23 June 2023

Singapore’s The Business Times features Nick Jacob’s insights on succession in Asia

Private Client Partner, Nick Jacob, has been profiled by Singapore’s The Business Times, in an article entitled ‘Business families’ secret to succession is when boss/dad/mum learns to let go’.

Labelled “the godfather of Asian Family Governance work" in the Chambers HNW 2022 Guide, Nick has unparalleled experience advising high net worth clients on putting together plans that provide for family succession, the protection of the family business, the avoidance of family disputes, and all aspects of international family governance.

In a video call with Singapore’s The Business Times Nick shared his experience of working with HNW family businesses in Asia and the challenges these families must face.

In the article, Nick emphasises the importance for heads of family businesses to address conversations around succession planning earlier to preserve their dynasty for more than a generation.

He reflects on a particular case, where the client regrettably passed before finalising his succession plan, resulting in the split of the family business and a significant loss in the value of a business the client spent his entire life building. “If he had bitten the bullet 10 years earlier, it is quite possible that the business could have been saved”.

Nick explains that many families are now realising the pressures of time and describes a “definite shift from a decade ago”. Clients are now approaching him earlier than before and preparing for a “gradual changing of the guard”. He notes that “while more than half of his clients used to reject the idea of passing on elements of control, including their voting shares in the company, only one in four still take such a stand today.

He recommends that “the heads of families should have succession plans by the time they are 70 at the latest. The patriarch will be seen to have enough influence, that he will not allow himself to lose face, or will not allow himself to be demoted to second division, and the family respects that”.

The article also features interviews with the founder and executive chairman of the Banyan Tree Group, Ho Kwon Ping and other prominent advisors in the industry.

The full article can be read here, behind the paywall.

To find out more about International Succession Planning and Family Governance you can read Nick’s article here. Please do get in touch with Nick to discuss the issues raised in these articles.

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