I’m just back from a family business conference in Istanbul. 70+ multi-generation families from across Turkey convened with the International Family Business Forum to discuss succession and wealth transfer. I gave a talk on preparing the next generation for these happenings and am still processing the the comments that were provoked by my session. I plan to report on it in a few days (when jet lag and brain function have sorted themselves out).
In the meantime, I thought I’d share this piece written by Paul Sullivan for the NYT last Saturday. He quoted me liberally and the piece has elicited strong response from families living through the issues he writes about and that I comment on, as well as from commentators who seem to think that helping ‘rich kids’ is an outrage.
Though I’m deeply concerned about the vast chasm between rich and poor in this country, scapegoating kids who are growing up with means doesn’t seem especially productive. Our job is to provide them with tools to deal with issues that are the unintended consequences of inheriting wealth, not to castigate them for their fate.
As always, I look forward to your comments.