Happy families make for happy bankers Featured

10:06am EDT July 22, 2002

Anyone who has ever had even the slightest contact with family-run businesses knows the potential pitfalls.

Decades-old family quarrels over which sibling washed the dishes more frequently can erupt in the middle of the quarterly strategic-planning session, for instance. As business advisors and vendors become increasingly savvy about these dynamics, some maintain that family tensions can actually have even more serious consequences, including loan denial.

“The banks and loan officers are beginning to look more closely at the integrity of the family, how they work together,” says Sherrod Morehead, a veteran psychologist on the East Side who recently went into business with veteran business advisor Peter Calfee. “So families are eager to look better, because people are becoming more astute about looking at these things.”

As for his own niche, consulting with privately held businesses, Morehead says the interest in his profession is at an all-time high, as managed care continues to drive down incomes.

He recalls a presentation he recently made in Los Angeles where he discussed the emerging field before other psychologists. “Afterward, they were lining up. I could have become a consultant to psychologists.”