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Latest News / Features

Latest News / Features

There is a lot of talk about the aging demographic of New Zealand business owners, and what succession might look like for them down the road. For some businesses, the planning is purely around positioning a business to sell. But for most privately owned businesses in NZ, succession comes with the added complexity of keeping the business in the family.


Families are complex! Nearly everyone in a family will have a differing view on succession and family values underpin these views. This makes any transaction personal. There is no one size fits all solution. And the need to treat family with equality and fairness often results in compromising the business in some form.


What if the complexity of succession for families could be removed and the ease of transition introduced? 


Too often the focus on succession is transactional. A business or farm is simply sold to the next generation. Often, as a result, a business is left in the hands of new owners who may not be fully equipped with the skills to move the business forward successfully. By reframing succession to transition, there would be a process for what is really an ongoing evolution of skills and capability within a business. There would also be a reduction in complexity and an increase in the focus of what is required to position your business for the future. 


MCI & Associates can help with your transitional planning and processes. Our newly formed Advisory team work directly with your accountant to offer specialised support in areas of Governance, Business Strategy, Succession/Transition, deal structuring and raising capital. 


Leading the Advisory team is Sean StaffordBringing 17 years of corporate and agricultural banking leadership experience, Sean also has a number of his own business interests - including owning a Dairy Farm in Woodville and a Sheep & Beef farm in Seddon. Sean holds a BSc in Agricultural and Animal Science and is a Certified Director with the NZ Institute of Directors.


Sean believes in the following core transition principles:


  • Start now - Think about business and succession from the outset to ensure a successful outcome. 
  • Vision - Document the business vision and strategy to ensure successors/families understand where the waka is going.  
  • Growth - Growing your business widens options for succession. 
  • Governance - Have a structure that holds management accountable.  
  • Roles and Responsibilities - Define these to provide pathways to develop successors/family members for takeover.  
  • Professional Support – Use to help manage family dynamics, even better if involved in the journey, not just the transaction.