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Manitoba’s Newest Family Enterprise Advisor™

Meet Lisa Cefali, B. Comm. (Hons), FEA, Partner, Strategic Development & Executive Search at Legacy Bowes Group who recently obtained her designation as a Family Enterprise Advisor™ from the Ivey Business School – University of Western Ontario. She joins a group of only 3 others in the Province of Manitoba, with this designation! As a Family Enterprise Advisor™, she is now well equipped, with a team of multi-disciplinary professionals, to further assist clients in the various areas of the Family Enterprise that require a broader and more holistic approach to understanding the people dynamics of the organization – Owners, Family, Cousins, and non - family member employees all working together under one roof!

"When I began my role at the Legacy Bowes Group, I joined FEX (Family Enterprise Exchange) Manitoba with the intention of getting to know family-run businesses in Manitoba. I wandered into my very first event, and there was a certain vibe and familiarity about it that I simply loved. I immediately was introduced to the Manitoba Chapter President, Bob Spriggs and through working with him on a Search in his role as CEO of Vector Construction, I realized there was a certain uniqueness in the way he, his brother-in-law and father-in-law  conducted themselves and their very successful company, but could not quite place my finger on it," says Lisa, when asked how she became interested in the area of Family Enterprise.

Upon hearing about the designation in the fall of 2016, she knew that this would build upon and explain the familiarity she had felt at every FEX function she attended. Family stories presented were interwoven with the business success. The Business stories did not start where the Family stories ended. They were one in the same. They simply were the stories of success. She recognized that she had been invited to work with a large number of business organizations and the relationship building had been easy, forthright, and very strong. Since enrolled in the Family Enterprise Advisor™ program, and obtaining her designation, her awareness has heightened in better understanding and being even more effective with her clients.

The Family Enterprise Advisor™ designation compliments her current professional training and experience. Recognizing her many "Business Clients" as being a part of a larger Family Enterprise is exciting. In fact, being able to use her experience of running Junior Achievement Manitoba - where she worked with highly motivated teens thirsting for business knowledge, allows her the ease within which to offer insight and assistance in helping Family Enterprise bring in the "Next Generation" of Youth. "I have always believed in what Youth can do, have seen them succeed, and so introduce and build upon their own children's gifts and talents within a Family Enterprise comes naturally and is very exciting!" offers Lisa, when asked if she can provide insight into integrating that 3rd generation.

She looks at the Family Enterprise Advisor™ designation as a culmination of her experience and natural interest in helping others succeed. Knowing that the breadth and impact of Family Enterprises succeeding beyond the first generation has such a presence and contribution to the Canadian economy is an admirable motive to be involved with - there are over 880 thousand Family Enterprises in Canada who contribute over 60% to the GDP.

"Knowing that I can assist in providing clarity and possible options to a group of family members who really do want the best for each other, while upholding an existing legacy or creating a new one, is a mandate and a calling, that I know I enjoy participating in and will welcome the invite, by those families who would let me join them in their journey, " says Lisa with enthusiasm!

As a Family Enterprise Advisor™ Lisa provides insight into the 6 key areas of:

  • Business Family Dynamics – how differences in a Family Business impact Succession Planning and the success of the Enterprise
  • Family Enterprise Strategy – creating plans that fit everyone - Family, Owners, and Business Leaders
  • Business Boards & Family Councils – the roles and responsibilities and the place they each hold
  • Multi-Disciplinary Advising – considering the financial, social, intellectual and human capital that exists
  • Facilitation and Communication Approaches – using language that works for all to come to the table and participate – whether they are founders, the next generation, or welcomed employees
  • Continuity Planning - preparing for the events of succession, the time in between and into the future

As a Family Enterprise Advisor™, the approach of bringing subject matter experts, such as lawyers, accountants, wealth advisors, insurance providers, etc. who also think holistically about the Family Enterprise, to the discussion table, can only provide further clarity and assurance that everyone’s’ needs are being considered by the decisions that will be made. Statistics have shown that with the 2nd Generation coming into a business, the focus on sustainability of the family wealth is just as important as the focus on business growth. As well, if family dynamics are not taken into account, by the 3rd Generation, enterprises more often than not fail, and not because the technical aspects of the business and plans are not in place, but rather because the impact of family dynamics was underestimated.

With the added insight of a multidisciplinary approach to the Family dynamics of an enterprise, the succession plan and the strategic plan can be much more effective, much more gratifying and far less stressful as new people enter the organization alongside family members. New objectives can be considered, while still remaining true to the values and mandate of the Business, The Owners, and the Family.

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