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Help with taking non-executive director roles
THE role of non-executive directors in family-run firms is to come under the spotlight in a bid to equip businesses in York for the next generation.
In recent years the city has seen a growth in the number of businesses being passed on to family members rather than being sold as retirement plans.
As part of the strategic development for succession planning, research has shown more family-run firms are turning to non-executive directors to bring additional skills to the business.
After noting the trend York accountants Garbutt & Elliott have organised a series of seminars aimed at preparing non-executive directors for roles in the family business sector.
Craig Manson, the partner in charge of family businesses at Garbutt & Elliott, said: “We are seeing increasing demand from family businesses for good non-executive directors, who can bring strong and effective corporate governance to the family business and help with strategic and succession planning.
“While there are many top-quality non-executive directors to choose from there are, at present, comparatively few who have worked in family businesses.
“It is our view that, for some time to come, the supply of directors with family business experience will not match the increasing demand.”
David Dickson, senior partner at the firm, who also specialises in family business, said he has seen an increasing realisation among family businesses that successfully moving into the second or third generation can provide a number of advantages.
Such advantages include a structured long-term reward for the business rather than short-term gain, and the advantage of holding an asset on which inheritance tax is not payable, compared to assets where the family is hit by 40 per cent tax.
Mr Dickson said: “We have seen an opportunity, with our strong experience in working with family businesses and sitting on the family council and family business committees of family businesses themselves, to help in developing guidelines for non-executives who are about to take on their first family business appointment.”
Mr Manson said: “We will be running a series of seminars during the autumn and winter for people who are interested in becoming involved, or who may already sit on the board of a family company.
“The two-hour course will be of a very practical nature, giving an overview of the key issues that a non-executive director will need to understand as they embark upon their new role.”
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