Toronto Canada

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Pervin Family Business Advisors

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What's Your Ownership Perspective?

An inheritor

You have received the business shares as part of your family legacy and are rather ambivalent about the whole experience. Discussions about "keep or sell" shares are not important as the shares typically provide an emotional connection whether or not associated with a financial reward (although it would be nice to receive something). Your interest in decision-making is low and rather passive unless it directly affects your values or the viability of the firm.

A steward

You have a commitment and an obligation to maintain, preserve and improve business family life and the family legacy, some say; to pass it on in better shape than it was received. These unwritten obligations often address the role and contribution of the individual, the interaction of the family, the management of the firm, who fits/belongs as well as the establishment of helpful governing structures, systems and guidelines to perpetuate and better organize the family, business and ownership arenas. Your interest is to keep the shares for the benefit of future generations whether or not associated with a financial reward (although it would be nice to receive something). Your interest in decision- making is negotiated but typically it is at the strategic level as your wish is to provide guidance to the operation, not meddle, and monitor direction and performance with respect to the marketplace, profits and community contribution.

An investor

You view your family legacy as you might any other investment. There is no clear connection to the shares or to decision-making, other than to influence a return on the investment (if or when possible). You expect and demand that the firm operate at a high level of performance and governance, and expect a return that equals or exceeds your investment strategy for that time period.

An owner / manager

You view your family legacy as the opportunity to get involved and contribute in a meaningful way in the operation. You wish to be involved in all aspects of planning, decision- making and governance, and ultimately make your mark. You sometimes confuse ownership with management as you strive to use the business as a platform to act as a "founder". Money is seldom the driving force. Share ownership and influence (and the votes) is often mandatory, but second to control, prestige and power. Your interest in sharing decision-making is typically very low, and you typically request that other owners (if they exist) trust your wisdom and decisions unconditionally. Understanding your ownership perspective means clear and decisive thinking in discussing family business matters.

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