FFI Global Conference

London 2018, October 24-26

Park Plaza Riverbank, 18 Albert Embankment, London

Join the 2018 FFI Embankment Festival!

Camp out on the Thames for three days as you challenge and joust with your intellectual and personal best self at this festival of ideas and activities that will improve your understanding of yourself and the modern day family enterprise field.

Festivals are many things around the world. They can be community events to recognize and celebrate unique traditions. They can be expressions of art and demonstrations of talent. They can be challenges to think outside of the box and experiment with something new. You’ll find all of this and more in London in October.


October 24-October 26

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

9:00AM – 4:30PM
Pre Conference Sessions

GEN 503 Tools for Positive Change in Family Business Systems: Analysis and Application

Faculty: Andrew Hier, Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise; Carlo Salvato, Bocconi University


This course for advanced practitioners will review key forces at work in family business systems, providing an overview of frameworks for capturing and analyzing critical information. Tools and techniques for achieving meaningful change with clients will be applied to selected case exercises. Developing skill for critical analysis will underpin all elements of the day.

GEN 504 Meaning and Purpose: Philanthropy and the Family Enterprise

Faculty: James Coutre, Fidelity Family Office Services; Etienne Eichenberger, WISE; Maya Prahbu, Coutts & Co.


This course delivers:

  • An awareness of current trends in philanthropy and how wealthy individuals and families engage in philanthropy today — including the emergent field of Impact Investing
  • An understanding of how today’s high and ultra-high net worth families are expressing their values and working towards social and environmental impact through their philanthropic giving
  • Practical approaches, both relevant and rigorous, to position philanthropy at the heart of conversations on values, succession planning and preparing the next generation
  • An understanding of how to discuss philanthropy with clients to deepen relationships and win more business
  • Opportunities for debate, case studies, and reflective exercises to enhance learning and enjoyment

*These two courses partially fulfill the requirements for Advanced GEN Certificates. Visit ffigen.org for more details on the GEN program.

Opening Reception

Mark Bagnall, Artist-in-Residence

Mark Bagnall is a British film, television and stage actor. He has been in numerous features films and television programs including The Bill, Doctors, Casualty, Holby City, Robin Hood, and Midsomer Murders. A skilled stage performer, Mark employs comedy, narration, and improvisation in his live work. Mark will be “acting out” throughout the conference in sessions and in unexpected places!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Concurrent Sessions

Assessing and Developing Governance Competencies: An integrated approach to managing family talent

Presenters: Devin DeCiantis, Nicolas Hollanders, Ivan Lansberg, Lansberg, Gersick & Associates LLC


Successful business families combine a strong vision and strategy, sustainable governance structures, and the best use of family talent in key roles. This presentation will explore how a family-specific, scaled competency system can help select, develop, and deploy family talent to support the performance and continuity of a family enterprise.

A Visit to the Festival Fortune Teller: Forecast of three future trends for family-owned enterprises

Presenter: Patricia Annino, Rimôn P.C.


This session will address forecasting future trends: a) you can’t litigate love (so why are you trying?) – there will be increased litigation dealing with succession and control issues; b) evolving succession challenges in a seven- generation world; and c) increasing the visible (formerly invisible) power of women as family members, on boards and as in-laws.

The Power of Contracting

Presenters: Judi Cunningham, Kennesaw State University; Wendy Sage-Hayward, The Family Business Consulting Group


Contracting is an often overlooked, but critically important, element of engaging and working with family enterprise clients when contracting with multiple family members in complex and sensitive landscapes. This session explores contracting best practices to avoid pitfalls that often result when contracting is done poorly.

On the Main Stage

The Diversity of Deviance: How breaking the rules can hurt (and help) families and family firms

Deviant behavior has different antecedents and effects based on variation in family systems and family firms. Using lecture and small group discussion, this session outlines the diversity in types and outcomes of deviance and provides attendees with the means to use deviance in the family and family firm to improve performance.

Presenters: Kim Eddleston, Northeastern University; Roland Kidwell, Florida Atlantic University

Concurrent Sessions

Artistic Engaged Scholarship: Creative art labs on family business

Presenters: Jane Glover, Kiran Trehan, University of Birmingham


This presentation introduces the notion of ‘artistic engaged scholarship’ and discusses the challenges in communicating research and delivering impact. Participants will be asked to explore a number of artistic exhibitions before the end of the session with an interactive discussion on participants’ thoughts and what they learned from the session.

Celebrating the Practitioner’s Spectrum

Presenters: Elle Hansen, REGENERATION; Steve Legler, Shift Your Family Business; Natalie McVeigh, Wells Fargo Private Bank; Mairi Mickel, Mairi Mickel’s Business Families


This interactive session allows participants to experience through live-performance a demonstration of the Practitioner’s Spectrum using a co-created case-study. The presenters will explain a practitioner’s inner dialogue in real-time. There is no ‘right way,’ despite the desire of advisers to ‘solve.’ Participants learning will be increased from exploration and use of the spectrum.

To Share or Not to Share: How will the shared economy impact the field of family business?

Presenters: Giana Eckhardt, University of London; Andrew Keyt, Loyola University Chicago; Domingo Such, Perkins Coie


AirBNB, Uber, Zipcar—the shared economy is disrupting industries across the world. This session will look at the basic principles of the shared economy and engage with the audience to explore the potential for the shared economy to disrupt the field of advising family businesses.

On the Main Stage

Organized Improv: Optimizing team development for team productivity

This session will feature insights regarding two specific team development models with the FFI adviser community, in the hope that exposure to a set of ideas that may be quite different from current technical expertise will help provide even more value to clients.

Presenter: Jessica Geiben Lynn, CFAR — joined by artist-in residence Mark Bagnall

Concurrent Sessions

Invisible Decision Makers: The role of the matriarch in Asian family business

Presenter: Linda Salim, Sustainable Family Business Planning & Consulting


This presentation focuses on the role of matriarchs in family business decision-making. While they hold a major role, matriarchs who are not officially involved in the businesses are often forgotten. Looking into how they influence decision-making opens up discussions on how to tackle problems in family business.

Jousts, Feats of Strength and Games of Chance: Common causes and outcomes in family-owned business legal disputes

Presenter: Michael Connolly, Murtha Cullina LLP


Family-owned business legal disputes are often disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive. Such disputes typically arise from disagreements involving Paper (documents), Process (decision-making), or People (dynamics among stakeholders). Join this discussion to explore these three common flashpoints, to learn the various outcomes, and to learn ways to avoid or mitigate these disputes.

Should Anything Last Forever? Considerations in time horizons for family businesses and family giving

Presenter: Donzelina Barroso, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors


Family interests can evolve and diverge over time, and that divergence can impact the business, philanthropy, and family legacy. Hear from Rockefeller family members on how they addressed this challenge and used it to propel the family to new heights.

On the Main Stage

Shakespeare and Family Business: To be or not to be?

William Shakespeare is commonly described as a “writer for all ages.” His work endures because it speaks to the human experience. This presentation explores and examines Shakespearian themes that might be usefully applied to working with–and in–family businesses.

Presenter: Lloyd Steier, University of Alberta School of Business — joined by artist-in residence Mark Bagnall

Concurrent Sessions

Celebrating the Past, Writing the History of the Future

Presenters: David Bork, Family Business Matters; Rania Labaki, EDHEC Business School


The session contributes to the festival of family business ideas through a celebration of 50 years of research and practice, with a particular focus on the experience of David Bork. We engage in a reflection with the audience to shape the future on how best we can serve family businesses.

Socratic Dialog: A revolutionary tool for business families

Presenters: Sira Abenoza, Alberto Gimeno, ESADE Business School and Socratic Dialog Institute


In this workshop, participants will be exposed to a revolutionary new insight and methodology: Socratic Dialog. After a short explanation of the basic elements that define Socratic Dialog, participants will experience, on a practical level, the enormous possibilities that this methodology offers to develop healthy and competent business families.

The Mirror Maze: Changing your reflection

Presenter: Kirsten Taylor-Martin, Grant Thornton Australia, Ltd.


Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most diverse of them all? Take time to reflect and be challenged by the power of diversity of thought. This interactive session will showcase the power of diversity in Australian family businesses. Come and join in the fun!

On the Main Stage

Mixing in Royal Circles

An impromptu ‘in the round’ play of two family council meetings will be facilitated. Characters, played by delegates, respond to interventions and guidance of a role-playing family business adviser. There will be learning reviews between and a final review at end for ‘takeaway’ learnings.

Presenter: Susan Kaye, The Challenge of Excellence Ltd. — joined by artist-in residence Mark Bagnall

Friday, October 26, 2018

Concurrent Sessions

Aligning Long-Term Incentive Compensation

Presenters: Trish Botoff, Botoff Consulting; Lyn Christensen; Linda Mack, Mack International


The use of LTI compensation has been a growing trend in both family businesses and family offices. However, implementing LTI plans is a complex endeavor, with many design and implementation considerations for families. An overview of various LTI plans, best uses, and design and implementation considerations will be presented.

Family Offices, Fiefdoms, Fallacies, and Fables

Presenters: Tony Bogod, Tim Carvosso, Resonance Partners LLP.


This interactive workshop examines the world of the family office, raising questions like: What is a Family Office really? How do you measure success? What do Family Offices do well –or badly? What are common pitfalls to look out for when working with Family Offices, whether from with or without?

Rites of Passage in a Land of Giants

Presenter: Jamie Weiner, Inheriting Wisdom


Born into a world of giants, emerging adults struggle with growing up in the “shadow.” Redefining “rites of passage” creates a path for rising generations to emerge into productive relationships between generations. Participants will actively explore “rites of passage” stimulated by the voices of rising generation family members.

Self-awareness and Self-management: Be fully present for the client

Presenter: Pilar Tolentino, Ateneo Family Business Development Center


Family business advisers should not get lost with all the happenings around them. Learn self-awareness and self-management and how to focus on the beauty and opportunities for the client. Hear music (amid noises); see colors (through the sights); identify growth movements (not meaningless/unrelated events); and connect with people (beneath masks/costumes).

Concurrent Sessions

Engaging Families with Philanthropy

Presenters: Anne Hennessy, Mindy Rosenthal, PNC Center for Financial Insight


How do you transition intangible assets? Learn how to use theatrical techniques and discussions on philanthropy as tools to transition intangibles such as values, family history, and personal experiences. Discussing values and money may not always be a comfortable conversation. Discussing philanthropy is a useful tool to begin these conversations.

Reimagining Experience: New ways of learning in family business

Presenters: Jared Byas, Delaware Valley Family Business Center; Victor Saad, Experience Institute


Rather than relying on formal institutions or programs, education is moving toward experience and helping create self-directed learners. This interactive session will walk participants through a design thinking experience on how to rethink education for family enterprises. Leave with concrete ideas on how to reach the rising generation.

The Healing Mandala™: Mindfulness, art, & appreciative storytelling

Presenters: Laura Allen, Jean Meeks-Koch, Positively People, LLC.


This session will look at a methodology for families to come together and share individual realities, seek forgiveness, and embrace healing. This approach provides a construct that draws from the past, anchors emotions in the present, and provides a way for families to engage in healing.

On the Main Stage

Actor’s Studio Workshop

Artist in residence Mark Bagnall will take participants behind the scenes for an in-depth acting workshop. Using role play, comedy and improv scenarios Mark will teach techniques that can be applied to your work.

Concurrent Sessions

Developing Ethical Practices to Foster Family Harmony

Presenters: Anne Hennessy, Mindy Rosenthal, PNC Center for Financial Insight


Drawing on the 200-year-old practice of Mussar, this interactive session will teach ways to help families engage and empower themselves and others. Participants will be introduced to this unique tradition and learn to identify how they relate to themselves and others through exercises and examination of ethical traits.

The Generative Alliance: Culture and evolution of 100-year family enterprises

Presenters: Dennis Jaffe, Wise Counsel Research; Alex Scott, Sandaire; Andrew Wates, Wates Group


This session will share stories from two family leaders and a research study about cross-generational evolution of global 100-year family enterprises. We explore the generative alliance that integrates family stakeholders, including stewards concerned with legacy and culture, craftsmen creating a disciplined business structure, and opportunists seeking innovative opportunities and new pathways.

Transitioning Voting Shares: Making clarity out of chaos

Presenters: Dan Frosh, Henry Hutcheson, Family Business USA


This session will explore four unique family business case studies, showing how creativity enabled a smooth transition of control and maintained family harmony.

On the Main Stage

Unmasking Imagination and Creativity: A mask-making workshop to explore how creativity can mediate family business solutions

Join a mask-making workshop to explore how creativity can mediate family business solutions. The ancient human custom of mask-making can empower all generations of a business family. By examining emotions, values and identity, creativity and imagination can be unlocked to create opportunity.

Presenters: Charlotte Dillon, RoundTable Global; Oliver Hallam, Oliver Hallam Mediation

Concurrent Sessions

A Jane Austen Festival for Family Firms and Advisers

Presenter: Michael Whitty, Handler Thayer LLP


This session will offer examples from the life and novels of Jane Austen to illustrate timeless lessons for business families and their advisers, including different forms of family capital, succession planning, and addressing demographic realities.

Solo — “The New Coming Out”

Presenter: Louise Levin, Louise Levin Associates/Screaming Non Sequitur Productions


A diminished capacity for intimate romantic relationships has reached worldwide epidemic levels, across all demographics and socio-economic levels, and is continuing to increase. This session looks at this under-reported phenomenon.

The Jousting between the Family and the Business Needs. Who will win?

Presenters: Luis Jimenez Castillo, WPI/Universidad Panamerica; William Stormont, Viscount of Stormont


Balance between the family and the business is important for the sustainability of the family business. The intersect between rationality and emotions creates the perfect arena for a battle between the business’s profitability and family’s prerogative. This session will simulate difficult situations where participants have to choose the best scenario.

Welcome to the Culture Fair: Ethnographic methods to make the strange familiar

Presenter: Debbie Bing, CFAR


This hands-on workshop will demonstrate an ethnographic approach to consulting – built on anthropological observation methods and developed through years of practice – and will explore how it can provide another way of joining with and ultimately helping a family.

Closing Awards

Closing Awards Ceremony & Family Enterprise Fair

Registration Information

2018 Conference Presenters and Program Committee

2018 Conference Presenters and Program Committee

Hotel booking information

From our Attendees

“As a learning and sharing organization, FFI is just extraordinary. You have to go to one of its meetings to understand the generosity with which the members share their experiences and perspectives.

A beacon of best practice in terms of professional collaboration and interaction.”

Alex Scott
Chairman Sandaire