Walking Into a Tsunami: Managing Difficult Family Meetings

Ellen Perry is the founder and principal of Wealth Bridge Partners, and has years of experience working with families of substantial wealth. Talking about money among family members can bring out difficult emotions and stress. In this week’s episode of Beyond the Balance Sheet, Ellen tells us how she personally works with families to tackle the tough decisions and open the lines of communication between family members. Tune in to this episode to learn more from Ellen Perry.

 

In This Episode:

 

  • [00:54] Ellen’s experience working with families as a whole managing their wealth.
  • [1:30] Different reasons families might call an advisor to discuss money and wealth management.
  • [6:00] How family meetings can be helpful to multiple generations of families trying to make decisions and plan ahead together.
  • [9:00] Ellen’s strategy for meetings begins with one-on-one conversations so she can
  • [13:19] How family meeting agendas differ in simple times or in times of stress, tension, or transitional life changes.
  • [17:00] How these meetings can help address mental and behavioral health issues and how to handle those emotions that come with that.
  • [20:15] Navigating the darker corners of family personalities and relationships that we should know are very typical and can help us all learn from.
 

Key Takeaways:

 

  • Helping a family navigate their different dynamics while discussing wealth management and big decisions is a learned skill.
  • Navigating different life situations along with different personalities requires patience and strategies for dealing with different aspects.
  • There are times where short, simple meetings are best to help families during stress and transitional life changes and times that are good for tackling harder things in simpler moments of life.
  • The measurement of success for these types of meetings has more to do with qualitative judgement on enhancing the relationships and trust within families. You want to see better communication over time.
  • There will be different types of situations that will arise from these types of meetings but it’s helpful to know that many of the different family struggles are typical among people and there shouldn’t be any shame in them.

 

Meet Ellen Perry:

 

Ellen Perry is the founder and principal of Wealthbridge Partners, LLC. She has 25 years of experience serving as a strategic advisor for families of substantial wealth. During this time she gained perspective on the many ways wealth affects families, and developed expertise on practices that substantially enhance the life of a family and its individual members. She is also a Senior Advisor to Brown Brothers Harriman where she works with their clients and advisors on the issues at the intersection of wealth and family. Before founding Wealthbridge Partners, Ms. Perry was the co-founder and CEO of Asset Management Advisors (now GenSpring Family Offices), a multi-client family office, and Teton Trust Company, its affiliated private trust.

Ms. Perry, author of A Wealth of Possibilities – Navigating Family, Money and Legacy is a frequent speaker, author and advisor on family wealth strategies that create and sustain great families throughout multiple generations. Her work and opinions have been quoted in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune Magazine as well as several books by other authors.

 

Resources:

Wealth Bridge Partners


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