6 Challenges to Family Harmony – a presentation by Erik Halvorssen, Director and Head of Miami Office, Lowenhaupt Global Advisors
When wealth becomes a liability to family ties and close relationships, there are ways to work around it, by patience and persistency, but many factors attack the peace family members desire when it comes to their riches. Erik Halvorssen, Director and Head of Miami Office of Lowenhaupt Global Advisors discuss six challenges to family harmony.
The first two challenges Halvorssen discussed are multiple jurisdictions and multi-cultural issues. Some families have members all around the world and different tax laws, currencies, and other circumstances. In addition, issues such as kidnapping and ransom in different parts of the country (an example includes a U.S. citizen marrying into a Latin or Middle Eastern family or vice versa) can arise.
Also, managing currencies and cash needs takes tremendous amount of due diligence to make sure these families have the money in different currencies, as well as finding effective ways for all family members to access these currencies accordingly.
Succession planning and providing individuality is another overwhelming challenge the wealthy face today. Planning within the family and the family service provider is an essential part and implementing individuality to each member can be difficult because most families bundle.
Finally, effective communication is a key barrier. Most often people lack communication skills due to different cultures, location and other factors, but Halvorssen affirms that family meetings, even if they are forced, are beneficial in these matters.
He finishes with a closing statement attributed to Charles Lowenhaupt, CEO and Founder of LGA, Family Wealth Report (September 2012):
“The only sure route to family harmony is to start by considering each individual. This is a gift of great wealth: it affords individuals and families the opportunity to examine without financial pressure. They can take time to choose the most appropriate path and then use that wealth to pursue life on their own terms.”