A legacy or a liability - Farm succession from a bank advisor, lawyer & family coach

One of the most precious gems in New Zealand’s food & fibre sector is the family farm, so how do we ensure that the intergenerational business model can survive a changing world?

L-R: Philip Pryor, Family Business Central, Phoebe Davies, Wynn Williams and Tom Laming, NZAB
The earlier you've got communication, transparency and honesty, I think the more likely you are to get a fair outcome. and that can start with kids as teenagers being quite open about the business,” explains Tom Laming, NZAB.

In this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Opinion Maker we break-down practical tips and advice on how to have the conservations that set up family business to be a positive legacy with the following on our panel:

  • Philip Pryor, founder of Family Business Central

  • Tom Laming, client director, NZAB

  • Phoebe Davies, partner, Wynn Williams

Key points of discussions:

  • It starts with first knowing where you want to end up and having harnessed emotion around fairness, honesty & transparency to have productive conversations.

  • It’s crucial to run farms as businesses with structures such as Shareholders Agreements & Relationship Property Agreements.

  • Philip works with families to have two types of governance - Family governance (with a family charter) & business governance (with a board of directors) so you can have separate conversations and a positive Christmas lunch!

  • Family member’s relationships with their spouses can be a delicate discussion to protect the farm asset, but it’s important to be upfront about a contracting out agreement.

  • Banks look at the risks around succession and want a strategy to manage this risk.

For information on the services of our guests visit,

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