Heirs Unapparent – How Real Estate Firms Plan – or Don’t – for Futures without the Founder

June 1, 2019 – Media Mention
The Real Deal

Morris DeFeo and Barbara Lawrence were quoted in The Real Deal discussing the need for real estate firms to start putting succession plans into place in the event something should happen to their veteran founders and/or leaders. DeFeo said “[v]ery often, what you’ll have is an individual that is closely identified with the business — almost the business’s alter ego — and that can be enormously beneficial to the company, [b]ut it can also create some potential challenges to the company, particularly if there is no clear plan of succession.”

The article further discussed the effect a founder's passing may have on businesses, such as the departure of top talent, competitors reaping the benefits of those departures and, if selling the business or assets, a discount on the sale price. Lawrence said “[p]eople are going to sense the desperation there. And it’s going to affect the price.” Additionally, she noted that one of the most difficult things for executives to navigate is reconciling what’s best for the business and what’s best for the family. “It’s almost like their business is another child to them in the sense of having hopes and aspirations for their business. And a lot of times, that is very different from what is economically or relationship-wise best for their family members.”