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.

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