Well-managed public businesses can certainly be successful over the years, but multigenerational, family-owned enterprises bring special strengths and talents to the table. What makes a family business so attractive?
Structure, Succession & the Beauty of Institutional Knowledge
In any properly managed enterprise, protocols and procedures govern operations and culture. Accepted practices and standards define the brand. With large corporate entities, this is typically formalized and impersonal; as the leadership and employees change, they draw on these “blueprints” to chart future direction. It’s a strategy that works well, and is necessary, for global corporations. But it lacks a unique attribute only family-owned and cultivated businesses can offer: an entrepreneurial mindset and a second generation that can easily “pick up the baton.”
Owners have an especially strong personal relationship with the businesses they create and lead. Ownership makes them identify more closely with their enterprises and clients. And in cases where a business stays within the family, a future leader often undergoes customized grooming – an internship in which the “master” hones his or her successor’s skills with exceptional care and imparts insights that can only be gained through years of experience.
Family Succession at Our Firm
W.A. Robinson Asset Management Ltd. is an example of what family leadership can achieve. When Matthew Robinson formally assumed leadership in July 2014, he had been with the firm for 18 years in various capacities, growing into the role he now holds. In Outliers: The Story of Success, bestselling Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell wrote it takes 10,000 hours (about 10 years) to achieve mastery in any given task. If so, Matthew Robinson has more than laid the groundwork for successfully assuming leadership of the company.
That “on-the-ground” training is an invaluable differentiator that few individuals outside family-run businesses can claim. Sustained professional growth through ongoing exposure to every aspect of a business is genuinely rare.
What it Means for Our Clients & Investors
The company Wayne Robinson founded has been effectively passed on to a strong second generation who knows the inside business and the outside real estate investment world from the ground up. That continuity of care is critical to maintain our high standards for client service and investment management.
We believe our investors and clients gain real value from our multigenerational experience. We’ve been investing in Canadian communities since 1983 and plan on doing so for many years to come.