Just what do good owners do? While owners have certain legal rights and powers, 杰出的所有者通常都愿意限制自己的权利,做正确的事, 长期, for others’ other shareholders, the business itself as an institution, 这个家庭, employees and the community surrounding the business. 当业主团结一致, 承诺, 和负责任的, they make it possible for managers to do their jobs in an optimal way. Managers know where they stand, they know what the goals are, 他们知道所有者会长期支持他们,他们知道自己可以专注于业务,而不是调停或担心股东纠纷. In other words, a good ownership group is an outstanding asset to a 家庭 firm. Ownership’s first and foremost joint responsibility is to establish the values, vision and goals that guide the business and provide its framework. A statement of values can include such treasured concepts as innovation, 信任, 家庭, 完整性, 社区和开放. When 家庭 owners are clear about their agreed-upon values, 他们补充丰富,meaning and strength to the business’ culture. 业主对企业的愿景是由他们的价值观塑造的,包括两个方面:

  1. 业务的性质. 企业主是想要一家多元化、多业务的公司,还是只想呆在一个行业? Do they want to be local or regional, or do they want to be global? 他们想要一家欢迎家族成员的企业,还是依赖非家族管理,或者两者兼而有之?
  2. The structure of their ownership. 拥有股份的家庭必须同意并明确谁可以拥有股份,谁可以投票. Some families want public ownership, others want private partners, and some want neither. Some families concentrate voting rights in 信任s or general partners. 其他人急切地在整个家庭中分配股份,并使投票权民主化.

业主还必须就企业目标达成一致,既能满足他们自己的利益,又能确保他们的承诺,同时又能合理地满足管理层的要求. Four areas for which owners must set goals are:

  1. 增长. 例如, 企业主希望他们的企业以多快的速度发展?他们希望企业发展到多大? Do they aim for rapid growth or seek growth at a steadier, more controlled pace? Do they favor growth in revenues or profitability?
  2. 风险. What risks are they willing to take as an ownership group? What strategy presents the most or least risk? What level of risk will be best for the business and 这个家庭?
  3. 盈利能力. What level of profitability do the owners desire? 什么水平是可接受的? 什么是不能接受的?
  4. 流动性. The ownership group needs to give thought to liquidity, 这是, 企业资产如何转换为现金,以满足想赎回其股份的个人所有者的愿望,以及如何使用利润. One of the owners’ tasks is to develop a redemption policy, 列出赎回股份的条件及赎回的程序. 股东还将股息派息率作为企业留存利润和分配给股东的利润百分比的指标.

These four areas are, of course, interdependent. More of some means less of others’ more growth usually means less liquidity. 一个家庭在其目标中选择的取舍,将反映其所有者家庭对企业的价值观和愿景. 一个家庭可能认为,确保所有者长期承诺的最佳方式是通过慷慨的股息和赎回机会. 另一个家庭可能会接受较小的回报,这样资金就可以再投资于增长型或多样化,最终为下一代家庭成员提供令人兴奋的职业生涯. Once goals are established, ownership then should serve as a partner in strategy. 这意味着帮助管理层和董事会理解所有者的目标,以此作为制定商业战略的基础,然后接受并支持管理层提出并得到董事会认可的战略.

Another key role of ownership is to assure excellent governance. 建立一个挑选董事会的程序是业主的职责, and they must be diligent about seeking, 吸引和选出他们能找到的最好的董事,他们将帮助业主实现他们的目标. 业主自己, as an owners council or shareholder group, 当他们建立自己的决策过程时,能够在治理方面树立一个优秀的榜样吗. If the process is seen as just and fair, owners’ differences can be more readily accepted and worked through. If not, unity and commitment are very much at risk. 在家庭方面, owners can lend encouragement and assistance in setting up a 家庭 council, 家族委员会, 家庭会议, 和类似的. 所有权的另一个主要责任是处理定义其与业务关系的问题,并围绕这些问题制定策略.

业主需要通过政策解决的问题包括:与管理层和董事的互动, what information should be shared with owners, 保密, 的利益冲突, shareholder relations expenses, 遗产规划, 份额赎回, 股息, 慈善捐赠, succession to governance roles and board effectiveness. 有些政策是股东自己独有的(股东关系费用政策), 例如), while others may overlap policies that affect the whole 家庭, 例如遗产规划. We have often stated “Ownership Matters. m88体育的经验和研究告诉m88体育,影响是巨大的,特别是当业主接受责任,只有有效的业主可以做的工作.”

For additional information about boards and 家庭 organizations, see Family Business Governance: Maximizing Family and Business Potential 由克雷格·E. Aronoff和约翰L. 病房. Copyright 1996, Family Enterprise Publishers.

For additional information on 家庭 business policies, see Developing Family Business Policies: Your Guide to the Future 由克雷格·E. Aronoff和约翰L. 病房. Copyright 1998, Family Enterprise Publishers.

This article was adapted from our latest Family Business Leadership Series booklet Family Business Ownership: How to Be An Effective Shareholder 由克雷格·E. Aronoff和约翰L. 病房. Copyright 2001, Family Enterprise Publishers.