It is often said that passing a family business to the third generation is a lot more difficult than to the second and so it proved for us.
We thought we had it settled, with our two children working, through their own choice, in our business. Then suddenly there was a big change in family relationships and within a couple of months not only had both our children left the business, but left the country as well. At 65 years old we had no idea what to do with the business that we had spent years building.
By chance one of us had heard Anita speak at a function and we decided to contact her. When we met with her she was not fazed by what we said and thought she could help but was honest about telling us all that the journey would not be easy.
Anita hit the ground running and was very soon exploring the family relationships and asking sometimes awkward questions of all of us. This included her making long haul flights to, as she said, “look everyone in the eye”.
Looking back, if anyone had told us that we could get to where we are now we would not have believed them. Anita’s negotiating skills and understanding of family relationships are excellent.
The end result of a difficult journey over seven or so years is that our son and his family are back in the UK and he is settled as Managing Director of the business. Anita has continued to mentor and encourage training and broadening of his experience. She has become a friend who we feel we will have for years to come.
Part of the process negotiated at the beginning was to produce a Family Charter which, to be honest, at first we didn’t really see as important, but putting this together helped bring us all together and we now have a lovely record and view of the business history and idea of the future. We would recommend Anita to any family business.
At 65 years old we had no idea what to do with the business that we had spent years building.