It’s ironic that the talents that make business owners successful — vision, communication and execution — are often difficult to apply to realizing the family’s strategic plan and business succession. For that reason, PNC encourages clients to let advisors shine a light down the road.

At PNC, business succession planning is a process that ultimately provides a customized and comprehensive financial blueprint for the business owner. It is a long-term strategic financial plan that is broad and deep in its discovery and insight, covering both business and personal planning dynamics and objectives. The process typically includes a combination of investment banking, corporate/commercial banking, wealth management and shareholder/family dynamics.

The process is designed to help determine the pros and cons of available transition options, as well as the financial implications for the business and its shareholders. The process is also designed to provide knowledge and give owners the control they need to determine what ownership transition option is best for them and their shareholders/families.

The Key Steps of PNC’s Business Succession Planning Process Include:

  • Discovery through conversations with business and shareholders, family and advisors
  • Business succession assessment:
    • Confirm dynamics and objectives
    • Identify insights (gaps between current and optimal plan)
    • Understand ownership transition options (Keep-Sell-ESOP) and financial implications
  • Develop an implementation strategy and action agenda
  • Develop an ongoing monitoring and communication plan

Elements of a Successful Communication Plan

Similar to a business strategic plan, a successful communication plan is a process that begins with a deep discovery, followed by assessment, implementation and monitoring. PNC’s financial professionals encourage broad family input for clearer communication. This begins by developing an environment that encourages each family member to have their voice heard.

  • Begin with a family SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
  • Develop a shared strategic vision and family wealth philosophy.
  • Create a written mission statement and value proposition.
  • Develop a set of “rules of the road” for employment policy, including entry, professional development, promotion, compensation, code of conduct and voluntary and involuntary exit.
  • Determine an ownership policy that includes who, why, when and how ownership is acquired and liquidated, along with a dividend policy (reinvest and distribute), how voting and key decisions are made, and how conflict resolution is handled.
  • Encourage the family council to become an active source for education, development and communications. You might also require having a leader from the council sit on the company’s board of advisors to bridge communications between the business and shareholders.
  • Lastly, put these thoughts in writing and review periodically and consistently.

Similarly to a business, a key value-driver for the family is the depth and breadth of knowledge garnered and shared by the family council.

Once you feel comfortable that your PNC advisory team has provided a customized financial blueprint for you, your business and shareholders/family, we will coordinate with your legal, accounting advisors and other financial specialists to implement the plan.

Additionally, PNC can assist you in coaching and communicating the plan to other business and family stakeholders and shareholders.

Please contact your PNC representative to further explore business succession planning.