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Meet Compass Point’s Founder and Managing Partner Tom Garrity and hear how we’ve worked with hundreds of family businesses, like yours, to build success, align ownership, and manage family dynamics. We start with discovery to understand your goals and challenges. Then we’ll put together a tailored plan and roadmap using our 6 Pillars framework and work together to implement it. See how we can help you…


Hi, I’m Tom Garrity, the founder of Compass Point family business consulting. And thanks for investing a little time today to learn about how we’ve worked with hundreds of family businesses, much like yours, in helping them build successful businesses, aligned ownership groups, and stronger families. I thought I’d walk you through what it’s like to work with us and what an engagement looks like.

So first, of course, we’d meet with you, we have some discovery and understand what your goals are, your objectives, some of the challenges you face. We’ll put together an engagement letter based on what we heard and then come back and review that with you, make any adjustments that you’re looking for, and then that would be our that be the engagement. It’s going to have the outcomes, timeline, and investment in what we’re going to do working with you. We’re going to assign two consultants then to the project and the first side of the business is discovery. We’re going to do a lot of one-to-one interviews with family members, employees, owners, executive team, CEO, maybe some other stakeholders in the business, attorney, CPA, etc. Financial benchmark, we’re going to do a business valuation. We’re really going to get a deep understanding of the business, how it operates, strengths and weaknesses, get a little taste of the culture, build some trust with people which we’re going to need as we’re navigating on this journey with you. And then we’ll debrief that with you and give you some recommendations as we see at that point, anyway, in the engagement going forward.

And then we’ll begin to implement the Six Pillars of Family Business. So it starts with strategy. What’s the vision for this business and the priorities that we have for this business?

Second pillar is leadership. And we say a company can’t outgrow its leadership team. So we’re going to get smarter, better bring in new talent, or the company’s going to stall out. So we want to invest in both the executive level and their development as leaders but we also want to help emerging leaders.

Third pillar is succession and transition. Succession is the key positions: What are we doing to develop people in the organization for not just the CEO seat but the other key positions in the organization and then begin to transfer that knowledge and the relationships that those positions have with the successors that are coming in? Transition, on the other hand, is all about the stock. You know, how are we going to fund a transition? Who’s going to be able to, who gets to own the stock? What’s going to be the legal status of the stock? And so we’re going to work with some of your other advisors, including your business attorney, CPA, wealth manager as we’re navigating some of those discussions and building out those plans.

Fourth pillar is governance. This is really how’s the business interact with the family and how’s the family interact with the business? Inherently in a family business, it lives within a system in which you have the family, the business, and ownership and those three domains intersect one another. And that’s where some of the challenges come from. There’s no right place to be but there’s definitely different perspectives based on where you are in that system. And so we help build some of the governance that’s going to help navigate again, how the family communicates with the business and the business with the family. And that could be everything from boards, family councils, family constitutions, whatever the needs of the family are and the business.

The fifth is financial gap. You know, what are you going to need to live the lifestyle that you want to live after you’re done in this business? And so again, working with other advisors to understand what that is, and does the business have the wherewithal to fund that. And if it doesn’t, we’re back in the strategy house driving growth in the business. But we want to make sure that you know and your spouse knows, hey we’re set to live the lifestyle that we want. And secondly is make sure all the shareholder documents are buttoned up, got a strong, a good strong buy/sell. Who gets to buy the stock? How are we valuing it? Warranties and reps? Those documents are going to be critical and can trip up transitions if they’re, if they’re, not accurate and up to date. So we’re going to help you get that done.

And then the sixth pillar is next chapter. A lot of you have been in the seat 30/40/50 years. It’s hard to leave so we want to help you change your mindset from what are you leaving to what are you going to, and really a life of success to significance, and help you really build an exciting next chapter.

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