Most have likely not undertaken an assessment of where they are, where they want to be and what help they need in getting there. The thousands of family-owned businesses facing a transition from baby boomer owners—and often managers—to the next generation need the full array of financial, legal and counseling services.
"The financial planning community hasn't realized how big the business succession issue is," said Joan Ridley, president of Business Wealth Solutions. Ridley is a certified financial planner as well as a certified exit-planning advisor, a designation for people who advise business owners. "Financial advisors are in a perfect position to help."
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The range of services needed by these clients is broad. Judy Green, president of the Family Firm Institute, which provides educational resources for family enterprises, divides service professionals into two groups: advisors and consultants.
The advisors are those who stay in one of the "buckets," offering, for example, investment management services, tax planning or family trust expertise. The consultants, on the other hand, offer a broader perspective, helping clients determine what their personal and business objectives are and what services they need to realize them. "The consultants have left the buckets," said Green. "They manage the teams [of advisors], and they manage the process."