We have captured the conversations we commonly encounter with a family matriarch, to help you consider whether this work is right for you.
Identity and happiness
In the early days when my husband was growing the business, I was busy raising the children. I always had my own interests and career outside the home, but I was affectionately called the ‘Chief Family Officer’.
My husband and his advisors have always handled our financial affairs. It is not that I didn’t want to be involved but I didn’t want to slow things down. Don’t get me wrong; I know how the business makes a profit, but faced with a room full of advisors I felt uncomfortable asking too many questions. When we started thinking about estate planning the focus became very much about effective tax structures. I’m not a tax expert, but I felt some of my concerns about the implications for the children went unheard.
My husband had a clear vision of how he wanted the future to look, but he had not discussed it clearly with the rest of the family. I was concerned that without their participation, the plan would fall apart. Above all, what matters to me is that the kids are happy first and find their own identity and purpose in life. Of course I would hope that my children and their children’s children would stay close and turn to each other for strength and support.
Our eldest daughter is immersed in the business and the obvious successor to her father. Her legacy seems clear, but what does the future look like for the other children? I wanted to find a way to ensure that they were treated fairly in a way that reflected their interests and allowed them to be independent. The last thing I wanted was to create a situation that caused a rift between them. For me, the most important legacy we could leave them is a strong, supportive family.
I found the approach Momentum follows aligned with my vision of what a positive, inclusive process should look like. I want my family to be educated about the privileges and the responsibilities of wealth, thinking about values and stewardship.
When I met with Tiffany, she valued my opinion and input and recognised the central role that I play. I was able to provide insights into the family dynamics and the challenges that we face. Being married with kids, Tiffany understands how pivotal a wife and mother is in maintaining family harmony. But she also appreciates that at times, to get to a better place requires asking the tough questions.
We were apprehensive at first, but working through this process has been a lot more enjoyable than we had expected. It brought a sense of connection and togetherness that we had lost over the years. We held our family sessions at home over Sunday lunch like we did when the kids were young. We even got together for a family holiday to do some of our work. The process felt natural; it felt like us.
Our family has a lot of potential but we raised our children to be independent. It was invigorating for all of us to realise how much we could achieve both inside and outside of the family when we worked together.