The Aster Club

Manhattan, New York USA – The Aster Club, a private, world‐class learning community for business families, held its fall meeting in New York City last October 4 & 5, 2017. Eleven (11) families from North America (6), Europe (2), and Middle East (3) enjoyed the gathering and shared insights into building a resilient family and family business.

During the family insights session, fifth-generation member of an industrial materials Belgian family shared his family’s case in keeping the family together. He talked about the structures that the family had put in place to ensure the proper governance of the family and their stakes in business. As well, he shared how the family had embraced the digital world of communication and how they are using a family communication platform to share family information and keep in touch. The main takeaway was the importance of resilience, what families can do to build it and practical tips on how to do it.

Several advisors shared insights into the different aspects of resilience relating to family longevity and family business success. One expert shed light on the process of having a non-family member take over the family business. For many founders, this is a sensitive topic as most of them would like to see the family business passed on to the next generation. Two main lessons are: 1) Start the succession plan early; and 2) Work with a non-family member who can bring the company enormous success while also embracing the values of the founding family. Another expert discussed how more and more families are getting involved in social enterprise projects that are aligned to their family values. Their main goal is to realize effective and lasting changes.

As always, The Aster Club meeting was full of interactions amongst attending families, learning sessions with actual cases and action learning exercises and of course, fun! We hope to see you on our next Club meeting!

An exchange on how letting a non-family member take over the family business can be helpful.

Westminster, London UK – The Aster Club, a private, world‐class learning community for business families, held its spring meeting in Westminster, London last March 23-24, 2017. It was a successful meeting with fourteen (14) family attendees from North America, Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Asia.

The meeting theme was “Power of Active Ownership.” Many business families encounter challenges associated with family active ownership. As family business moves from one generation to the next, there is a need to clearly delineate roles between the family and the business. In line with the theme, two prominent families shared their experience in active ownership.

Besides the theme-focused presentations, the families also enjoyed the learning sessions where they gained valuable information for growing the family business, preserving wealth and improving human capital.

A business family sharing their experience in active ownership

Unique to this meeting are the family meetings that the Club arranged for each family. A main thrust of the Club is deepening the relationships between families and building a community. Through these meetings, families got to know each family and discussed possible business synergies. As well, they explored collaborations with the Club and its advisors.

More than a dozen families attended the meeting and grew the Aster community

In summary, this spring meeting was challenging with the tragedy that happened a day before the meeting and in close proximity to the venue. But just like any resilient organization, the Club persevered and managed to hold a successful meeting that families and guests enjoyed. Families learned, collaborated and grew the community once more.

Panama City, Panama– The Aster Club, a private membership club for highly successful business families, had its meeting in Panama last August 23, 2016. A total of thirteen (13) families were either present or represented coming from five continents.

During the meeting, the families attended brief sessions about wealth management and storytelling which were the basis of discussions on how families can sustain their legacy.

One of our member family sharing their family’s lessons learned in building a legacy

Rafael Alcantara-Lansberg, a wealth management advisor provided context and tips on what families can do to avoid dwindling their wealth away. He shared his family’s experience of losing $1B in 5 years which made him identify the causes of investment failures and possible solutions to avoid the pitfalls.

Biographer and radio and TV commentator Ellis Henican discussed how families can transfer family values through storytelling. A great resource for transferring family values is storytelling. We have been telling stories since ancient times and unconsciously transferring values to our loved ones. Because it is an unconscious effort many of the salient milestones and unique narratives are not properly told to our children, our nieces and nephews…the next generation. If we can capture these stories in a format that is enjoyable to read, hear or even see and is long-lasting, the next generation will have a better chance of keeping the family’s legacy alive. It is not hard to tell a story. Sometimes, you just need someone to help you write or say that opening statement.

Ellis Henican leading the discussion on how families can transfer values to the next generation through storytelling

Family members experienced a very informative tour around Panama which was organized and hosted by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). People who joined the tours got to know each other and enjoyed sharing the unique experience with other families.

An eco tour of Barro Colorado Island where our families learned about the different on-going researches of STRI

The families were treated to a very informative tour hosted by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). Participants of the tour were in awe of the great works that STRI is doing to learn about the tropical rainforest biome, and our environment and climate in general.


London, UK– The Aster Club, an exclusive, world-class legacy club for highly successful business families, had its summer meeting in London, United Kingdom. About a dozen families from around the globe converged to learn about human capital development, shared insights on their own development practices and discussed investment opportunities that are focused on developing human capital.

Since the club’s meeting in Napa, California last spring, many of the families were invigorated to collaborate, and have found synergies with other families. They were inspired by the social impact activities of the families. This is exactly what the club is about: bringing families together to collaborate on building a lasting legacy.

The club’s meeting in London focused on human capital development. Many families don’t realize it but human capital is one of the most important parts of making sure a family’s legacy lasts long. Families often think that a good education is enough to develop their human capital however the reality is that education only provides 10% of what is needed to holistically develop a person.  He or she will need coaching and mentorship (20%) and experiential learning (70%) to develop fully.

A fun reflection session with the families

The families attended a whole-day workshop on Transforming Families and Family Enterprises facilitated by SAP Business Transformation Specialist Lalit Jagtiani and Black Box Negotiation CEO Sandra Buckley. On June 4, the families met to talk about updates on existing deal opportunities, human capital development investments, and the autumn meeting in Panama. Some families who stayed after the meeting enjoyed a special dinner with cocktails hosted by businessman Salim Kheireddine at the historic Danesfield House and Spa in Buckinghamshire.

The beautiful and historic Danesfield House and Spa where our families had a special dinner hosted by owner Salim Kheireddine.

Aster Family Advisors partnered with Symphony Family Office Advisory Hub (SymFOAH) to bring this exclusive gathering to London, UK. Aster Family Advisors is a boutique family office specializing in family succession and strategy. It supports families in building a lasting family legacy through comprehensive human capital development and executive leadership coaching. SymFOAH offers families, family offices and advisors luxury office space and personal services in choice locations (Westport CT, Morristown NJ and Palm Beach FL in the US and its newly-announced location in London, UK).


For more information, please contact Leah Zveglich at +1 (845) 383-7778 or through email at Leah@AsterFO.com.

Napa, CA – The Aster Club, an exclusive, world-class legacy club for highly successful business families held it’s spring meeting on April 7, 2016 at the Contursi family’s Arrow&Branch Estate Vineyard.

Twelve families from around the globe gathered in Napa, California and listened to the profound works of impact organizations such as WE’VE, Self-help Federal Credit Union and Building Community Bridges in creating economic opportunity and uplifting people’s lives.

Families listened in keenly and were fascinated by each other’s ideas on how to create positive social impacts during the Aster Club Spring Meeting.

The families also shared their own experiences in using investments as a vehicle to create positive social and environmental impact. Many of the families are committed to improving the lives of the younger generation through education, entrepreneurial training, sports and arts. A focused discussion among the families sprung many ideas on what more each family can do and how they can collaborate to create the maximum social impact and reach more people and organizations who are in need. The families were all inspired by all the stories of ‘doing well by doing good.’

The families also had a lengthy sharing and discussion on investments from each family. Members of the club enjoy this great benefit of having direct access to deals originating from the members themselves, or sourced by either the members or the club.

A special dinner for the families was prepared by Napa-based Chef Eric Magnani. The families enjoyed the intimate outdoor dinner by the vineyard while sipping Arrow&Branch wines.

A special dinner prepared by Napa Chef Eric Magnani

The families soaked up the beauty of Napa Valley and went on a special wine tasting tour of Caldwell Vineyard and Brand Napa Valley the next day.  The event ended with a casual dinner hosted by the Contursi family.

The families enjoyed a wonderful time tasting the phenomenal wines of Arrow&Branch and Brand Napa

Aster Family Advisors partnered with Symphony Family Office Advisory Hub (SymFOAH) to bring this exclusive gathering to Napa California. Aster Family Advisors is a boutique family office specializing in family succession and strategy. It supports families in building a lasting family legacy through comprehensive human development and executive leadership coaching. SymFOAH offers families, family offices and advisors luxury office space and personal services in choice locations (Westport, CT, Morristown, NJ & Palm Beach, FL).


For more information, please contact Leah Zveglich at +1 (845) 383-7778 or through email at Leah@AsterFO.com.