Succession Planning


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Our analysis shows that more than 1.4 million owners employing upwards of 7.9 million people and contributing almost $500 billion in GDP will retire in the next decade.

Effective succession planning is a complex process that raises many potentially difficult emotional, financial, tax, legal and equity issues. While it might sound like a lot of hard work, in our experience, a well thought-out plan devised now, will ease worry now and help avoid pain and conflict in the future.

After all, what could be more important than ensuring your hard work continues to pay off for you and your family during your retirement years and beyond?

Our experienced team will help you to articulate your needs and goals, and what you wish to achieve for your business, yourself and your family by:

  • identifying key stakeholders
  • understanding the financial needs and other wishes of all parties
  • developing a shared vision between owners, other family members and other stakeholders
  • identifying and prioritising the most critical issues.

Implementing your succession strategy

Once you have identified your goals, we can help you to put strategies in place to realise those goals and implement a broad-based and widely accepted succession plan.

Our team will assist you to address all relevant issues at a practical level, including asset protection, ownership and management succession of your structures (such as companies or family trusts), putting tax and insurance strategies in place, retirement planning (including self-managed superannuation) and estate planning.

Preparing the successors to manage your wealth in the future will involve a careful consideration of issues such as legacy and birthright, interpersonal dynamics and, quite simply, the best person for the job.

Including stakeholders in the planning process can provide them with a sense of ownership, thereby improving the likelihood of ultimate success. By clarifying the extent of each individual's responsibilities, authority and inclusion or exclusion from the management of the family wealth or business, you can reduce the likelihood of future problems. We can assist you with putting formal arrangements in place to reduce the impact and the possibility of future conflict.

Making a smooth transition

There are many challenges associated with accumulating and preserving wealth. Our team is committed to helping you meet and resolve these challenges so that you can manage change and transition to the next generation as smoothly as possible.

Succession planning is one area where your leverage tends to diminish with time. The decisions you make will affect the future of your business, customers, employees – and, most importantly, yourself and your family. Therefore it wise to solidify a succession plan sooner rather than later.

Getting down to the detail

There are a number of issues that need to be considered in order to reach the best decision for you, your family and your business. These include:

Personal plans for the future and timing of succession process

  • Retirement
  • Income requirements
  • Influence/control
  • Wealth

Preserving your personal wealth

  • Capital Gains Tax

The ability of the business to function without you

  • Management and employees
  • Reward
  • Equity vs Non Equity reward
  • Non-executive directors

Managing the needs of the business and your family

  • Family constitution
  • Investment and dividend policy
  • Non-management shareholders - reward and power
  • Employment of family members

Business growth plans

  • Future growth
  • Financing
  • Staffing
  • Competition

The desire and ability for the next generation to run the business

  • Next generation
  • Training and development
  • Skills gap
  • Reward
  • Fairness amongst family
  • Mentoring

Exit strategies

  • Crystallising value
  • Positioning your business
  • Sale of part or whole of your business
  • Ability to extract value

How can we help you?

Contact PwC's Private Clients Family, Business and Wealth team.


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A conversation with Professor Joachim Schwass on the importance of succession planning.

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