For the past couple of days, Toronto's The Globe & Mail has been running book excerpts from "On the Shoulders of Atlas: A Story about Transitioning a Family-Owned Business." The book tells the fictionalized story of an entrepreneur who founded a plastics company who is now nearing retirement age, and pondering the future of the firm. Author Linda Betts, president of Heritage Wealth Strategy Group Inc., tackles tricky issues related to succession planning in a family-owned business by telling the story of Victor and Anne Banks, who built the fictional Atlas Plastics into a $200 million-per-year company. Three of their four children work in the business, and there are all the typical sibling issues and rivalries wrapped into the management and future ownership of the company. While the story is fictional, it has a ring of truth. Certainly many family-owned plastics processors have gone through exactly these debates, and the results impact both the families that own the firms and the employees who work for them. Check out Monday's excerpt, "Family is business, business is family," and Tuesday's, "Let's talk about that $200 million trust fund."
Succession planning in the spotlight
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