Planning for family businesses is becoming a hot topic in the private wealth management community.  While the discussion often focuses on what might be considered “Mom and Pop” shops, it’s easy to miss how pervasive family businesses, and the complexities they entail, affect life in the United States and around the world.  Further, it seems as though the largest – that is, those that have grown into “family enterprises” – are overlooked in the discussion.  Yet, family enterprises (that is, a family owning one or more operating businesses, with joint investment activities, and charitable endeavors often in the form of a family foundation) are so integral to our lives that we might not see them at all.  In future columns, I’ll cover some of the ways to bridge the gaps between advisors, and the advice they give, with the family enterprises with whom they interact. For today, a story about a day in the life of a New Yorker might help open eyes to what’s all around us.   

 

A Day in the Life

At about 8:00 am, I woke up in my apartment in the Trump building.  After skimming the New York Times, Daily News and Wall Street Journal, I opened my Bosch refrigerator to see what might be in there for breakfast.  A typical New Yorker, I had plenty of Heineken and a bottle of Dom Perignon, in addition to a few Milky Way bars.  But nothing for breakfast.  So I threw on my Levis and headed over to Zabar’s and got myself some hot bagels, Dannon yogurt and Twinings Tea.  I checked the time on my Piaget and rushed to get to my appointment with my Fidelity Investments representative.  Then, like many New Yorkers, I headed out of town for the night. 

I went to get my BMW out of the ParkFast garage, but discovered that one of my Michelin tires was flat.  So, instead, I headed to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where I was able to rent a Toyota. 

First, I headed to Nordstroms, where I bought some Estee Lauder make up and a new Chanel suit.  Afterwards I called my friend on my Samsung Galaxy, and we met at the local Loews Theater to see the latest Paramount Pictures movie. 

We felt like staying over, so we headed to the local Marriott Hotel.  The next morning, of course, we went to Wal-Mart to get some Hallmark cards and Ikea to pick up a few things before heading back to the city.  Just in time to get to a concert at the Morgan Library.