KPMG supports family business succession planning

April 30, 2024
Leadership General Business Team Calgary
1 KPMG 1000 x 750

KPMG in Canada’s Jeremy Fitch, from left, senior vice-president, Corporate Finance, Chris Gandhu, Family Office leader (Calgary), and Rick Barnay, tax partner, Private Enterprise at the KPMG offices in Calgary.

Photo credit: Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Successful family businesses have complex needs.

A 2023 KPMG survey revealed that nearly eight in 10 Canadian family business leaders are speeding up their succession plans due to a range of factors both inside and outside the family. That’s where KPMG Family Office can help.

“KPMG Family Office caters to the unique needs of family businesses, providing personalized advice on everything from tax planning, wealth strategy, family dynamics to estate planning and more,” explains Chris Gandhu, the Family Office leader at KPMG’s Calgary practice.

“Whether it’s helping clients set up their in-house family office, acting as their external family office or offering tailored services, our goal is to be the independent and unbiased advisors for high-net-worth families.”

Think of a family office as a ‘quarterback,’ overseeing and harmonizing multiple aspects of a family’s needs, says Jeremy Fitch, senior vice-president of Corporate Finance at KPMG. “The overriding objective is to meet families’ goals,” adds Gandhu.

One of the most important roles played by KPMG’s integrated team is succession and business transition planning.

“For family business owner-operators, transitioning out of the business may seem overwhelming,” Fitch adds. “That’s where our multidisciplinary team guides families, reviewing options to build a road map of the future.”

Rick Barnay, tax partner with KPMG Private Enterprise™, agrees.

“Many owners have been wildly successful, but an event can force them to think about the next step. They need advice and a plan that is flexible enough to accommodate complex tax matters and regulations that are tailored to their personal situation.”

As a global firm, KPMG has deep bench strength to provide integrated, independent and insightful advice.

“We will manage all facets of a transition, which can take more than two years,” explains Barnay. 

KPMG can help owners determine whether to transition leadership to family members, an existing management team or to sell to a third party, Barnay adds.

Dynamics surrounding a transition are tricky and are best thoroughly unpacked to mitigate family conflict.

“To have a solution really work, both the head and the heart — meaning the financial side and family members — must be aligned,” Gandhu says.

“We help owners be proactive in future planning rather than following a timeline imposed by considerations such as retirement, a health issue or a third-party offer.”

An independent service provider such as KPMG does just that; it helps families make the right choices for themselves — not for anyone else, he concludes.

“At KPMG, we’re on the same side of the table as the families we serve,” says Gandhu.

 This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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