Cotswold Style May 2015

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000 Business Profile Keystone Family Advisers May 15:Layout 1



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Business on mutual trust is very important to us.” Times can change quickly and what once worked well for families may no longer be practical or indeed possible. Keystone has experience of working with businesses large and small and can help families become more ‘business-like’, with financial control, office organisation, staffing, technology and more. Mentoring & coaching is another area in which Keystone can help. Mentoring is specific help from someone who has been there before, while coaching is about helping clients find their inner resources to realise their goals. One family that Keystone has helped were in the early stages of handing the reins to younger generations. It was time to review the family’s priorities and plan an appropriate approach. There were (unsurprisingly) different views on the way forward. As a result, it was necessary to review the way decisions were made. The task for Jonathan was to achieve consensus between the different family groups to clarify family wishes for the trustees. Therefore, they conducted bilateral discussions and secured an agreement to tender for a Strategic Review, for which they agreed terms of reference and arranged a beauty parade for outside consultants, plus secured family backing for the results. The outcome written in the Strategic Review report proposed several longterm objectives to unite the family and secured family backing for a new framework for taking day-to-day decisions. The Strategic Report proposed a seven-point plan to restore the finances of the combined estate, the family agreed to adopt a unified ‘oneestate’ approach and committed to implementing a process for financial governance. The ways in which Keystone has helped and can further help families is rapidly increasing and includes; establishing a process for succession planning, strategies to improve the financial performance of large landed estates significantly and helping families to think in a more business like way through reviewing financial information and accountability. Other areas include reviewing longterm family priorities, establishing the right type of family governance to help in

making informed decisions, a high level co-ordination of the day to day operations of a large family concern plus coordinating and leading discussions with banks for re-financing and coordinating an inventory of chattels for insurance and inheritance tax. Plus acting as an honest broker in a number of difficult family issues, overseeing investment strategy for international clients, coordinating investment activities and advising on risk aspects of a family’s investments, are all other features of the help Keystone provides. Since starting Keystone the response in the market place has been very positive from prospective clients and advisers alike. “We have introduced some new strategic thinking between our clients and their advisers,” enthused Jonathan. “We have taken the lead and secured a successful re-financing of family entity; we have advised a family on introducing a more inclusive system of family governance; we have mediated a discussion in the wider family on the transfer of wealth to the next generation in a secure and timely manner; and we are in the process of carrying out a review on the strategic options to secure diversification and increasing income over the next five years. Our clients come to us through word of mouth. They like to feel involved with their own affairs and appreciate the time and candid advice we can give. With the benefit of years of experience in many spheres, full independence from other advisers and a fresh start,

Keystone receive satisfaction from fixing problems, as Jonathan confirms: “ I particularly enjoy helping families transition through difficult periods of change. Families can get so embroiled in their daily lives and sometimes it can be difficult for them to see a positive outcome. So whether that’s maintaining the status quo, finding a different financial structure, help in evolving their strategic vision, or embracing issues that seem difficult to come to terms with, I love all elements of the challenge and the satisfaction of getting people to the outcome of their choice is incredibly rewarding.” Looking to the future Jonathan would love to think of Keystone as developing an important position of trust in preserving what people stand for, as well as providing the motivation to find the right platform for preserving wealth between one generation and the next. “When we step into a situation we can often act as a catalyst for things to sort themselves out more easily. We are good listeners and take the trouble to help everyone feel comfortable about what is happening, which is the best way to agree solutions that will last for generations.” For more information visit


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