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TMCNet:  Abbot Downing Launches Institute for Family Culture With Focus on Family Business Transitions and Social Impact Analysis

[March 12, 2018]

Abbot Downing Launches Institute for Family Culture With Focus on Family Business Transitions and Social Impact Analysis

Building on its pioneering work in Family Dynamics and Family History, Abbot Downing is launching a new Institute for Family Culture. The institute, designed as an academic center and think tank, will have increased focus on Family Business Transitions and Social Impact Analysis to meet the growing demand for succession planning for family businesses and measuring the social outcomes of giving and investing goals.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Arne Boudewyn, Abbot Downing (Photo: Business Wire)

Arne Boudewyn, Abbot Downing (Photo: Business Wire)

"Our clients are increasingly interested in high-impact philanthropy to make a greater difference in the causes they care about," said Arne Boudewyn, head of the Abbot Downing Institute for Family Culture. "Younger clients in particular have an interest in analyzing and understanding social impact to fulfill often highly meaningful and personal goals. Impact investing and analysis are among the most difficult challenges facing these families, especially given the global philanthropic trends toward helping achieve large-scale change."

Boudewyn cited a study of next-generation donors who are projected to inherit nearly $60 trillion over the next four decades and allocate almost half to charity, ushering in a "golden age of giving."1 Another survey shows that 33 percent of ultra-high-net-worth millennials say they would increase allocations to impact investments once they control the family investments.2 With that in mind, Abbot Downing will work with clients to address their goals for philanthropy, investments, entrepreneurship and social networks, he said.

He also noted that family businesses - which employ 60 percent of workers in the U.S. and create 78 percent of jobs3 - struggle with succession planning. According to PwC's 2017 U.S. Family business survey, 44 percent of those surveyed say that succession planning will be a challenge in the next five years.

To address these growing demands and other needs of ultra-high-net-worth families, Abbot Downing created the Institute for Family Culture to expand on its 13-year-histor in offering Family Dynamics and Family Business History services. The institute has a highly experienced consulting team of PhD-level and other advanced-degree professionals with backgrounds in education, psychology, history and business. These experts will provide strategic advice, ideas and plans grounded in contemporary research and the latest best practices in family dynamics in the context of wealth, achieving social impact, the discovery and preservation of family and business histories and planning for significant family business transitions.

With its expanded services and new name, the Abbot Downing Institute for Family Culture now has four centers focused on:

  • Family and Business History - To help families and businesses learn about their past as a bridge to planning for the present and future, by discovering their histories and cultural roots.
  • Family Business Transitions - To support family enterprise priorities such as leadership transitions, stakeholder relations, family employment policies and governance models. The center provides timely transition support before, during and after liquidity events, such as the sale of a family business.
  • Family Dynamics, Education and Governance - To help manage family dynamics, achieve cultural alignment, prepare and educate next-generation family members for future roles and responsibilities and implement effective processes for family decision-making.
  • Social Impact Analysis - To help clients analyze and understand the social impact, social changes and/or social value of investment strategies, organizations, activities, projects, programs and policies.

Boudewyn and his team collaborate closely with the Wells Fargo (News - Alert) Private Bank and Middle Market Banking group, whose nationwide teams support many companies through transitions, including a majority that are family-owned businesses. Middle Market Banking noted the recent rise in business transitions, with U.S. merger and acquisition activity up 27 percent in 2017.4

As part of its client-education strategy, Abbot Downing also has collaborated with or featured experts from institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, the Aspen Institute, the University of North Carolina, Northwestern University, 21/64 and Nexus Global Youth Summit. The firm works with these partners to help create social networking and experiential learning opportunities for families who wish to discuss common interests and exchange successful strategies pertaining to family and community.

About Abbot Downing

Abbot Downing is a leading provider of financial services to ultra-high-net-worth clients and family offices, as well as foundations and endowments. Teams of local professionals are dedicated to each client family to provide specialized knowledge in asset management; trust, fiduciary and administrative services; private banking and custom credit solutions; planning, family history, family dynamics and education services. As of December 2017, the firm has $43 billion in client assets. The original Abbot Downing built the iconic stagecoaches that have come to represent Wells Fargo.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $2.0 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,300 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune's 2017 rankings of America's largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Abbot Downing provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Some alternative investments and complementary strategies may be available to pre-qualified investors only. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., is a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Certain products and services offered subject to credit approval or credit qualification. Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. Member FDIC, NMLSR ID 399801

1) Next Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving, by Michael Moody and Sharna Goldseker
2) 2017 Oppenheimer Funds/Campden Research report, "Coming of Age: The Investment Behaviors of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Millennials."
3) Harvard Business Review, Leadership Lessons from Great Family Businesses
4) The number of announced U.S. transactions increased from 1,637 in 2016 to 2,079 in 2017 according to Thomson (News - Alert) One, reported January 6, 2018.

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