Very often, family squabbles can sink a business that has come a long way under its founder, said Foltz, who tries to head off potential problems by calling "family meetings" and serving as a facilitator.
The aim of such meetings, which bring together his clients, their immediate family members and other stakeholders, is to shine a light on "problem areas" by encouraging participants to discuss difficult issues. Foltz then steers clients to attorneys, family-business consultants and other types of professionals who can help them come up with solutions to hot-button business-related issues.
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Family dynamics are one of the primary reasons most businesses fail to pass successfully to the next generation, explained Foltz. "Working with business owners involves a whole set of considerations that you would not encounter with your run-of-the-mill client," said Foltz, a certified financial planner, lawyer and certified public accountant. Balasa Dinverno Foltz madeCNBC's inaugural list of the top 100 fee-only wealth management firms, released earlier this year.
"It's not just about putting together retirement cash-flow projections and managing an investment portfolio," he added. "It is about helping a business owner and his or her family to think through complex issues and working to ensure that the business and the family survive intact."