Yuelin Yang discusses the questions a family member must ask themselves when bringing a spouse into a business family.
Another issue that families need to address worldwide is what happens when new members like in-laws come into the family, are they really treated as family for business purposes or are they just treated as outsiders? So it’s a new X-factor to the equation. I think it’s always a challenge, how do you treat the in-laws and in some cultures they’re less accepting, I think it varies from family to family how inclusive a business family is of the in-laws. And it presents a lot of risk as well, so on the family side the in-law might say well I don’t want you to be so involved with the family or your wealth is over-concentrated as an investor in the family or I don’t want you to spend so much time in the business, so it may change the family, spouse’s views on the family as well as the business. I think it starts with the family member who has the new spouse coming in, so that family member needs to take stock of what they’re own individual priorities and how they might change, what they will be going forward, and then having an honest discussion with the other family members, both generally, and those family members in the business as to how their priorities have changed.