Family Firm Seminar Packed the House

Family 2

This wasn’t your usual family business seminar. There were no motivational speakers. No podiums. No PowerPoint presentations.

Instead, the audience was introduced to a fictitious family-owned auto business, Boxton Motors, founded by parents who left ownership of the company to their son, and left an insurance-funded cash payment and some warrants in the company to their daughter.

The panelists played the role of advisors to the now-60-year-old son and CEO, and the daughter who is urging her brother to hire her husband. Each panel addressed an aspect of a challenge posed as the fictional family worked to build on the success of the founders while overcoming conflicts.

“Family Business: Wealth Accumulation and Preservation Across Generations” drew more than 150 CPAs, attorneys, wealth advisors, Neeley students and others from throughout North Texas to the Family Firm Institute held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Texas, the Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs, and the Neeley School of Business at TCU.

Dr. Carr, associate professor of entrepreneurship, participated on a panel discussing corporate culture and the transition from the first to the second generation. The panel covered the culture and values of the Boxton family, the culture of the auto dealership and how to use meaningful discussions and corporate giving to build organizational culture.

Carr has published research on entrepreneurship, family business and organizational behavior in numerous journals. His research interests include the role of family support in family business, and how families create and manage socio-economic wealth. He also researches workplace attitudes and cognition and their impact on family business and entrepreneurial contexts.

Family 3Dr. Pfeiffer, accounting professor and chair of the accounting department, participated on a panel discussing corporate competitiveness. They focused on how to improve business to sustain wealth across generations, including creating incentives to build loyalty among non-family employees, assuring that financial reporting dissuaded fraud and misappropriation of funds, and designing a thoughtful succession and estate plan to protect against costly taxation.

Pfeiffer’s research and expertise are financial accounting and the effects of financial reporting decisions on capital market participants’ decisions. His research has been published in numerous finance and accounting journals.

Other panelists included experts from Whitley Penn LLP; Bourland, Wall and Wenzel PC; Morgan Lewis & Bokius LLP; ReGeneration Partners and American National Bank of Texas.

Artist Benjamin Vincent created entertaining murals as he transcribed concepts from the speakers' presentations.