Following on from Tor’s ‘Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves’ post a few weeks ago I wanted to expand on the theme of mastering the challenge of family wealth. It is a truism that family wealth gets dwindled away across three generations but it is interesting to dig further and to look at the families that have managed to avoid this.
Most major languages have their own version of the idiom “Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in three generations”. From the very literal Chinese “wealth never survives three generations” to the more musical Italian “dalle stalle alle stelle alle stalle” (from the stalls to the stars to the stalls), this is a phenomenon that has existed for centuries. However, I believe that in our industry it is poorly understood, continuously under-studied and rarely discussed with clients.