Redefining Success

Placing Flourishing First in the Family Wealth Industry

Advisors in the Family Wealth Industry often implicitly or explicitly define family success as the growth and transfer of financial capital from one generation to the next. In the past few decades, the industry has beneficially emphasized the importance of the family’s qualitative capitals (spiritual, social, human, and intellectual). It is unfortunate that too often this message has often become muddled so that the qualitative capitals are understood to serve financial capital, its growth, and its persistence in the family lineage. We argue that family success should not be based on financial capital, except so far as financial capital supports family flourishing. This standard is, we believe, closer to what many ultra-high-net-worth families actually want. We define a flourishing family as one in which its component individuals are thriving and are able to contribute to the greater good of society.

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