Succession in families and the value of history

Mark PetersenFamily Systems, Leadership, Succession

As we turn our attention this weekend to the coronation of King Charles III of Canada, I’ll be attending a garden party at the home of dear clients. I read an article this morning which roots this moment into our historical reality as a nation: King Charles is as Canadian as maple syrup. It’s a great article written by an eminent historian to challenge our society’s forgotten perspective. The chain of succession in the monarchy has continued for a millenium. Through dramatic cultural and geopolitical shifts, and momentary fads and inclinations, the relinquishing of the crown from parent to offspring has shown remarkable sustainability as duty and responsibility is passed and received from one generation to the next.

Families of wealth also grapple with these challenges. What does one do with accumulated resources when we face the realities of aging and the stark door of death? If generosity is one’s guide, then perhaps a family foundation becomes the guardian of these assets to continue the legacy of giving started by its founders.

While I’m not at death’s door (knock on wood), I’m cognizant enough of my age and stage in life. Like everyone at this point, we must plan ahead. For my firm Stronger Philanthropy, I must organize our work so our clients’ interests will continue to be served long into the future.

I’m pleased today to announce that my son, Nathan Petersen, and I have entered into a new arrangement that will continue our service for years ahead. This month he has been named as a partner together with me in Stronger Philanthropy. As co-owners, we will together continue to develop services and meet our clients’ needs in philanthropy.

Nathan’s priority will be client services, and to expand the number of generous families we serve. I will continue to be the point person for charities through our streamlined systems and due diligence that create such value for our clients. We look forward to walking together with each other and with clients we serve through our work.

See Nathan’s bio on our Connect page.