Expert talks about thriving in crisis at BDOPB forum

Expert’s advice
YES, you can say NO to family boardroom drama

BLOOD is thicker than water, they say. But what happens when this old cliché does not work in a family-run enterprise?
Ricardo H. Mercado, director for the Ateneo Family Business Development Center of the Ateneo de Manila University, said a hostile scenario can be forestalled via the establishment of an effective family business constitution that will serve as the guiding principles of family behaviour in relations to business, meetings, discussions and decision-making.
Admittedly, he said, the fundamental dilemma of a family run business is prompted when disagreements on the management, growth path, succession and financial matters emerge. What will make matters worse is the lack of a strong family council, which is the “formal” venue for discussing the business plans.
“Upholding harmonious relationships, effective communications, dealings and practicing utmost professionalism are the way to do business. The family council, if well conducted, contributes to a functioning family resulting in a high level of goodwill that exists among family members. High goodwill deters major conflicts since minor conflicts are addressed, managed and resolved as these arise,” Mercado said in a BDO Private Bank (BDOPB)-led forum separately held for select clients in Manila, Cebu and Davao.
BDOPB, the wholly-owned subsidiary of BDO Unibank for the high-net worth market, thought of holding the forum to assist clients running family businesses devise a strategic plan or improve their existing approach to remain competitive. 
“Families may not realize the importance of planning, but it is really important to plan for the future. BDOPB is not just in the business of selling and providing clients with services. We want to bring them to a higher plane and maximize their assets. Ultimately, nothing compares to having a happy family running an enterprise or otherwise,” noted Stella L. Cabalatungan, BDOPB EVP and head of relationship management.