Our absolute focus on business owners brings a depth of service which spreads all the way from actual business to intergenerational wealth planning. It covers and integrates every step in between.
Explore the key issues you should be thinking through with our family business stages explorer …
- Business setup, the early years
- Business growth management
- Families in business
- Exit strategies
- Life after retirement
- Wealth transition
Vision and strategy
It can be lonely out there. We help our clients understand where they are going and how they can get there. Early in our client relationships, we deal with their business strategies, management concerns, resources, rewards, exit strategies and retirement goals.
Most clients meeting us for the first time do not have the most ideal structures for accounting and taxation. We establish new, or rectify poor, structures to ensure clients can legitimately pay less tax through effective management of their affairs, without resorting to desperate schemes or dubious pre-year end investments.
An objective head can make all the difference. We regularly and systematically provide our clients with counseling on important things like structure, conduct, performance, growth, funding, marketing and reporting. Our methodology is well suited to problem solving.
Relationships and access
Someone to talk to. Our clients say that having access to the right person at the right time is a key benefit of their relationship with Fordham. Clearly, not your typical accountants!
With liability from commercial risk or workplace claims aimed clearly at those with assets, it is imperative to ensure that hard earned wealth is protected from unforeseen disasters.
Life can take an unexpected turn. What impact will ill health or death have on the family and the family business? Such unplanned succession can leave significant problems for dependents.
Loss of control
Trust and superannuation structures are beyond the control of a will. Careful thought is required to balance asset protection, tax planning and estate planning. Lawyers require briefing in context of all business and family matters, not just wills.
Capital gains risk
The accumulation over time of companies and trusts within a family structure often sees the business ineligible for concessional tax treatment or failing available tax exemptions on sale.
Not many third generations
We have observed the gradual decline in passing the family business to children. Generation Y seem even less interested. But the few who do show interest in the family business need help.
Successful transition does not happen by accident. Children require the right education, work experience, training, coaching, practice and management understanding. We work with owners to improve success.
What rights do family members have to participate in the business as employees, managers and owners? Should the next generation be given, willed or sold the business? At what value?
How long? Who might buy your business? What about the kids? What about management? How do you optimise value?
What is it worth?
Understanding the principles of business valuation can help a business owner implement longer term strategies to maximise value. Recognising and building competitive advantage can help maximise price.
Trade sale, management buy-in / buy-out, initial public offering (IPO), family succession, private equity, gift or liquidation? One way or another, succession is inevitable. How does an owner choose the best alternative?
Selling a business is a planned procedure. Key to this is the preparation of an Information Memorandum (IM). Properly executed, it will comprehensively target suitors with a succinct, positive but highly accurate and attractive sales document.
Management of sales process
The whole process from preparation to documentation and from awareness to settlement needs to be carefully controlled. It must ultimately deliver the best after tax outcome for the owner.
Life after retirement
Most business owners understand their business risks intimately. But, the risks they take on invested funds should not be the same. Once accumulated, wealth outside the business must be carefully protected and invested with a different risk strategy.
Investment strategies must integrate wealth planning with taxation, asset protection, business aspirations, estate planning, risk management, superannuation, trusts and family. Something Fordham and Perpetual work hand in hand to deliver.
By failing to address key issues in estate planning, it is not uncommon to leave doubt as to your intentions. This can lead to opportunities for beneficiaries (or potential beneficiaries) to fight and potentially tear the family apart.
Not all of “your” assets may be covered by your will. Trusts and super funds are outside these arrangements. How does a will link to asset protection measures? What are the taxes payable on your super fund distribution?
Project managing the professionals
In isolation, estate planning is likely to be ineffective without integration to other facets of wealth management. It is important to coordinate the roles of lawyers, bankers and all advisors to ensure full and maximum effective integration. We make this happen.
Where would they start?
Imagine you were suddenly gone. What should your survivors do? What about PIN numbers? Where are the insurance policies? Who has the Titles? What should they do with the business and where do they get help? You need to leave instructions.