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Business families are complex.
The challenges they will face are predictable.

The meetings I facilitate help mission-appropriate families 
realign, plant, grow, and thrive across generations.

Chris Reichert, MBA, FEA, TEP, ICD.D

Chris Reichert is a skilled family meeting facilitator with deep expertise in family governance, strategy, and the complex 'soft side' issues that challenge multigenerational enterprising families.

He serves families that are serious about succession/continuity planning and doing what it takes to thrive, as a business and family, across generations.

His service is akin to 'mortar' - not one of the stones but rather an impartial interface that keeps structures strong. Considerable time is spent listening to understand each stone's uniqueness before identifying options for how they can best be placed and positioned to bond.

'Mortar' performs quietly, discretely, unceremoniously. 

External stakeholders should only see the impressive structure the stones are building together. Only the stones themselves know the mortar is there with them in their structure and can be counted on - rain or shine.

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Alumnus and guest speaker

Volunteer judge, case strategy workshops


Appointed to FEA National Council

Moderator, National Symposium

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Former Board Member, Prairies Region

and National Student Education Committee


Directors Education Program

ICD.D designate

All work is performed on a transparent fee-for-service/retainer basis and in collaboration with the client's incumbent team of trusted advisors. (legal, accounting, tax, investments)

Every family's needs are different.  I begin by listening.

WE Serve Families in 3 Categories:

Families with Operating Companies

What to do with the business - transition or sell?

How will policies be developed?

  • Family employment

  • Compensation

  • Prenuptial agreements

What to do with an underperforming family member?

Who will be the next CEO/President?

Are shares bought or gifted?

Will ownership opportunities be created for non-family leaders?

How will estate plans be structured?

  • Fair vs. equal?

  • Does the next generation want to be partners in a business?

  • Keep wealth together vs. split it apart?

Families with Investment Companies

What is the purpose of the family's wealth?

Who will have access; who will have control?

What will the family invest in; what will it not?

How will relationships be maintained when family members are geographically distant?

What happens if there is a divorce?

What to do with recreational properties?

Families with Family Offices

How will conflict be managed between branches and generations?

How will in-laws be welcomed and 

and taught about the family's history and traditions?

How will the rising generation be prepared to become responsible stewards of shared family wealth?

Who will champion the family's customs and lead their activities into the next generation?

Autumn Road

Only 30% of business families successfully transition to G2,

and only 13% to G3.


Why are the statistics so bleak?

Researchers conducted a retrospective study with 3,250 enterprising families to determine why significant family wealth was destroyed during intergenerational transitions.

The study concluded the failures were due to:

  • 65% - breakdown of communication/trust within family system

  • 20% - next generation not prepared

  • 15% - 'all other' (tax, legal, accounting)

Neglecting the 'soft side' accounted for 85% of failed transitions.

Source:   Williams, R., Preisser, V. (2015). Preparing heirs: Five steps to a successful transition of family wealth and values. Robert D. Reed Publishers

Sunset in the Woods

"The most difficult issues facing business families are family-based issues rather than business-based issues."

- John L. Ward

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Tips for Multi-Generational Business/Family Success:

  1. Process for communication + decision making (family meetings)

  2. Common Values

  3. Common Vision

  4. Strategic Plan (written, vetted, circulated)

  5. Independent Advisory Board

Meeting Room

Track record (since 2014):

  • 45 Discovery engagements completed (# of enterprising families served)

  • 290+ one-on-one interviews (2 hours per family member)

  • 850+ family council meetings facilitated (4-5 hours each)

  • 1,800+ confidential check-in calls completed (between family meetings)

  • 75+ advisor team meetings facilitated (legal, accounting, tax)

  • 20+ succession/continuity plans implemented

  • 12 strategic plans co-developed (aligning 5 year business plan to 7-20+ year long-term ownership plan)

  • 17 family conferences facilitated (1-3 days each, 3 generations at the table)


  • Harmonious relationships -

    • 3 client marriages saved (their words)

    • 2 families avoided litigation

    • 2 grandparents met G3 grandchildren for first time

    • 1 family returned to having Christmas dinner together after 8-year hiatus

  • Profitability - significant increases within majority of clients served

  • Alignment - between family members (active and non), non-family executives/managers, and shareholders (family and non)

  • Clarity - estate plans that everyone understands and supports

  • Stewardship - wholesale mindset shifts within many families served

Anecdote from a high-stakes family meeting:

"All attempts over the past 3-4 months to arrange a simple family lunch or dinner have been unsuccessful...

...Yet you made some calls and were able to gather all branches of my family to the table for a meeting with you in only 8 days."

- Patriarch,

3rd generation

enterprising family

A patriarch approached me after what he expected was going to be a highly contentious family meeting involving all four branches of his family. After his wife, all 4 of his adult children and their spouses had departed, he walked towards me with eyes that were full and his right hand extended to shake mine. After clearing his throat he said "Chris, I don't know how you can do this work every day. Whenever business conflict boils over into our family, I worry irreparable damage between me and (names of adult children) is being done. My wife worries even more than I do, which further compounds my stress. She tells me I must 'fix it' but we have significant capital at stake so I'm stuck and don't know what to do. All attempts over the past 3-4 months to arrange a simple family lunch or dinner have been unsuccessful; the dates we propose are all met with reasons why none of our (adult) kids were available. Yet when I reached out to you for help, you made some calls and were able to get all branches of my family to the table for a meeting with you in only 8 days.

When we see you, everyone in our family takes a deep breath. You make us feel comfortable and use humor to cut tension so we can refocus on working through difficult issues together. No matter how tense some of the divides between my children (adult) and I have been over the years, you bring us together, remain neutral, and through discussion uncover a path forward that everyone in our family will support.  - You deliver. Every. Single. Time."


It was a special moment between he and I, and all I could say in return was "I can't believe I get to do this work with your family. Thank you for placing your trust in me and letting me in."

To which he replied, "Oh you're 'in' alright; whether you like it or not! Keep your phone charged in case we need you before our family council meeting next quarter!"

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When you are ready to talk, I am ready to listen.
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