The right balance for your business
Business can be a full-contact sport. In a family business, those conflicts are often magnified by generational differences, sibling rivalries and even divorce, said panelists in Wednesday’s panel discussion, “The right balance for your business.”
One source of family friction discussed: aging founders who drag their feet over succession planning. Start succession planning early, panelists advised. (One even made that point by driving his father through a graveyard.) Call upon experienced lawyers and accountants. Use trusts to help protect a child’s interests in case of a future divorce.
Generational differences can create communications barriers. Parents use the telephone. Their children text. And they may have different strategic visions. Earl Graves, Jr. of Black Enterprise, moved his father’s print-based media company into the digital age. That required sweeping changes — even excusing newly hired digerati from rigid dress codes. Says the younger Graves: “My dad used to say, ‘There is nothing casual about business.’” But, as with any family matter, the solution involves striking the right balance.
Watch the full session below.
The right balance for your business
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Lloyd Shefsky is Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, Founder and Co-director of the Center for Family Enterprises at the Kellogg School of Management. Lloyd has taught courses, lectured and spoken in China, Japan, Thailand, Canada, Israel and throughout the US. He has written professional articles on family business, entrepreneurship and related topics and is the author of Entrepreneurs Are Made Not Born, published by McGraw-Hill and translated into seven languages. Lloyd is a consultant, coach, mentor and advisor to family businesses and public companies controlled by families. His honors include the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 1995 Award. Lloyd received his JD from The Law School at the University of Chicago and is a certified public accountant.
Bruce Blue is Chair and CEO of Freedom Metals, Inc., which he founded in August 1983. The company has won nine Fastest Growing Companies of Greater Louisville awards and five INC. 5000 awards. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1968, Bruce worked in a family scrap-processing business. He has been part of Leadership Louisville, Leadership Kentucky and the Bingham Fellows leadership program. He has also served on various committees and boards, including the Department of Defense National Stockpile Advisory Committee, the Board of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the National Convention Committee as Chair and Congregation Adath Jeshurun as President.
Jeff Brodsky is a principal at Ernst & Young LLP and has over 30 years of experience in estate and income tax planning, with a primary focus on counseling family business owners, family offices and hedge fund managers to minimize income taxes and wealth transfer taxes. He also specializes in providing business succession counseling to family business owners. Jeff is a member of the Executive Committee for the firm’s Family Business Center of Excellence and serves on the Advisory Board for Trusts & Estates Magazine. He received a degree in Economics from Northwestern University, where he also earned a Juris Doctor and a Master of Management.
Earl G. “Butch” Graves Jr. is President and CEO of family-owned media company BLACK ENTERPRISE. Under Butch’s guidance, BLACK ENTERPRISE has grown from a single-title publication into a robust multimedia company. Today, the company delivers content across six platforms, including magazine publishing, two nationally syndicated television shows, professional development events, an interactive website, the iPad and digital mobile. Butch received his BA in Economics from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard University. He was a four-year starter and captain of the Yale basketball team. In 1984 he was drafted in the third round by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and later played with the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Butch serves on the boards of AutoZone and PepsiCo.
Vinita Gupta is CEO of Lupin Limited, a leading Pharmaceutical company out of India. She took on this role in September 2013. Prior to this, she was the CEO of Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc, the US subsidiary of Lupin Limited. Ms. Gupta is a director on the Board of Lupin Limited and a director on the Board of Lupin’s Japanese subsidiary, Kyowa Pharmaceuticals. Under her leadership, Lupin has emerged as a major specialty pharmaceutical company in the US with a successful brand and generic business. Ms. Gupta holds a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Mumbai and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Avi Steinlauf is the CEO for Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for car shopping and automotive information, and he sits on the company’s Board of Directors. Before joining Edmunds in 1998, Steinlauf was a senior industry analyst for Coopers & Lybrand’s Knowledge Strategies Group in New York. Since 2006, Steinlauf has been on the Board of the Online Publishers’ Association. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and serves as the Communications Chairman for YPO’s Automotive Network. Steinlauf earned his MBA degree from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and his bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva College.