When Tom and I set out to name our new venture, we spent a considerable amount of time trying to include just the right mix of elements in our name. We ran through all sorts of combinations before settling in on TSI Heritage Delegates and Associates.

Since we have begun to get our name out there, I must admit that the name does not necessarily roll of the tongue as easily as some of the others we had considered, but we don’t really mind that either. Personally, I do like it quite a bit, even if it does require a bit of an explanation. Or maybe it’s because it requires an explanation.

We consider ourselves very specialized in terms of the market we serve, i.e. business families, especially those that are in transition mode. With such a specific target market, we really wanted to include the proper words to reflect both to WHOM we are offering our services, as well as HOW we can operate and act for those families.

Let’s start with Heritage. The definition we have included, both on our home page and on the reverse of our business cards is: Property passed down from preceding generations by reason of birth; a tradition. This pre-supposes that there is sufficient property, along with the corresponding complexity, to warrant special attention and advice.

We go on to add a few synonyms, again both on the home page and our cards: Legacy, Estate, Patrimony, and Inheritance. Not everyone needs to be concerned with such issues. The average person who may seek help to figure out how to set aside enough money to retire is already well served with plenty of hungry advisors available from a multitude of providers in that market. While we may be able to help guide some people in that area, we do not offer any special experience or expertise in serving that type of clientele.

That covers the WHO we are best able to service. But now we come to the word that is most likely to raise eyebrows when people see or hear our name, Delegates. So here again we provide both a definition and some synonyms to help lay out the way we our positioning ourselves to potential clients.

We use the straightforward definition  “Person of trust designated to act for or represent another”. As synonyms we have: Agent, confidant, deputy, stand-in, substitute. Most family business founders who have become successful enough to accumulate significant assets could probably point to a number of key factors that allowed them to succeed. I am willing to bet that most had some special skill or field of knowledge, and as their business grew they needed to be able to delegate.

One of our biggest challenges is to have these successful business people understand that they should spend the time and make the necessary efforts to make sure that they take care of their heritage, or legacy, in order to ensure that the things that they worked so hard for will continue to serve them and their families both now and long after they are gone.

Many do not know where to begin, or they may not be anxious to get into the detailed work necessary to do it properly. We believe that by finding trusted advisors to whom they can once again DELEGATE, as they did in building their businesses, they can undertake the planning and make the decisions necessary in this important area of their lives.

As for our Associates, these are the variety of specialists in their respective fields to whom we turn, together with the wealth owner, in order to execute the plans we worked out together.

So to answer the question in the title, a “Heritage Delegate” is someone who has experience and expertise in dealing with heritage issues, who is also a person of trust, to the point where they are trusted enough to act for another.

In dealing this way, the wealth owner is relieved of many of the arduous details, giving them peace of mind and allowing them to enjoy their life, knowing that their affairs are being handled in the way they planned, and with two confidants just a phone call away to discuss any questions or new challenges.

As for the TSI part of our name, if you go to our FAQ section of our website, the last question deals with the TSI part of our name. Some day I will write a blog about this as well.

Steve Legler “gets” business families.
He understands the issues that families face, as well as how each family member sees things from their own viewpoint.
He specializes in helping business families navigate the difficult areas where the family and the business overlap, by listening to each person’s concerns and ideas.  He then helps the family work together to bridge gaps by building common goals, based on their shared values and vision.
His background in family business, his experience running his own family office, along with his education and training in coaching, facilitation, and mediation, make him uniquely suited to the role of advising business families and families of wealth.
He is the author of Shift your Family Business (2014), he received his MBA from the Richard  Ivey School of Business (UWO, 1991), is a CFA Charterholder (CFA Institute, 2002), a Family Enterprise Advisor (IFEA 2014), and has received the ACFBA and CFWA accreditations (Family Firm Institute 2014-2015).
He prides himself on his ability to help families create the harmony they need to support the legacy they want. To learn how, start by signing up for his monthly newsletter and weekly blogs here.