The power of inclusivity
Smarter Succession Podcast
We’re standing on the edge of the biggest wealth transfer in history – yet research shows that four in ten women are currently not involved in family wealth decisions1. Our podcast panel of experts discuss the underlying issues that prevent women becoming more involved in succession planning, give real-life examples and provide practical advice on the power of inclusivity in wealth and business transfer.
Lisa Francis, CEO of the UK and Crown Dependencies for Barclays Private Bank, is joined by Dr Ylva Baeckstrom, a former banker, fintech entrepreneur and an academic authority in behavioural finance; independent family business expert, Nike Anani; and Tasnim Ghiawadwala, Head of UK Corporate Bank for Barclays.
Don’t have time to listen to the whole podcast? Dip into the recording at the times below to listen to specific topics:
- Why women are excluded from discussions – 03:57
- The benefits of taking a more inclusive approach – 14:19
- The role of women as ‘Chief Emotional Officer’– 27:07
- Tips and advice on how families can become more inclusive – 30:59
You can stream this podcast by scanning the QR codes with your smartphone camera or clicking the buttons below.
Lisa Francis (LF): The relationship between women and wealth has shifted considerably over the past decade. Today, women are driving economic change on a scale that has never been seen before. A third of the world's wealth is now under their control and is ever increasing.
In fact, women are increasing their share of the wealth with unparalleled pace, adding 5 trillion dollars to the global wealth pool every single year.
They are redefining the world of finance and business, in many cases outperforming men in terms of investment returns.
Yet despite this shift, women often remain excluded from discussions about wealth transfer. In other words, when it comes to making plans for the future of family businesses, and family wealth, women are often absent from the conversation.
Barclays Private Bank research commissioned from leading intelligence agency Savanna reveals that biases within families and financial services run strong. The research captures the views of more than 400 high net worth families from all over the globe, and the resulting figures are stark.
Today, 4 in 10 women are not involved in family wealth decisions at all. Women report feeling frequently ignored in conversations around family wealth, more than a third feel under confident in making investment decisions for themselves. And of those who do have a financial advisor. Almost three in five believe that their advisor treats them differently to men.
Set against this complex backdrop, our research finds that four in five women from wealthy families expect to inherit substantial wealth over the next 20 years.
With all of this in mind, are global families and advisors missing an opportunity? is diversity of thought the key to creating lasting wealth legacies?
Hello, and welcome to Barclays Private Bank Smarter succession podcast. I'm Lisa Francis CEO of the UK and Crown Dependencies for Barclays Private Bank. And today, helping me discuss the key talking points on the power of inclusivity in wealth and business transfer - I'd like to introduce my guests today.
I have Ylva, academic expert from Sweden.
Dr Ylva Baeckstrom (YB): Thank you, Lisa. I'm delighted to be here. My name is Dr. Ylva Baeckstrom, and I'm a lecturer in finance at King's Business School, King's College in London.
Previous to being an academic, I worked in banking for many years, and I was in a CEO of a FinTech startup business. I’m also a psychotherapist who helps individuals and couples who struggle with relationship difficulties. And my research really centres around gender bias in finance. So I'm actually delighted to be here and contribute to the podcast today.
LF: I have Tasnim, dialling in from the UK.
Tasnim Ghiawadwala (TG): I'm Tasnim Ghiawadwala. I am head of the UK corporate bank here at Barclays. I've been in banking for more than 25 years and have experience of a really wide array of clients, including investment banking clients, very large multinational clients, right the way down to smaller SME size clients as well.
LF: And, Nike. Speaking from Nigeria.
Nike Anani (NA): Hi, thank you so much. I'm excited to be here today. I'm a family business consultant, I help bridge the gap between the senior generation and younger generation and family businesses. I have over a decade of actual family business experience in Nigeria, as a second generation entrepreneur myself, and prior to that, I worked in Deloitte in London in corporate tax international. So I'm a chartered accountant.
I'm really excited about today's conversation. I'm very passionate about the role diversity plays and really believe that each of us as individuals, families and businesses are unique, and we should celebrate the uniqueness in each of us.
LF: Now, I think it's fair to say that by overlooking women in the wealth transfer process, global families are undoubtedly missing out on a number of benefits women bring to financial processes and decision making in general. Yet the reason why women miss out is a very complex discussion.
So, in uncovering the reasoning behind gender biases, how can we help empower both wealth owners and women to use the notion of inclusivity as a tool to create smarter succession planning?
I’ll start with question one. There are many women - our research suggests, in fact, 41% within global families - who often feel excluded during the wealth transfer process. Why do you think that is?
YB: I think when we think about the, the lack of involvement, or the relative under involvement of woman in finance compared to men, we need to look at history. So traditionally, finance was created by men, for men, really. And in countries like the UK and many other countries, it wasn't until the mid 1970s, that women gained the legal right to open a bank account in their own name.
And something which obviously is very important for entrepreneurs, is to be able to apply for credits without having a male signature. And that didn't happen until the early 1980s. So in so many ways, women were excluded from finance.
Therefore, traditionally, women are not expected from a cultural perspective, to be part of the finance conversation in families. And of course, we have lots of geographical variations within some cultural variations within different countries. But I think that sort of sets the scene for why it is the way it is today.
NA: Yes I agree with Ylva. I think it also points to a lot of social norms. Historically, we've seen that men have been traditionally business owners and wealth owners and women would tend to be in supportive roles as opposed to leadership roles due to gender expectations of men being providers versus women being home-keepers.
So we've seen these gender biases creep into family businesses. And historically, a lot of businesses would explicitly exclude daughters as candidates for succession and may even exclude them from being exposed to the business from an early age.
And women are still today, in a lot of cases, still in supportive roles due to active gender-based obstacles that have prevented them from leadership in some instances, and in others, them excusing themselves from leadership, not wanting to rock the boat, not wanting to challenge the status quo for a host of reasons.
One of which is that a lot of family businesses are founded by men, as we said, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, and these businesses tend to be concentrated in what are termed male dominated industries: agriculture, industrial manufacturing, construction.
And many women believe that these fields are men's worlds. And they, they believe that leadership is best for men, so they may not be as assertive. Also, women tend to have to take into consideration work life balance, and they may assume that the demands of the business may be too much for them.
So again, they kind of pull back from asserting themselves for to be exposed to the business. And then I'd say also not having enough examples, not having enough examples in the media, or in the networks of women at the top of businesses and being the wealth controllers, reinforcing the very notion that it isn't for them, so they don't take an active interest.
But I'd like to just say, against this backdrop of discrimination and stereotyping globally, there's a changing tide. And in my line of work, I'm consulting families that have daughters that are rising in their firms. And these ladies are on track to be the future CEOs or board members. In some instances, we're seeing that the daughters are being passed over their brothers.
So what we're tending to see is a gradual fade of patriarchal systems. And increasingly, successes are being evaluated not just on their gender, but also by merit. In one case, for instance, the father, the founder of the business, invited his daughter to intern at the business while she was at college in the United States, their family businesses is based in Ghana. And he encouraged her while she was in college, to join relevant mentoring groups, join relevant networking circles to deepen her capacity, while she was out in the United States.
So after a brief career in consulting, she actually voluntarily opted to return home and work in the family business. And now she's on track to chair the family business within the next five years.
So I'm seeing more and more cases like these. And this is due to, you know, changing attitudes, perceptions on diversity, inclusion, a rise of female founders, and we cannot neglect the role of male allies, fathers brothers, uncles that are supporting the upward mobility of their female relatives in the business.
LF: Thanks, Nike. I’d love, Tasnim, to bring you in at this point and hear from your wide experiences, your views on this.
TG: Thanks Lisa. So, I think one additional thing that I just like to throw in is that although I’m in total agreement that there is a kind of a gender lens, on succession, but you know, I've been dealing with family businesses, particularly privately owned family businesses, like for many, many years in my career, and I would say that succession planning for the next generation as a whole, whether it's male or female, is quite challenging, per se.
And that it's important that families do prepare their children and I've seen some of our clients even struggling with trying to get engagement from their children, male or female, and, you know, that creates quite a big risk, I would say in terms of the longevity of the business where they could they sometimes struggle to get that engagement with the children.
And so, having succession planning as a core part of our family business planning is critically important, I would say, in order to continue the success of the business.
I think, particularly, you know, if I think about my experience of covering international businesses, I think there is quite a cultural overlay around how male and female children are kind of viewed by parents, and there is still a little bit of an underlying feeling of the place of women is predominantly in the home. However, I think an enormous amount of progress is kind of being made.
But I think we will need to recognise that there's probably a lot more work that needs to be done in this area.
LF: Thanks, Tasnim, I think you ladies have touched on many issues.
I think, you know, some of the aspects we've drawn on - work life balance, culture, traditions, not having enough role models - and I think Nike mentioned some really important points around having male allies.
If I could maybe, ask each of you just to summarise one of your main reflections that you would perhaps take from this so our audience can think about what the most pertinent issues are. If I come to you first, Ylva.
YB: Yeah, thank you, Lisa. So, one of the aspects that I really wanted to think about, is the psychology of what happens. And here, we are looking at a gender confidence gap.
And that's really critical. And it's something that both men and women have to think about. Because when a domain is new, as finance, business, entrepreneurship, relatively speaking, is to women compared to men, or indeed a wealth transfer within families, then the confidence that exudes from a woman compared to man is different.
And research shows again and again that even though a woman is competent in her field, she appears to be less confident, less influential, and less in control over her actions. And what that means is that others who look at her will judge her to be less competent, because she doesn't show the same confidence as a man with a similar skill set does.
So my real big piece of advice, important piece of advice is for women to forget about confidence. Confidence is not important. The real danger is not trying not going to take the risks that you deserve to take to show off your competence, your skills, your abilities. And then to the men who are involved in the decision making process and the women, please do give these women a chance because they are much more competent in what they are doing than they appear to be.
LF: Thanks Ylva, very insightful, and maybe if I can come to you next Nike?
NA: Yes, I'd like to just, you know, highlight that I think family businesses present great places for women to work, because quite often they tend to be more flexible, have a quite homely environment and the values tend to be in line with those that women treasure.
So I think if just speaking to the audience, don't be discouraged by the fact that there might not be that many role models, as ladies have agency to, you can shape the culture in the family business to make it more inclusive, and other, you know, changing other cultural business, cultural matters that are important to you, paving the way for upcoming daughters in your family enterprise, because as an owner, there's no glass ceiling.
LF: Thank you, Nike, helpful advice. And Tasnim?
TG: Yeah, I think probably the key takeaway for me is that succession is important. And succession planning is important, regardless of whether it's man, or woman. And I think, you know, I see so many family owned businesses that don't even have any kind of succession plan. The amount of uncertainty that creates for a business and the risk of that poses. So I think the number one priority that I would encourage everybody to think about is to ensure that there are good succession plans for the business.
LF: Excellent. Well thank you very much ladies. So that’s being dynamic around the environment, and succession planning, I think were the main points I took from that. So maybe that brings us very nicely onto my second question.
What do we think are the benefits of taking a much more inclusive approach to succession planning? And do you have any advice or guidance to share?
TG: So yeah, absolutely huge benefits, Lisa, to try and create a more inclusive approach for business, generally, I would say. I think, you know, the key benefits of having the inclusive approach is that you get diversity of thought, right. And you don't get any kind of single view being dominant, and that you are able to kind of consider many, many different angles, and consider many, many different stakeholders when you have that kind of diversity of thought.
And we've got a number of businesses that we work with, here at Barclays Corporate Banking, where the CEO is female, and we do see a difference actually, in the way that they're run from their core values and what they prioritise. We've got examples where they take a longer term view, where their purpose is a little bit different. I mean, I've got an online business that was founded by a woman founder. And actually, the purpose of her business is to become a better parent.
I mean, that was the reason that she created her business. And it talks to the difference in approach and differences in what drives people I think. And so all of these things, I think, contribute to lasting success of businesses.
And Lisa, you're aware obviously, that we formed a client advisory board. Well, we've got a group of clients that are coming together and helping us to shape our strategy here, within Barclays. And it's proven to be extremely valuable and useful through the pandemic, to work with the advisory board. And the board is made up of male CEOs, as well as female CEOs. And it's actually quite interesting to hear the breadth of experience that we get from the various people.
One of the board members who's female, is running a very large cinema chain. And you can imagine the impact the pandemic has had on the cinema business. And, she was explaining at the last meeting, how they're working through that, how they're taking care of their staff, how they're rearranging their business model in a way in which they can still kind of be ready to go live, again, when locked down is lifted.
So it's, a very different lens sometimes, that you get with female CEOs, to what you get with male CEOs and the kind of approach that they take on these things.
You know, changes are definitely afoot as I look at certain businesses out there, I mean, we've got a retail business, that's in my world here in the UK, where the father was positively encouraging the daughter to come into the business.
And actually, when the daughter came into the business, it changed the strategy of the business and the business moved in a completely different direction to where the founding father, actually had it.
LF: Thank you, Tasnim. Maybe Ylva I can come to you next.
YB: Yes, I wanted to pick up on a few of the things that Tasnim was saying, really, and putting a research hat on. So research shows time and time again, that women are less tolerant to risk taking, are less confident and feel less knowledgeable in the areas of finance and business and entrepreneurship.
And while this is detrimental to women investing in their own personal portfolios, because women don't tend to invest enough to secure their financial future relative to men, this is really beneficial for business, because traditionally, business suffer from overconfident risk taking and decision making, rather than looking at a diverse and collaborative way of taking decisions.
And there are so many reports out there both academic in the academic literature as well as in the more industry type reports, that points to the fact that where you have a diverse decision making process, companies are more profitable. Just in terms of the numbers, the revenue generation benefits from it, staff retention, turnover, share price, there is nothing to show that there is a disadvantage.
So from a business point of view, the more diversity you create, the better it is. And also, what businesses have to remember is that the client base needs to be mirrored in how the business is run. And families need to consider that if you exclude part of the family from the decision making, it's not reflective of the future wealth owners within the family. So it is really, really important, both from a fairness and from a profit making point of view.
LF: Thanks, Ylva, some really interesting insights there. And then last but not least, Nike, I'd love to hear your thoughts, too.
NA: Yes. On the benefits of inclusivity, I think taking a step back, it's important to understand how crucial a role women play in family businesses. So in the course of my work, I see that quite often families that failed to transition their businesses successfully across generations.
Often it's not necessarily because of weaknesses in the business. But it actually often is because of weaknesses in the family, that become apparent once the founder passes away. And from my experience, I see that women, particularly mothers, tend to be the invisible glue of the family. So they foster harmony, they promote unity, which is really key, especially in non-Western cultures, where the family unit may be a bit more complex.
So you might have larger families, you might have polygamous homes with multiple wives. And you might see where the extended family is enmeshed into the nuclear family. So women are crucial in maintaining strong families, but they often do this at the dinner table. And I really believe that there's a case we're seeing a rise of women not just on the dinner table, but also in the office.
And like Ylva mentioned, and Tasnim mentioned also, it's because on the business side, the impact of female leadership doesn't go unnoticed. I mean, our 21st Century complex business world is highly disruptive. And we're being faced with new challenges that the previous generation did not have to contend with. Things like climate change, rising income inequalities globally.
And as Ylva mentioned, female leadership tends to be more collaborative, more inclusive. And this allows for co-creation of diverse ideas, better quality and quantity of ideas to overcome these challenges.
And as Tasnim mentioned, also, we have a range of different stakeholders in the family firm, we have different generations, we have different branches of a family, we have different genders. And then we have non-family staff. And each of these groups have different priorities, different perspectives and different preferences. Women tend to value loyalty more than men. And this demonstration of loyalty actually creates oneness and cohesion, which leads to qualitative and quantitative gains, as Ylva mentioned.
Lastly, I'll just follow up on something Tasnim mentioned on purpose. So women tend to be more inclined towards philanthropic activities, social enterprise, thinking about social impact, impact investing and things of the like. I've seen an instance of a daughter in the family business, she was second generation, she established a Family Foundation, which she chaired. And now the foundation will be moving on to its second generation.
So engaging in philanthropy gave the family an opportunity to establish a great legacy, providing meaning and purpose to the wealth, and actually engaged the next generation. Many of the next gen showed very little interest in the business, but actually took an interest in philanthropy. So I think those are really the benefits of including women, particularly on the purpose side.
LF: Thanks, Nike, there was a lot there, actually, ladies. I think that loyalty piece definitely resonates as well. But obviously, some real complexities in terms of the culture across families. And I really liked the point you raise Nike around the invisible glue, I think that's something we should definitely call out for our listeners to keep in mind, just in terms of the place of the female.
I think sometimes - I don't know about you, ladies - but I often feel like invisible glue in my family. But I think the cultural piece is not lost on any of us.
I think Tasnim, just to draw out, you brought some great, very live examples, just in terms of the current environment we find ourselves in. But I think just also to kind of pull out how, you know the changing environment towards climate change, and, and maybe the philanthropic area, certainly from the private banking side, we see that's a huge part that our female colleagues, particularly wives of founders, have actually really blossomed in terms of creating that family legacy, particularly with sustainability and impact investing in mind.
So maybe it's a good point for us to move on to our third question at this point. And I think, you know, for me, it's also maybe just considering the role of women during that wealth transfer process, and what role should that be for our women?
I mean, one of the phrases I've heard a few times is that women being the chief emotional officer, what do you think about this title? And this idea? And maybe Nike just given your invisible glue, I'll come to you first.
NA: Yes, I think it's an apt description. I mean, family businesses tend to be more complex than non family firms. This confluence, this merge of family and business gives rise to conflicts, as they're completely different institutions with different objectives.
So family is a unit to provide nurturing, emotional safety, unconditional love, equal treatment of siblings, but business is a competitive environment where we're trying to achieve profits, productivity and performance. And we evaluate employees based on their performance and we don't treat them equally. So these conflicts can lead to situations where issues in the business can impact on the family and vice versa.
For instance, I've seen a case where the founder had a son in the business and two outside of the business and gave all three children equal allowances. And naturally that created conflict as the son that was working in the business felt cheated for his contribution in the business.
And so in family firms, we often see a bit more conflict than in non family firms, like in the situation I was outlining. In that instance, it was mum, the chief emotional officer that mediated the situation over the dining table. Eventually, mum and dad decided to develop a remuneration policy for family members in the business to avoid future conflict.
So I would say the CEO role is very important. But I would also add that there's a case for many families to actually formalise and institutionalise this role by setting up a formal Family Council.
I've worked with a couple of families where they have these set up and have the women that chair these councils. And the council will be tasked with things like developing the values, the vision and the purpose of the family, developing entry criteria for family members to work in the business, looking at remuneration policies like we just discussed for family members, looking at next generation education as well as coming up with a conflict mediation process.
I really believe that governance structures such as Family Councils will be critical for families to transition successfully beyond their current generations.
LF: Thank you, Nike, really insightful. Maybe Ylva I can come to you next.
YB: Yeah, thank you, Lisa. And thank you, Nike. So I have a slightly similar view, but slightly different to, to the branding of the woman as the emotional, bringing the emotional capital into the business or, or the families or companies. So in a sense, gender is in a sense a spectrum. And we naturally, we tend to think that women are more nurturing than men. And that men are generally labelled to be more aggressive than women, for example. But few of us operate at the very end of our spectrum.
So I think that we also need to think that people regardless of their gender, contribute positively to business to family wealth, in so many ways, and actually, women may be bringing the more collaborative approach to business, will be able to draw out and enhance the skills of men to help them to become more nurturing in their way of being. And likewise, men will help women to dare to take a bit more risk and dare to do things that feel unfamiliar to them. So I think that's an important point to make.
And the other thing that I wanted to say about this is that I talked earlier about how from a fairness perspective, of course, it's right to include women, and include more diversity in families and in businesses. And we also talked about how from profitability point of view, there is no evidence to point to that being disadvantageous.
But also, reputationally, I think there's something we haven't touched on so much yet - you did a little bit, Nike, I think - is that women become incredible ambassadors for the business, if they are included. And in my experience from my banking career, in my research in my career as an entrepreneur, I see that women that have been invested in by their families, they speak so incredibly well of their families and of the business. So there is yet another incentive to invest in them.
LF: Thank you Ylva. Yeah, that's one point, actually, we hadn't drawn out. So I think an important one. But I guess Tasnim, just to pick up on some of your earlier comments, particularly around the environment we find ourselves in, we're all sat here, dialling into this podcast, in many cases from our own homes. Maybe to just think about what COVID is doing to accelerate the change in terms of allowing our females to rise, maybe Tasnim, it'd be great to just maybe hear further thoughts from you.
TG: Yeah, no, of course. It might sound a little bit weird for me to say this. But in many ways, I would say, the pandemic has been a great leveller in terms of providing access to opportunities for men and women, because I think everybody's accessing opportunities in the same way from a dark bedroom, in their own home, through the internet.
And really, the only limiter is how fast your broadband is, right, in terms of the access, and so it kind of makes the whole thing that much more accessible, because distance is no longer any kind of barrier, there's no great travel that's required for business development purposes.
Back to bringing this to kind of the gender point, and the succession point. I think to the extent that there were any barriers that women faced, whether they were real barriers, I'm going to say physical barriers, or whether they were mental barriers that were kind of created by the women themselves as to why they couldn't do something or be involved in something, I think we are seeing an enormous change in both consumer behaviour, as well as our own behaviours in the way we're interacting, and how open and easily accessible everything is.
LF: So, I guess, maybe if we could move to my final question.
I'm really keen to find out your thoughts on how can families take a much more inclusive approach, and reap the benefits of diversity of thought when building their succession plans. It would be great to hear maybe some of your advice. You know, you've mentioned many different stories that you've been, we've discussed here of how this is being tackled already in live case studies. But it'd be really good if we can just try and hone in a little bit about what do you think makes a good succession plan? Maybe Ylva, if I start with you.
YB: I’d like to go back to thinking a bit about what I said earlier about competence and confidence. So confidence doesn't necessarily mean that you're competent, and vice versa. Here, the unfamiliarity of the environment for women is exceptionally important.
So firstly, women and girls need to be included in education from a very early age, this is critical for it to not to feel like an unfamiliar territory where they don't belong. So this has to do with finance matters. It has to do with matters of, of wealth transfer, this has to do with matters of business, and all other aspects that they could become involved with in the future. So to me, it becomes a natural part of their upbringing, I think that's absolutely critical.
Studies show time and time again, that when you look at the performance in quantitative areas, it is not that women have lower abilities compared to boys or men later in life, it's that confidence is holding them back from achieving more. So when you control effective for anxiety, in test results, there are no gender differences. So I think we're limiting the potential that women can bring to families by perhaps not given them a big part in that from an early age.
LF: Thanks, Ylva, interesting points. And Nike, coming to you next, if I may.
NA: Yes, I love Ylva’s points about confidence and competence. And I think it's really key that families are aware of these - the way women tend to feel - and aware of potential biases, and are aware of their need to be diverse and inclusive and empowering not only of females, but also of the younger generation, in some instances and of different branches of the family.
I think we can become more inclusive by just having conversation, being very intentional about having periodic conversations about the business and the wealth, inviting all voices to participate, where we collectively explore shared values towards matters on you know, the purpose of the family business division, or our views on polarising matters potentially, like in laws. Can in laws inherit? What's our view on the manner and the mode in which we inherit? Is it automatic for all siblings to inherit, or should it be merited?
These are very difficult conversations, but absolutely necessary to successfully transition to the next generation. And because these topics can be polarising, I would encourage active listening. So where family members listen to understand and not just to respond, and to have genuine curiosity, rather than criticism when faced with opposing views.
Lastly, I would say, consider inviting a third party to facilitate this process. Quite often in family businesses, there's a lot of distance and disconnection, not only along gender lines, but also along generational lines, like I mentioned, so advisors can act as bridges to connect the family together, and enable the families collectively and collaboratively to build a legacy through this foundation of communication.
LF: Nike, I think your point of an advisor and somebody external that maybe, you know, is slightly more unbiased, on views is, is a great point, actually. And, one, I'm really pleased you touched on.
Maybe Tasnim, it'd be great to pull you in here and just get your thoughts.
TG: So I totally agree, when you're in a family situation, discussing succession, discussing issues, tensions can be quite high, I would say, and you get bogged down sometimes in narrow points that aren't necessarily, good for the business that's been discussed and the wealth that's been discussed. It may be better to have that independent support in and I think, whether it's a family business, or whether it's a very large corporate, having that succession plan in place is really key to the longevity and the success of any business.
It just helps to keep the conversation to the point, I would say, and not get distracted with other emotional things that just get thrown in to these kind of business discussions and really treat it like a proper business discussion.
Actually, I think that that's kind of a key thing here, and I think any kind of expert who's not directly involved in the day to day family, politics, I'm going to say is going to be far better to keep the agenda tight, keep objective, have a logical approach that can be agreed, that you can work through and have an outcome based approach to the whole planning discussion around it.
YB: I wanted to offer sort of a psychology standpoint on this and quite a way that psychologists like to think about this is that it's the ability to adopt a third position that's really helpful here.
So it's almost like you're taking a bird's eye view on what's going on and the matters that you're looking at. So you can focus on the objectives, and the aims, and the goals. And the way to get to those points, rather than to being caught up in, as you were saying, the politics or the nuances going on with the history that you have, and that you all bring into the room. And I like to think about it like that -adopting a third position - I thought that might be helpful.
TG: I think it Ylva, just listening to you, there’s one other thing that I can offer, just to add to that, and this is something that, we see as a really good dynamic, through the client advisory board that I just mentioned that we've got. When clients discuss individual problems and issues that they're facing within their companies, other clients are able to kind of learn from that.
And so to the extent that you've got a, fair succession issue, or gender issue in and you're trying to solve for it, try and seek out other families, that may also have experienced similar things and work through it and see whether there's a way in which you can kind of connect with other founders, family offices, that are dealing with similar things, because I think there's a lot you can learn from other people's experiences, because there are families that I've seen, that are doing this really, really well as well.
And I think there's a lot that can be learned. They would have had the same politics, they would have had the same nuances, they would have had the same call it ‘baggage’ that every family member is bringing to the discussion. And some families are able to work through these things. And it's a good way to try and figure out, what are those lessons that we can learn from how they dealt with the situation.
YB: That actually, Tasnim is a really important point. And it brings me on to thinking about role modelling. And role modelling, of course, is essential. And this is something I tell women when I speak about confidence and the lacking of confidence in business aspect is that just because you can't see a role model, there is no role model, doesn't mean that you can't be one. You need to become a role model.
And actually, what we're saying here is that is an excellent opportunity for the families in their local communities and their wider communities, to become role models for other families, and help families, other families around them to grow. And actually that is another going back to the reputational piece, another excellent way to enhance your reputation.
LF: So Nike, if I could just ask you for your final thoughts?
NA: Yes, I think it's the importance of conversation. Quite often, the thought of governance in succession planning can be quite intimidating and overwhelming for business families, but I always advise clients to take small steps, and sometimes small steps can yield huge significance.
One of such steps is having conversations - communicating together as a family, exploring and discovering your collective values, purpose and vision, ensuring that all voices are heard, because it's on this foundation of conversation and communication that we then build governance and succession plans.
LF: Excellent, thank you. Well, look, today's content has been very rich and you have covered a huge amount for our audience, to highlight some of the advantages of inclusion, and the tips for overcoming this problem.
Just picking up on Ylva’s last point in terms of the importance of role models, I thank you, because you're all role models. And I think your insights today just show the breadth of your experience of what you've brought to our podcast today.
So we've heard a lot about the benefits of gender diversity, the real significant importance of diversity of thought within a family. But in actual fact, we've discussed something much more important too, and that's the value of the voice, ensuring that this is heard in regards to family wealth and the business transfer.
And I think in many ways we've really heard this come across today, unconscious biases are quite common, perhaps even in normal in some discussions. In many cases, we know that this is deeply ingrained, and historic. And recognising them before taking action to address them, is really a significant key step towards ensuring that there is successful communication with family members.
We can really open up a world of opportunities to help global families preserve their wealth. After all, these opportunities will take the form of new opinions, new ideas, new business ventures, all of which I would collectively define as a phrase I've thought throughout this podcast. And that's diversity of thought.
A shared vision for wealth is not just beneficial for decision making in succession planning, but might just be the key to ensuring that your wealth lasts for generations and generations to come.
Discover our Smarter Succession content series which uncovers some of the tensions surrounding wealth and business transfer, and how to overcome them.
Challenges and opportunities
We explore the challenges and opportunities global families face when it comes to intergenerational wealth transfer.
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