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Helping Family Businesses
Prosper Across Generations®


pendergast_200x300 Jennifer M. Pendergast

 Former Senior Consultant

 Contact Jennifer:

 P. 773.604.5005

A former senior consultant of the Family Business Consulting Group, Inc., Jennifer Pendergast specializes in strategic planning, family and business governance, family office structure, and facilitation. Jennifer is an experienced management consultant with an extensive background in the many strategic challenges faced by family firms serving a broad range of clients, ranging from startup to Fortune 500 companies, in both for-profit and non-profit arenas.

With a Ph.D. in strategy, Pendergast has taught at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, Georgia Tech and The Wharton Business School.

Pendergast’s presentations, consultations and publications concentrate on strategic planning and business growth, developing and managing family councils and ownership groups, structuring and improving the effectiveness of boards of directors, planning for ownership and leadership succession and creating and managing family offices. Her research on corporate governance and top management leadership issues has been published in a number of academic journals, including European Management Journal and Strategic Management Journal. She completed research on the impact of board structure and composition on corporate performance for her doctoral dissertation.

Pendergast specializes in advising large multi-business family enterprises on strategy and governance.  Examples of work in this area include restructuring the board of a 4th family agriculture business that had moved into real estate development, creating a shareholder council at the holding company level to educate and gather input from 3rd  generation shareholders of a multi-billion dollar manufacturing business, facilitating family council meetings that served as a decision-making forum for shareholders of one of the largest family holding companies in the US, and conducting a benchmarking study, funded by a Mexico-based family enterprise, to evaluate the governance best practices of successful global family holding companies.

She enters the field of family business having worked as a professor, as a consultant for McKinsey & Company and as an investment banker for a Wall Street firm. She has also worked in the family office of one of the largest family entities in the U.S.

Jennifer received her Ph.D. in Management from Wharton Business School and holds a B.S. in Finance from University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.

Jennifer is the Chairman of the Board of the youthSpark, an Atlanta based non-profit. She is married, the mother of twins and resides in Atlanta


"I have use Jennifer on several occasions and in the five plus years that I was director of the University of Alabama Family Business Forum, I felt she was the best speaker our program used. She spoke to our group on matters of developing a board, conducting an audit of your family business and governance. Each time she spoke she did a wonderful job. She has a casual delivery style, is very personable but is highly knowledgeable. I highly recommend her for your program."

Paavo Hanninen
Former Director
University of Alabama
Family Business Forum

"We have been pleased to work with Jennifer Pendergast on several projects…Jennifer is quick to grasp the situation, articulate in communicating to all the stakeholders, and provides prompt and thorough follow through. We have no hesitation in recommending her to other families."

Galen Oelkers
Zeist Foundation

8770 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste 1340W, Chicago, IL 60631
P: 773.604.5005 E: 

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