Why Box Family Advisors?

I am very passionate about helping business-owning families solve their problems and achieve their goals because I grew up in a family business and spent my entire career working there.  Due to my first-hand experiences with the challenges of a family-based oil and gas firm, I believe I have a unique ability to help families who work together or share wealth.

One of the key challenges faced by a family business is to ensure a transition (ideally, as smooth as possible) from one generation of ownership and leadership to the next.  But because each family enterprise is so unique and complex it is often difficult to know what a family really wants to accomplish at the beginning of any engagement.  Sometimes, the family itself may not fully understand what they want to achieve as a group.

Therefore, asking the right questions is more crucial than giving “answers.” Problems arise when advisors enter into a family system and start offering solutions and/or pushing products that the family does not support or stand by.  Solutions should rest with the family and not their advisors. This distinction is the difference in how I operate.  Instead of trying to control the stakeholders in the business, we work to empower them.

We provide guidance over “answers” because we are process consultants. A process consultant’s job is to uncover the critical issues that typically surface in family-owned businesses and ensure the family stays on track to increase the probability of a successful transition.  We create a forum for effective communication and a process that empowers families and/or management teams to arrive at their own decisions, which we then support.

Most advisors who work with closely held family businesses come from a certain profession of origin; for example; law, finance, management, psychology, etc.  In addition, many institutions that seek to advise families are also marketing financial products and/or financial services.  Each profession has its own place and each has the potential to be helpful.  However, each profession has its own-targeted focus and therefore the client must choose their advisors very carefully.

By providing a generalist approach to our consultation and without any products to sell, we believe we can more objectively analyze the needs of your family’s enterprise.  Sometimes hiring a specialist for a job better suited to a non-specialist creates unintended consequences.  It is possible that a specialist lacking the sensitivity for family systems can do more harm than good due to ‘scope creep’.  They are initially brought in to fill a well-defined need.  They complete that task and are admired for it.  Then they take on a broader role, which they may or may not be well suited for.  If left to run amok, such an advisor can create as many problems as they solve.

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How You Benefit

Perhaps the biggest challenge that family-owned businesses face is generational continuity... | more

I did not choose to enter the field of family business. I was called to it. The call is very strong.

Douglas D Box, Family Business Advisor