DOUG KENNEDY

Managing Partner – Family Offices & Succession Planning

"Makes decisions quickly and shepherds his clients forward with honesty, hard work and determination."

Doug works with clients in family offices and family-owned businesses with a special emphasis on succession planning. He advises on the transition of responsibilities from one generation to the next by astutely assessing their unique situation, determining the path to resolve problems, conflicts and obstacles to success and then shepherding the client down the path to a desired outcome.

Succession planning is about anticipating needs and protecting the client company from potential pitfalls that would threaten its survival. Doug thinks like a lawyer, figuring out vulnerabilities for the client, homing in on priorities, preparing a plan to respond and executing that plan through to resolution. He originally intended to go to law school since he loved researching and digging into complex problems, but he thought better of it when he saw how few lawyers were being hired after graduation. Instead, he got his MBA in Finance & Accounting at the University of Texas at Austin and focused on tax. His innate love of law and inquisitive nature grew and emerged in practical ways throughout his career.

While learning the intricacies of business and taxes, Doug also developed strong people skills. Along his way up the corporate ladder – working with large, influential companies such as Intel and GAP – he managed people and helped them with career development challenges. Doug is good at managing and enacting the “counseling out” process, staying upfront and honest while remaining kind and compassionate. This makes the process easier for both the company and the employee.

Doug works well under pressure, which is often the situation in which clients find themselves while dealing with succession planning issues due to the unexpected death of a business leader – especially a founder. Not getting caught up in peripheral issues, he sorts out and focuses on mission-critical issues and relegates those that are not so important to a lower priority.

Anyone who works with a family-owned business will tell you “It’s the technical skills that get you in the door, but it is the managerial and leadership skills – dealing with people, resolving conflict with family members and other stakeholders – that keeps you inside the project longer term.” Doug enjoys the challenge of meeting client expectations with family offices and family-owned businesses.