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Business guru Deans to speak on family businesses

Business guru and author Tom Deans is on a mission to spread the message that passing a family business on to the next generation can be a wealth-destroying action.

That idea might not go down too well with people whose aim is to pass on the business to their children, but Mr Deans corroborates his opinion with his own family's experience over the past century.

Mr Deans, who will be offering coaching services to Bermuda business owners through an agreement with coupon website Bermydeals, outlined his ideas in the book he launched two years ago, “Every Family's Business: 12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth”.

Before becoming a speaker and author, he was the CEO of his family's multinational manufacturing businesses, before he and his father sold up for $100 million in 2007.

“My message is really finding a home with business owners who have always felt somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of gifting the business to the next generation,” Mr Deans said in an interview with

The Royal Gazette.

Once a business had been gifted, the receiving generation felt they could not sell a gift and therefore felt duty-bound to pass it onto the next generation, he added.

“This obsession with passing on the family business is incredibly corrosive to wealth,” Mr Deans said, adding that it ran counter to the idea that businesses have a shelf life.

In Mr Deans' family, it was the wealth generated by a business that was passed on, rather than the business itself. His great-grandfather ran a tyre company that was sold in the 1940s. His grandfather, a chemist, pursued his interests and the inherited wealth helped him to launch and grow a chemical manufacturing business. He sold up and Mr Deans' father started a plastics business and after it was sold Mr Deans has continued the cycle by starting his own publishing business. Self-published, he has sold some 100,000 books in two years and has been hired as a speaker by many major companies.

Bermydeals is offering a “Bermuda Business Bundle” for $99, entailing a copy of one of Mr Deans' book and a group mentoring call. Its premium bundle includes five books and a mentoring call.

Rachel Sawden, of Bermydeals, said: “It is a privilege to have someone of Tom's stature work with us to make his expertise accessible to any business owner with deals starting at just $99.”

Mr Deans said he was “thrilled” to be able to bring his message to Bermuda.

He is also pledging to donate a percentage of every dollar earned in the Bermuda market through book sales, speaking and coaching to a pre-selected group of Bermudian charities which will be announced at a later date.

Useful websites: www.bermydeals.bm; www.everyfamiliesbusiness.com

Business guru and author Tom Deans

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Published September 12, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated September 12, 2011 at 10:12 am)

Business guru Deans to speak on family businesses

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