Lives of Successful Families: Helping generations adapt to family wealth
Prosperous family firms face complex, often momentous changes in their internal culture over generations. Families must deal with transformations in economic culture, decision-making culture, and sometimes ethnic culture as success occurs. Through groundbreaking concepts and leading-edge research, this presentation shows how consultants can guide their clients wisely through these complex adaptations.

James Grubman, FamilyWealth Consulting; Dennis Jaffe, Saybrook Graduate School

Family Offices: The rest of the iceberg

This session covers the full spectrum of family offices and everything you should know about them: the services most commonly offered, when most families actually start (and how), the impact of key family/ownership variables, major pitfalls to be avoided, regional differences in implementation and the essentials of SFO/MFO wealth management.

Rodolfo Paiz, The Guayacan Group

In Sickness and in Health: When health events challenge the family enterprise
At the intersection of wealth and health disabilities sudden health events can rock otherwise stable family systems. The planning and dynamics for family enterprises shift dramatically. This session will guide conversations through the challenging financial, governance, and personal decisions that must be made.

Michael Duckworth, The Duckworth Group; James Weiner, Inheriting Wisdom

Raising Balanced Children Amidst Success

The financial rewards that come from a successful business can introduce significant parenting challenges. Many families struggle with determining how and when to educate the next generation on wealth and finances. In this session, panelists share their experiences in talking with kids about money and preparing them for financial responsibility.

Anna Nichols, Altair Advisers; other panelists to be announced

Rise of the Extremophiles: How family enterprises can survive and thrive in complex operating environments
All family businesses manage complex operational risks in their environment every day, though some systems are also exposed to dangerous levels of country risk. The presenters will share their research on companies that thrive in these extreme operating environments and explore the implications of these ideas for consultants and practitioners.

Devin DeCiantis, Ivan Lansberg, Lansberg, Gersick & Associates, LLC

3:30 PM

Closing Keynote and Kick-off to London

Dominique Moïsi - The Geopolitics of Emotion: How cultures of fear, humiliation, and hope are reshaping the world
Dominique Moïsi shows how the geopolitics of today are characterized by a "clash of emotions.” A leading authority on international affairs, Moïsi explains that in order to understand our changing world, we need to confront emotion. He deciphers the driving emotions behind our cultural differences, delineating a provocative and important new perspective on globalization.


Friday evening, October 10, 2014

6:30 PM–10:00 PM

2014 Gala Awards Dinner

Celebrate the conclusion of the main conference and the accomplishments of your colleagues and friends during the Gala Awards Dinner at the historic Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Attire: Become your own "constellation” and help create the glitterati by wearing Silver and Sequins!

Tickets: Advance reservations required




Justin Craig, R&E Symposium chair

Saturday, October 11, 2014

9:00 AM

Opening Plenary

STEP Project — Constituencies and Constellations from a ongoing research project
Founded by Babson College in 2005, the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneur- ship Project (STEP) is a global applied research initiative that explores the entrepreneurial process within business families and generates solutions that have immediate application for family leaders, academics and advisors. Today, there are more 40 institutions and 200 scholars from around the world engaged in this project. Based on in-depth case studies and survey research of over a thousand trans-generationally successful families around the world, the scope of this project is unprecedented. The latest results will be shared by panelists from partner institutions. The rare insights on factors that enable the growth and longevity of family enterprises are discussed in this panel — making it a MUST ATTEND for all — academics and advisors!

Matthew Allen, Babson College, Eric Clinton, Dublin City University (Ireland), Mattias Nordqvist, Jönköping International Business School (Sweden), Carlo Salvato, Universita Bocconi (Italy); moderator: Justin Craig, Northeastern University

10:30 AM–12:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions A
Session Moderator: Mattias Nordquist

An Agent Model for Family Businesses and Enterprises and its Implications for Business Survival and Succession
Family enterprises behave as complex adaptive systems that can predict behavior in relatively stable times to ensure adaptivity and organizational learning in turbulent times.

Leslie Klieb, Laureate Online Education and Webster University Thailand; Merle Rhoades, Colorado State University

Asset, Competition, Reject or Clown? Findings on the complexities of nepotism
Is nepotism really problematic or could it actually benefit the business? What happens when family enters the firm? Asset, competition, a reject or a clown?

Gina Finelli, Anne Arundel Community College

Concurrent Sessions B

Session Moderator: Claudio Muller

The Complexity of Winning Consumer Trust: Examining how non-family businesses are waning the family firm’s familiar competitive advantage
This discussion explains how non-family businesses redesign their company culture to appear more like a family-owned firm to command superior levels of consumer trust.

Jeffrey Roseman, Pace University

Relations or Relatives? The Effect of Political Connections and Family Ties in the Entrepreneurial Recovery of Family Firms from a Natural Disaster

This presentation investigates the differential power of political capital and family social capital in determining family firms’ performance implications of a natural disaster. We do so by analyzing pre- and post-event performance of Italian family and non-family firms that experienced a disastrous earthquake.

Carlo Salvato, Universita Bocconi

Small Is Beautiful: Economic performance of family SMEs

There is an argument that the increase in the size and age of family firms should generate friction, causing a drop in performance. Hierarchical regressions show that smaller family SMEs perform better and age does not matter.

Albert Lwango, Groupe ESC Troyes

12:30 PM


1:30 PM–3:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions A Session Moderator: Mattias Nordquist

Building Family Business Success Predictability

A discusson to help founders, successors and advisors to achieve "authentic success” for themselves, their families and their businesses. Participants will learn how to really "make a life and not just a living.”

Gordon Wusyk, Predictable Futures Inc.

Human Resources and Communications During Business Transition
Examples of change, human resources and communications management in several organizational settings illustrate the need to carefully consider the implications of any change you are planning.

Maria Milanetti, MarchFifteen Consulting Inc.

Prometheus’ Gift: Are we blessed or cursed by consciousness?

One set of data from internal connections (our senses) and conflicting data from external sources impacts the personal and the professional. Data filtered through our biases and preconceptions can lead to personal and business stress.

James Grady, Pivot Point Business Solutions; Michael Grady, WRSequence

Concurrent Sessions B

Session Moderator: Ayman El Tarabishy

The Successors’ (Nexts’) Commitment and Willingness to Continue Family Firms: The Finnish family firm and higher education context

A look at the expanded understanding of the complexity of succession from the successors’ point of view.

Hannele Rautämaki, Helsinki; Tarja Romer-Paakkanen, HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences

Two Keys to Preserving Family Legacy: Managing talent and designing ownership and governance

Systematic legacy preservation helps family business owners achieve successful transitions. Family businesses that have not developed talent deep in their organizations or in the next generation are at risk of not seeing the return on their life’s work.

Stacy Feiner, SS&G Parkland Consulting; Marjorie Kelly, The Democracy Collaborative


3:30 PM 

Closing Plenary

A Community of Scholars – A Constellation of Perspectives Panelists: Mattias Nordqvist, Ayman El Tarabishy, Claudio Muller; moderator, Justin Craig
Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal