April 2012 Book Review
On the Shoulders of Atlas: A Story About Transitioning A Family-Owned Business
Written by Susan Latremoille & Peter Creaghan with Frank Archibald, Linda Betts, Arnie Cader, Sheila Crummey, Tony Ianni, Stever Landau, Ron Prehogan and Pearl Schusheim © 2010
This book is a very readable, if fictional, account of a family business founder and his wife wrestling with the choices surrounding their exit from a family business and the resulting wealth transition to their children. This book’s authors clearly advocate for the value of an advisory team of family advisors including tax planners, estate lawyers, wealth management specialists, life insurance advisors and general family advisors. Best practices for advisory boards and boards of directors, including compensation, are also reviewed. The fictional couple consider several options for exit and transition including outright sale of the business, succession to a family member and setting up trusts for their children.
This is an interesting and largely accurate look at some of the dilemmas that family business owners/founders will one day certainly face. Whether you choose to use a team approach or not, these are all considerations that are smart to be explored.
Renée Montoya Lado M.S., N.C.C
President, Strategic Designs for Learning
Family Owned Business Network Book Review Chair & Editor
Natalie McVeigh, MBE
Research Analyst, Strategic Designs for Learning
Family Owned Business Network Senior Book Reviewer