Underpowered Sibling or Cousin Syndicates?

Sibling and cousin partnerships face special challenges. These fall into two major categories:

Equity and Values Conflicts: As a result of the decisions of previous generations of family members, siblings and cousins may be inadvertent partners tied together to a single business entity, when in fact, they would prefer to set their own economic destiny. These siblings and cousins may be:

  • Unable to cash out their equity
  • Unable to receive reasonable return on equity
  • Non-working siblings and cousins may receive no return on equity
  • Conflict between working and non-working siblings and or cousins
  • Sabotaging siblings or cousins
  • Under-performing siblings or cousins who are equally compensated

Limited Conflict Resolution Skills: Siblings and cousins in business together may also be limited in their ability to effectively resolve differences and conflicting needs. This often results from:

  • Lack of effective governance and communication forums for resolving differences
  • Voting by blood lines rather than business logic
  • Meddling in-laws 
  • Hyper-competitive siblings or cousins
  • Siblings and cousins overly dependent on aging or deceased parents (or advisors) to resolve conflicts