Evolving trends in family business succession include a growing number of father-daughter transitions, according to an article in the February edition of Florida Trend magazine. With this trend comes a new set of opportunities and challenges for the dads and daughters involved.

Communication is key in succession planning, Gunster attorney Adi Rappoport, tells Florida Trend writer Cindy Krischer Goodman. This includes talk of goals and involvement expectations.

The article includes six local business profiles:

  • Feld Entertainment, Palmetto (The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus). CEO Kenneth Feld, 67, and daughters Nicole, Alana and Juliette, all three of whom live and work out-of-state and are each executive vice presidents.
  • Codina Partners, Doral (Downtown Doral, a mixed-use development in Miami). Real estate developers Armando Codina and Ana-Marie Codina Barlick worked together for nine years before she became CEO and he became chairman.
  • Frigibar Industries, Miami (manufacturer of refrigerators for boats/yachts). Shuly Oletzky took over the family business, without a succession plan, when her father died. Reaching out to company employees, family members and mentors helped.
  • Jon Smith Subs, Palm Beach County. Juliard-trained musician Alexis Smith, 26, went from professional trombone player to entrepreneur when she began learning the business her father founded.
  • Leo C. Chase & Son Funeral Home, St. Augustine. Avis Chase welcomed his daughter’s fresh ideas and skills as a people person, and eased into semi-retirement as he handed over the reins to the family business.
  • Arroyo Process Equipment, Clearwater (distribution/service of industrial supplies used in manufacturing). Diane Schleicher’s contentious relationship with her father, Frank Arroyo, led to her leaving the company before returning when he considered selling the company.

According to the article and business profiles, potential challenges of father/daughter successions may include difficulty sharing power with adult children; complicated planning for successive generations; how much to change the previous generation’s recipe for success; and being on the same page regarding what is best for the company

The good news, Rappoport says in the article, is that women tend to be more collaborative and more willing to seek help or resources when needed – which serves them and the family business well.

Read the digital version of the entire section, Dad/daughter succession: Next-generation business leaders need to consider things their parents didn’t have to worry about (Florida Trend, February 2016 issue, beginning at page 122). Note: subscription is required to view.

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