Planning the future
Monica and Michael’s grandchildren were growing up, and some of them had completed their university education. Elizabeth and David Jr., in consultation with Timothy, invited their older children, James and Lucie, to join the business. James started working in the supermarkets as a shelf manager, while Lucie was asked to investigate how to start international expansion in neighbouring countries. During that time, Elizabeth’s younger son, Peter, had started a digital venture selling high-quality wines online, putting into action his project from his Management Studies degree. He had approached his parents and Uncle Timothy to talk about possible synergies with the Baldwin group.
At this point, action was needed to prevent the business and the family from facing major issues. The board of directors was not fulfilling its responsibility for governance. Two younger family members had recently joined the business, raising the question of whether the firm should readily accept all cousins who may show a future interest in joining, and if so, how this could be managed. Together, Timothy, Elizabeth and David Jr owned 20% of the shares, sat on the board of directors, as well as managed large parts of the business. What should happen to Edwin and his children? What were the opportunities and challenges for links with Peter’s venture? What about Louis? Finally, although Monica and Michael were mostly retired, what would happen when they were no longer around? Thus, at the last board meeting, it was decided that they would bring in a family business consultant, who could advise the on the way forward for governance. A number of options would be offered, and the board would vote on the best way forward.


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