START early, talk often, talk openly. That’s the advice on the tricky topic of succession planning from consultancy firm Chapman Eastway.
Chapman Eastway featured in the Farm Weekly yesterday for our work in Succession. Follow this link for the article http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/its-time-to-talk-about-suc...
A report prepared by the firm, which specialises in agribusiness, and Charles Sturt University found a lack of willingness to open the discussion on succession planning led most farming families into strife.
“It’s very emotive to start with, it takes a little bit of courage for families to start the conversation,” Chapman Eastway head of agribusiness Anthony Ryan said.
The report, which surveyed 350 families, found younger farmers were more willing to start the conversation than their parents and were eager to embrace alternative models of business ownership.
More were also pursuing different careers or tertiary study before returning to the land at an average age of 27.
Families whose wealth was completely tied up in the property found it more difficult to broach the subject, and it was often even more complicated for larger families where some siblings feel entitled to a share.
Mr Ryan said parents needed to be willing to say early on what they wanted and allow “open and honest discussions as a family”.
National Farmers’ Federation president Brent Finlay said having an understanding of the aspirations of all family members was essential.
“Sometimes there are three generations involved in the business and they’re all at very different stages of their lives,” Mr Finlay said.
Chapman Eastway will be travelling regional Australia in the coming year to speak on the report.
“So many regions in Australia are dependent on good succession otherwise there’s a risk those small communities will die out,” he said.
To talk to a Chapman Eastway Consultant about your succession plan and the future of your family business, call Anthony Ryan on 9322 9433 today!