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PRIMA: Filipinos seldom discuss money matters

PRIMA: Filipinos seldom discuss money matters

A recent family business survey conducted by Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A), in cooperation with Thames International, shows that Filipinos seldom discuss money matters openly during family occasions.

For every ten entrepreneurs, only three are open to having their businesses or money matters discussed regularly over lunch or dinner. Interestingly enough, the said result is more prevalent in small and medium-scale enterprises. Perhaps this arises from the dominant belief among founder owners that family and business are entirely different affairs that should be dealt with independently of each other.

Large-scale family enterprises, on the other hand, are already more at ease in discussing business over meals.

“This is mainly because the larger the business, the more history it has. To a great extent, it is likely that in these kinds of enterprises, more family members are already involved in the business. In a way, it can be said that the business has been ‘enculturized’. I believe that this is a positive indication that the business has become part of the family’s culture and identity,” says Antonio Herbosa, Principal for Corporate Finance at P&A.

In addition, Herbosa believes that “discussing business over lunch or dinner, even in small talk, plays a major role in imparting trade secrets and business values early on to the younger family members.”

P&A is the only accounting firm in the Philippines that has a dedicated family business consulting services unit, which offers strategic planning, valuation, IPO and capital markets advisory, and succession and estate planning. The unit also assists family businesses in drafting family creeds, evaluating compensation for family and non-family members, and designing adaptable ownership structures.

(Also published in BusinessWorld, March 10, 2006)