Your family — EY Family Enterprise DNA Model

When business-owning families grow significantly in number and complexity, a good plan for succession becomes an imperative. This requires implementation of a governance framework that enables the best decisions to support a sustainable future of the family enterprise.

Legacy and stewardship

A family’s legacy is tied to its history. Family members need to know where they come from, where the family enterprise is today and what’s possible in the future. The ownership generation should inspire its successors to pick up the torch and keep the entrepreneurial flame alive as they take the enterprise to the next level.


For some family enterprises, survival to the second or third generation can be difficult due to governance challenges, internal conflicts and lack of succession plans.

Leading families view succession planning as an ongoing process that helps to preserve the family capital and well-being, engage each generation and provide a framework for the family to successfully manage their business and other activities now and into the future.

Well-being and safety

The family home should be a safe haven where family members can discuss their strengths, weaknesses and passions. When the family is in business together, this feeling of safety can sometimes be difficult to cultivate. 

Family human capital

Leading family enterprises have strong governance procedures and written agreements. These documents align family interests with the business strategy and wealth preservation objective. They provide guidance when emotions run high and offer a path forward when a crisis makes rational decision-making difficult.

Successful families have a common purpose and shared values that help them decide what matters to the family and the business. They create roadmaps that can guide their decision-making, and they rely on strong governance frameworks to help family members manage their differences in a way that preserves cohesion and does not jeopardize the enterprise’s future.

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