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Succession planning

Your vision as to what constitutes ‘succession planning’ will be unique to you. To some, it means building a framework to ensure management and ownership is passed down through generations. To others, it means selling a business and releasing cash to reinvest in other projects, or to achieve other life goals.

Whatever your vision is, it can rarely be viewed in isolation. There will be people affected by those choices – from family members, to employees and other stakeholders – whose views you may or may not want to take into account, as well as a range of tax and other issues triggered by the choices available to you.

Once you’ve identified your goals and we have established what is most important to you, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to identify and put in place the building blocks to achieve this, allowing as much flexibility as is required to suit your changing needs.

We frequently advise on the creation of, and interplay between, trusts and other family investment vehicles. We can take you through the advantages and disadvantages or both in a business context. We can also help you restructure your assets in a way that enables a gradual shift in ownership, value and control over a number of years, by utilising family investment companies and different classes of share to achieve flexibility while ensuring you retain control of the underlying assets.

For family businesses, succession planning can be a sensitive issue. Tension often arises between older generations reluctant to relinquish control, and younger generations perceived to be ill-equipped or coming to the table with too many ‘new-fangled’ ideas and approaches. We work closely with clients to help them identify when likely pinch points will arise, and how these can be pre-empted and planned for. For some, it may be sensible to put in place a family charter (sometimes called a family constitution), which aims to create a framework of governance within which the wider family will operate in years and generations to come. These are the sorts of options we will consult with you on, finding solutions that work for your individual needs.

We also understand that these issues are complex and can be particularly daunting for younger generations coming up through the ranks. At the same time, if multi-generational businesses are to succeed, it is essential that their voices are represented and heard. We have a specialist ‘Next Generation’ team at Cripps Life, consisting of experienced younger advisers who can relate to these issues and help guide you and your family through the complex issues that can arise within family businesses.

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Looking for something else?

If you have questions we haven’t answered here, please contact one of the team for a no-obligation, initial conversation and we can take the first step in achieving your goals.