Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

The FEA Program challenges advisors to consider their own values and beliefs around family businesses and offers skills and tools to differentiate themselves in a competitive market.iStockPhoto / Getty Images

The Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) Program helps advisors become “fluent in family enterprise,” says Claire Lynch, national director, advisor programs for Family Enterprise Canada. “Managing a business is complex enough. Add family dynamics to the mix and it can become extremely complicated.”

The FEA Program, says Ms. Lynch, gives advisors a unique perspective when it come to advising business families. She likes to call it “a new language.” It offers practical training in the field of family business based on collaborative learning over a period of one year, with participants moving through the FEA Program with a cohort of professionals and advisors from a mix of disciplines.

Wendy Sage-Hayward, academic director, says the FEA designation helps advisors “serve family enterprise clients in a unique and effective way by taking a holistic, multidisciplinary approach.

“We help advisors understand that the work they do impacts the entire family enterprise system, and this helps them become more strategic in how they work with families facing transition,” says Ms. Sage-Hayward.

“Savvy business families are looking for advisors with a high level of EQ (emotional intelligence) and a more nuanced level of awareness of the unique challenges of family business,” says Ms. Sage-Hayward.

A distinctive component of the FEA Program, she says, is that “we teach advisors about themselves, challenging them to explore their own biases, their belief system around families, their relationships and their own communication styles.”

Not only does the FEA designation differentiate advisors in a competitive field, says Ms. Sage-Hayward, for some it has transformed their practices.

“Over and over again, I hear that it helps them feel more competent, excited and engaged about their work with their family enterprise clients,” she says.

“We know of no other program in the world that offers quite the breadth and depth of education and skills training specific to family enterprise advising than the FEA Program here in Canada,” adds Ms. Lynch.

“There’s no question that for advisors working with business families, the FEA Program is the gold standard.”

Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

Interact with The Globe