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Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Jul 14, 2020


Welcome to Let’s Talk Family Enterprise, a podcast that explores the ideas, concepts and models that best serve Family Enterprise Advisors (FEAs) in supporting their clients.



In this episode, Ruth Steverlynck sits down with Joan DiFuria, MFT and Stephen Goldbart, Ph.D, co-founders of the Money Meaning and Choices Institute. They discuss the psychological impact that life-altering wealth can have on individuals and families, and what families who are “getting it right” are doing that FEAs can meaningfully learn from to support and help the families they serve.


Guest bio

Joan DiFuria

Co-founder of MFCC, Joan DiFuria has had considerable experience in both business and psychology, giving her a unique ability to provide balanced guidance to senior leaders in organizations. She addresses the very sensitive issues of wealth, philanthropy, meaningful careers, and developing family legacies with sensitivity and insight. Ms. DiFuria completed the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development including a degree in education and psychology. She has 18 years of experience as Director of Long-term Strategic Operations and National Marketing Director for one of the largest multinational corporations in the industrial metals distribution and commodities industry.


Stephen Goldbart

Co-Founder of MMCI, Stephen Goldbart has over 30 years of professional experience, is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, author, public speaker, and organizational consultant. Dr. Goldbart also has a passion for working with complex family/organizational systems, helping to clarify purpose, make or remake structure, and find solution pathways.  He has consulted with individuals, families, and organizations to help develop the fulfilling and sustainable balance of personal, professional, and philanthropic goals.


Find out more about Stephen Goldbart and Joan DiFuria here.


Key Takeaways

[0:16] Ruth introduces Joan and Stephen, then opens up the conversation by offering to define wealth.

[4:09] Stephen talks about the research that exists around the psychological impacts of life-changing wealth.

[6:11] Joan takes a moment to break down the insight from the research for the audience, from breaking down taboos to clear decision-making processes. She touches on how they coined the term “Sudden Wealth Syndrome” and the response that it garnered.

[9:50] Joan explains why family advisors should think holistically, because coming into great wealth comes with its own set of particular challenges.

[13:41] Stephen talks about what 21st-century comprehensive planning is and what it looks like.

[15:40] Ruth summarizes the overarching aspects an advisor should cover: the financial wealth, the human wealth of the family and the social impact that the family wants to have.

[16:27] Joan touches on the importance of honing the ability to listen as an advisor.

[17:10] Stephen speaks about the framework he and Joan have been building to guide families in this kind of planning, from talking to the wealth holders to drafting a set of operational values and finally engaging the entire family in the process.

[19:20] Joan mentions that once the values have been isolated, action plans are developed and channelled into governance.

[20:40] Stephen and Joan list off a few of the questions they’ve heard from members of the next generation.

[24:11] Joan and Stephen talk about giving the next generation the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas.

[28:20] Stephen talks about learning to know when to bring in other experts if the situation requires it. Joan and Stephen offer their tips on managing this kind of situation.

[31:22] Joan and Stephen share their one piece of advice and book recommendations.

[35:00] Ruth thanks Joan and Stephen for sharing so much of their expertise and resources.


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Mentioned in this episode

Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast is brought to you by Family Enterprise Xchange.


Money, Meaning & Choice Institute
The Purposeful Planning Institute Rendezvous


Book recommendation: Family: The Compact Among Generations, by James E. Hughes, Jr.


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