May 19, 2023 Approaching family wealth with the future generation

By Jo Gorrod

Jo Gorrod explains the importance of professional trustees

Approaching family wealth with the future generation

After the successful opening of the Jersey Skatepark and the unveiling of the Oak donated Skateboards and kit, we began to consider that the young skateboarders captured on camera are still a few years away from becoming financial decision makers. However, as wealth advisors, we take a long-term approach to the preservation of assets for the next generation. 

The transition of wealth between generations is a hot-topic for professional trustees and family offices as trillions of dollars will transfer between generations in the next 30 years.  As trustees our initial engagement and relationship is likely to have been with the wealth creators but as structures mature and families grow we need to communicate with a generation that has grown up online. I grew up in an age of floppy discs, cassette tapes and video rentals, whilst our skateboarders are growing up with ChatGPT and digital currencies. The financial world will be dramatically different when they reach adulthood and as trustees we need to ensure that we remain up to date and relevant.  

There is often a healthy debate on the appropriate time to bring the next generation into the conversation on family wealth. It varies widely between families depending on their own personal circumstances and viewpoints. Families are often cautious as there is a perception that too much too soon can limit children’s motivation and drive to create something of their own. However, bringing the next generation into the fold earlier on and building their financial literacy not only means they are better able to cope with the responsibility that comes with wealth but can also alleviate the conflicts that can arise from a lack of understanding. 

Growing up in the shadow of a dominant wealth creator within the family may make it even more difficult for youngsters to establish their own credibility in the business world and to be recognised for what they contribute within a family business other than the family name. Family members may also want to follow their own path outside an established family business. 

Professional trustees are often best placed to help guide families through these tricky conversations. They will often have a long history with the family, an understanding of the origin of the wealth, the objectives of the family business and the core family values. They can also provide an independent point of view as they are detached from internal family politics. A family charter or governance document can be a useful way for trustees to structure discussions with family members and set clear objectives for the future. 

Contact us today if you are looking for a professional trustee to manage your family's wealth. 


Photo credit Ollie Jones Photographer

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