The Russell-Cooke Family Office has published a report highlighting the current changing dynamics and shifting landscape for families.

Generation Game – The Great Wealth Transfer and the Outlook for Families in 2021 is based on conversations between members of the Russell-Cooke Family Office with experts in wealth and estate management, philanthropy and psychology about the current climate for families and the outlook for the future.

The report identifies five key issues that will be central to family conversations as they prepare for the transfer of wealth between generations and seek to protect their values, relationships and assets for the future.

The five issues are: 

managing succession and the transfer of wealth

social responsibility investing and giving

tax for the internationally mobile

reputation and risk

the role of the trusted adviser

The report underlines the need for families and their advisers to ensure they are addressing potential conflict arising from what may be very different outlooks and approaches between generations, and the impact of current global events.

Partner Rebecca Fisher said: “There couldn’t be a more timely moment to talk about families and family businesses. Difficult conversations are understandably, often avoided but the fallout from not tackling sensitive or challenging issues will be felt at some point, potentially at both a financial and personal level.”

“A divergence in outlook and understanding between generations, the pressure of public scrutiny, and the growing importance of ethical governance as a force for change are some of the factors we see most frequently contributing to unresolved tensions within family structures. This is why we have spent time talking to fellow professionals to get to the heart of the issues and to underline the importance of communication and planning for wealthy families. Now is the time to have those difficult conversations. We are seeing in real time that failure to do so can result in dramatic consequences that benefit nobody.”

Contributors to the report were:

John Bareham, International Partner, Cushman & Wakefield

Rebecca Bettany, Director, JTC Private Office

James Gladstone, Head of Wealth Planning, Cazenove Capital

Robert Mace, Tax Partner, Saffery Champness

John Pepin, Chief Executive, Philanthropy Impact

Dr Angela Smith, forensic and behavioural psychologist

The Russell-Cooke Family Office consists of partners Rebecca Fisher, wealth and succession planning; James Carroll, family relationships; Alison Regan, resolving disputes; David Webster, commercial interests; Matt Garrod, real estate; Matt Bosworth, reputation management; and Chris Rowse, philanthropy.