Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair

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The Family Enterprise Xchange Foundation is here to help deliver and fund FEX activities and to bring a voice to this important national movement.

Family enterprises are so critical to the Canadian economy and we want to tackle the issues that pertain to them in a way that specifically addresses the concerns that are unique to families. The organization is building a movement with a national voice that is recognized by politicians and researchers across the country, and which provides access to the best global resources for families and their advisors within a safe, solicitation-free environment.

For me personally, over the years I have seen first-hand the importance of looking at things holistically, of recognizing the unique needs of families, and of equipping families and their advisors with the tools and knowledge to help them achieve continuity and harmony through the generations.

What FEX does matters in so many ways. First, our economy relies on family enterprises. The sector generates over 60% of Canada’s GDP. Second, Family Enterprise-centric advice matters. Traditionally advisor training and thinking has been linear. We want to transform the approach to advice, including through the FEA (Family Enterprise Advisor) designation, which we see as the gold standard in this field. Third, and perhaps most important, we want to help answer the questions that families and their children are asking: where do I start, what questions should I ask, and who should I turn to for advice?

There are many entities across Canada doing good work in this field, but we still have only barely scratched the surface. There is so much opportunity to expand the number of families and advisors who can benefit from FEX support. We want to broaden the footprint across all types of family enterprises, from start-up to multi-generational enterprises, and provide support at whatever stage they may be at along their own learning continuum.

We have ambitious objectives to grow the number of families and number of advisors who are part of FEX in the coming years. That’s why we are making this important investment in time and resources - to create a commotion, to stand apart, and to take a quantum leap forward.

Our role is to be a strong advocate for political and economic change in this country based on where we are today and where we can go in the future. In order to better understand the current picture and potential, the Foundation is curating and funding scientific research for families and their advisors. And so we are thrilled to embark on our first two initiatives with the Conference Board of Canada: a two-year study on evaluating FE in Canada and its impact, and the creation of a Centre for Family Owned Enterprises in Canada.

What we do matters. FEX was created to help families fulfill their greatest dreams, hopes and aspirations for their family and their family business. We believe that FEX will change outcomes for many Canadians. We believe that it will help change lives.

James A. Burton, ICD.D

Chair, Family Enterprise Xchange Foundation

Chairman and CEO, PPI

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