Family Business Magazine Blog

A recent article in The Practitioner -- an online publication of the Family Firm Institute, an organization for professionals who advise and study family enterprises -- pointed out the difference between "firm survival over time" (continuity of a family business through the years) and "longevity of a family enterprise" (a family's ability to create wealth and value over generations).

The Practitioner article -- by Pramodita Sharma, the Sanders Professor for Family Business at the University of Vermont's School of Business Administration and a visiting scholar at Babson College -- argued that family enterprise success can be defined in ways other than leadership transfer from one generation to the next. "Both the creative destruction of firms and pruning of the enterprising family are integral parts of longevity of an enterprising family ....," Sharma wrote. "Recent reviews of the research on succession, governance, professionalization and performance all point in the same direction -- that one size does not fit all and the overarching numbers of ‘success' are insufficient to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of family enterprises and their pathways to success."

Family Business Magazine's cover subjects for May/June 2014, the Power family, sold J.D. Power and Associates to McGraw-Hill in 2005....Read more

Free Feature Article

McCarty Family Farms in Colby, Kan., has linked its fortunes to one major customer. The four G4 brothers who run the business say the gamble is paying off.

By Patricia Olsen

Risk taking has paid off handsomely for McCarty Family Farms in Colby, Kan. In the last few years the McCarty family has become known for its partnership with Dannon, the global yogurt brand—quite an accomplishment in the dairy farm industry.

While many business owners might say risk goes with the territory, for this family business it has been a game-changer. The company’s profits are in line with historical industry averages, but the partnership eliminates the financial peaks and valleys, and the resulting financial consistency allows for better long-term planning and reinvestment.

Four fourth-generation brothers run the 103-year-old company, which consists of four dairy farms: three in northwest Kansas (Rexford, Bird City and Scott City), and one in southwest Nebraska (Beaver City). The company headquarters is in Colby, Kan., and the Rexford site includes a milk-processing operation.

Ken McCarty, 35, handles public relations and manages “a large chunk” of the partnership. David McCarty, 38, supervises financial operations and general main-office functions. Mike and Clay McCarty, 45 and 43 respectively, split responsibility for operations...Read more

Feature Video

EY's  Bobby Stover and Family Business magazine's Peter Begalla discuss how investing strategies have changed over the last five years, including how family offices are making deals on their own.