Family Business Conference: Money and finance

Zoe Till and Alice Rees

Ahead of the Midlands Family Business Conference tomorrow (November 23), we caught up with our headline sponsor and two of the speakers joining on the day, to discuss the key areas that will be addressed.

Alice Rees is a partner and solicitor heading up the corporate services at leading East Midlands law firm, Nelsons while Zoe Till is a partner and chartered financial planner, and heads up the specialist investment management team at the firm.

Alice has acted for many family businesses in all phases of their journey, and knows the importance of building a strategy for growth. Zoe has also advised many business owners to support with key wealth management and tax matters.

Alice said: “Having a clear idea of what your family business is trying to achieve, and the specific goals you want to meet is essential before you start seeking advice on the ways to meet your desired goals.

Access to finance

Alice said: “Like any other company, a family business can use funding to accelerate growth, expand into new markets, open new premises, and develop new products. The important thing is to find a funding option that is aligned with the goals of the family and to balance the aims of any potential outside stakeholders with the interests of family members.

“Bank loans or specialist lenders are typically the first port of call when looking for reliable funding that provides no loss of control for those family members that are running the business. However, there is also an added responsibility of managing the debt owed to the bank and the obligations set, as well as monitoring the debt level within the business.

Wealth management and tax

Zoe said: “Every family business wants to build and protect its wealth, but many business owners don’t always consider the ‘what ifs’ or planning their own finances. Many also don’t have an exit plan.

Business protection can help to protect your business should a director, partner, or key employee suffer a critical illness or die. Shareholder protection provides a succession plan and allows business owners to buy shares back from a co-shareholder who has died, whilst ensuring the family receive the true worth of their shares to ease an otherwise difficult period.

There are several methods you can utilize to extract profit from a business while keeping an eye on tax efficiency. These may include pension contributions or purchasing the business premises via a pension scheme.

Once you reach the stage to exit the business, building a clear picture of your life and how much you need to fund your lifestyle is vital to the selling process. Financial planning can help you decide how this will be achieved and how much is enough. Having a defined financial plan can mean you don’t miss out on selling opportunities that could pay for your future needs. Every family business owner requires a unique approach to wealth management, which is why it is good to consider speaking with an experienced advisor.

The last goodbye

Alice said: “If there comes a time when you want to part ways from the family business and sell to a third party, it is also advisable that you see professional advice. At Nelsons, we can help you to establish the best route to achieve your goals and analyse how ready the business is for sale.”

Join us

The Midlands Family Business Conference will take place on Thursday 23 November at Holywell Park in Loughborough and will highlight the unique place that family businesses hold in the Midlands economy.

The event will be fully interactive, giving every delegate the chance to shape the conversation through a panel discussion and a series of round tables – as well as featuring a high-profile keynote speaker.

For more information visit Midlands Family Business Conference.