Governance advisory

Eric Salmon & Partners is renowned for our family business consultancy. We have always maintained a “family” ownership and governance model ourselves and have long focused on companies controlled by families.

We believe that family owned companies can build long-lasting and socially-recognised competitive advantage over time, if they find the right answers to their governance needs, within their unique situations. Protecting and transferring cultural values and parental assets to the next generation is a common fundamental priority for all family businesses, but solutions are particular to each firm.

We help you analyse your unique model as a family business, improve your current governance model, which in complex cases of multi-generational families may include various bodies such as a family office, a family council, the board of directors of the operating companies and others. Our experience in working with companies like yours includes a review of the functionality of a family council, a board review of operating companies, selection of family members for nomination to the board, recruitment of independent directors for either the family council or the controlled company’s board, coaching of less-experienced family board members, and more. We understand the intrinsic criteria required to be good family custodians and the delicate balance between increasing professionalism while respecting emotional sensitivities. You will find this same balance in our personalised approach, where senior expert consultants operate with tact and pragmatism.

Case study

Advising a family Council in the long-term


An important group of families, composed of more than 200 shareholders, belonging to five different branches from six generations, owns more than one multi-billion industrial company. Their governance is complex, and the need to align the general family shareholders group with the family council and boards of directors of the operating companies, was crucial.


Proper alignment among these governing bodies is important because it affects the success of the families in terms of sustainability, transition to the next generations and togetherness (“affectio societatis”).


Our advisory role, exercised over a period of three to four years, consisted of reviewing the family council, as well as the boards of the operating companies (in terms of organisation, functionality, behaviours and capabilities), then driving the selection committee for the nomination of family members to be appointed to the boards and finally recruiting external directors. In performing this mission, our contribution helped the family upgrade its “family charter” and improve their internal processes.

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