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A typical FEA assignment
We may be approached by a family member, family business owner of even a family employee. We may be introduced by a trusted advisor to the family. The family may be experiencing challenges in creating and executing strategies to achieve long term business continuity and sustainable family legacies.

We are family focused. Each business family is unique. Some family members may be owners, working in the business. Others may be inactive owners not involved in the business. While some family members may be employees of the family business, others may have no ownership nor work in the business. Yet all groups have significant influence and contribute to the family dynamics and how they impact the family enterprise.

Through a discovery process, using a "three circle" model approach with the family, owners, trusted advisors and trusted key employees, we identify areas and themes which require further exploration. We make recommendations and with the family, identify action steps to get the family to where it wants to be as an enterprising family.

We can guide the family through the execution of the action steps and provide continued support to the family. To get there requires family commitment and the ability to have difficult, open and honest conversations. We can facilitate the difficult conversations. We take a multidisciplinary approach by working with other advisors or professionals as required to meet the family's goals. These advisors may include lawyers, financial advisors, tax accountants, trust and estate planners, family therapists, recruiters.

The importance of family harmony and continuity planning
Edendale was founded 30 years ago as a vehicle to provide general independent business consulting. Our first assignment was with a medium size corporate conglomerate to help reorganize operations for long term stability and profitability. We had been recommended to the owner by one of the Company's VPs. We did not realize it at the time, but this was our first FEA assignment.

We arrived at our new client's office at 9.00 am January 28, 1986. The receptionist was not at her desk and all the offices were vacant. All the staff was in the large board room watching the television. The space shuttle Challenger had just exploded 73 seconds into flight. Everyone was in shock.

Once things settled down, we met with the owner. He was young (under 30) well educated and articulate, but maybe not quite prepared at the time for the task inherited. His father had passed away several years prior leaving him and his siblings a large estate consisting of several businesses producing in excess of $100 million in revenues per year. Capital spending on corporate luxuries, unseen in his father's time and a number of high profile acquisitions in the entertainment industry were taking a toll on the main cash producing entities. The goose that laid the golden egg was in trouble. The siblings were at odds with each other, marriages were in trouble and the wealth had attracted undesirable and unnecessary senior employees.

We spent several years working with this client. The first order of business was to stop the bleeding, and stabilize cash flow. The undesirables were cleared out within the first 6 months, and over the course of the next 12 months a competent team was put in place to manage operations. After 2 years of working with this client we had done all we could. The business survived and flourished in the years to come but the family turmoil continued. The family did not live in harmony as sibling rivalries continued and marriages broke up. We had prevented the equivalent of a space shuttle disaster for the business, but by the time we had arrived on the scene the family was beyond repair. Lack of family business continuity planning before the father passed away had left family in disrepair.