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What Every Family Business Owner Needs to Know About Succession Planning - Pat Soldano

Preparing Your Family Business for Next Generation is Focus of New Homrich Berg Webcast, by Family Enterprise USA


Homrich Berg’s President Thomas M. Carroll and Abbey Flaum, Managing Director, Family Wealth, Discuss Complexities of Estate Planning, Transitioning Businesses with Family Enterprise USA’s President Pat Soldano


Planning and preparing family businesses for the next generation of leadership is no simple task, according to two leaders at family business and wealth management firm Homrich Berg in a new webcast.

The webcast, hosted by Family Business USA’s President Pat Soldano, features Atlanta’s Homrich Berg’s Thomas M. Carroll, Principal and President, and Abbey Flaum, Managing Director, Family Wealth Specialist. 

The topics for discussion are the many critical decisions multi-generational family businesses face when looking at the next generation of leaders, and the delicate issue of bringing family members into the business.

“We see a steady need for our client families to create a gameplan and benchmarks that determine the desires and leadership skills of the next generation of family business leaders,” says Carroll in the webcast.

Homrich Berg manages $13 billion in family business assets, with 3000 client families in 45 states.

“This kind of planning starts with a family mission statement and then gets into the family members understanding the basic inner workings of the business,” Carrol said. “Communication is one of the critical factors in making this all work.”

A key member of Homrich Berg’s family wealth guidance is Abbey Flaum, leader of the firm’s family wealth team, focusing on estate planning, transitioning, and business succession planning. In the webcast, Flaum details the critical steps needed to make a successful family business transition.

“Managing a family business has all the dynamics of managing your family in general, you need communication, involvement, and you need to know how to keep the peace,” said Flaum. “If you engage with the next generation, talk things out, then you can shape their interest more effectively,” she said. “You need to focus on the family first.”

Flaum suggests creating a family mission statement, set family member benchmarks, conduct regular family business meetings, and establish a family business constitution. In addition, she recommends these communications include everyone, and that a leader is chosen from the next generation.  Often, she says, you do need “to bring professionals to help with this process.” 

Multi-generational family businesses and family business offices have to grapple with leadership issues other businesses do not have to deal with,” said Soldano. “When it comes to strategies for bringing along the next generation the issues can get complicated and emotional very fast,” she said. “Professionals, like Homrich Berg, can be a big help in demystifying some of the barriers to successful family business transitions,” she said.

About Homrich Berg
One of the 50 largest registered investment advisor firms in the country based on assets under management, HB was a pioneer when we founded our firm in 1989 with a focus on serving clients with a fiduciary approach. We have grown to serve clients in 45 states from our home base in metro Atlanta and now have 38 principals and more than 175 employees. We have kept our core values constant and kept our focus on our clients even as we have continued to be a pioneer in using technology and expertise to find new ways to provide great service to our clients. A key part of our success is attracting great people who enjoy our culture and our approach. We have received many awards over the years, but we are most proud of our 98%+ client retention rate*. Community is important to HB, as we give our time and resources to help make a difference. To learn more about HB, visit

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As we prepare for what promises to be a pivotal year for America, we’re asking you to consider becoming a member.

The need for fact-based reporting of issues important to multi generational businesses and protecting a lifetime of savings has never been greater. Now more than ever, multi generational businesses and family businesses are under fire. That’s why Family Enterprise USA is passionately working to increase the awareness of issues important to generationally-owned family businesses built on hard work, while continuing to strengthen our presence on Capitol Hill. The issues we fight for or against with Congress in Washington DC include high income tax rates , possible elimination of valuation discounts, increase in capital gains tax , enactment of a wealth tax , and the continued burden of the gift tax , estate tax and generation skipping tax .

Family Enterprise USA promotes family business and job creation, growth, and sustainability by advocating for family businesses , their lifetime of savings, and the issues they face running their businesses every day. Some of the issues we fight for or against with Congress in Washington DC are high Income tax rates, possible elimination of valuation discounts, increase in capital gains tax , enactment of a wealth tax , and the continued burden of the gift, estate taxes and generation skipping taxes . Family Enterprise USA represents and celebrates all sizes and industries of family businesses and multi-generational employers.

Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Family foundations can donate.

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Family Enterprise USA is the organization that represents all family businesses on a national level in DC; it is not unique to any industry. Family Enterprise USA is different from other organizations because it represents and advocates for the families of family businesses and the issues, they face running their businesses every day. Our sole mission and purpose is to promote family businesses and their job growth in America. We also support the work of Family Business Centers across the country. We hope your family will choose to be a member of Family Enterprise USA.