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Helping Family Businesses
Prosper Across Generations®

Forming an Effective Family Business Board: Advisory vs. Fiduciary

Family leaders considering formalized governance often ask: Do we need an advisory board or a fiduciary board? What’s the difference, really? Sometimes, questions around this decision slow progress toward engaging critically important external perspective and talents. Both advisory and fiduciary boards have the potential to bring great value to the business and to ownership, albeit with slight differences.

During this one-hour program, Dr. Otis Baskin and Mike Fassler will discuss some of the distinctions between advisory and fiduciary directors, including:

  • How families often think about advisory vs. fiduciary boards,
  • How advisory and fiduciary boards are the same, and how they differ,
  • The ways that advisory and fiduciary boards function to enhance decision making and business performance in a family enterprise,
  • Ways to manage expectations around the role of the new board, and
  • How to find the right talent to serve as advisory or fiduciary directors.


About the Presenters

A consultant of The Family Business Consulting Group, Otis Baskin brings extensive international experience to his focus on management and governance/decision-making issues in family businesses. His primary expertise is in helping business-owning families develop plans for leadership succession, development of next generation leaders, and family/ownership structures and decision processes.  He serves on several boards and is the Executive Editor of The Family Business Advisor.

Principal consultant Mike Fassler provides family business planning services with a focus on helping his clients grow their relationships, capabilities and capital. Mike helps families develop and implement plans and decisions for succession, governance and strategy.  Most of his work is focused on family businesses owned by sibling teams and cousin teams with an emphasis on helping clients balance the tension of family and business as their families and businesses grow.

Additional Resources

Webinar Recording: View video here

Suggested Articles and Worksheet

You can also access hundreds of in-depth articles written by our team that address the unique challenges faced by family enterprises from communication and conflict to succession and continuity. Visit our Article Library.

Recommended Books

What’s the Next Step for Your Board?

Speech_bubbles_on_square_background_128We can help. Appropriate and effective governance is the hallmark of a truly  sustainable family enterprise. For over 20 years, The Family Business Consulting Group has helped clients develop engaged and focused boards that contribute to strong strategic planning and productive family working relationships. Our consultants can guide your family through the process of evaluating your needs, planning changes to the governance structure, and ensuring that the board you build provides the value you seek.

To learn more about our board services, download our brochure, contact us at or call 773-604-5005.

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

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