Available dates

Dec 5—7, 2019
3 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 7500
USD 2500 per day
Jun 17—19, 2020
3 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 7500
USD 2500 per day
Dec 2—4, 2020
3 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 7500
USD 2500 per day


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About the course

Family businesses are the oldest and most common form of business. Yet in today’s fast-changing, volatile, and global business environment, family businesses face unique challenges that are often complicated by factors specific to their structure and to families’ traditions, cultures, and interests.

Designed and delivered by the faculty who created Columbia Business School's official Family Business Program that enables students to understand all aspects of owning, managing, and working with family businesses, this three-day executive education program is delivered by faculty and adjunct professors with decades of experience advising family-owned firms.

Members of enterprising families who own shared assets, including operating businesses, family offices, investments, philanthropy, and more will learn how to view their business situation through time-tested frameworks that provide best practices and lessons learned from academia and practice.

By learning together, family members will be able to lead all that they do together more effectively, efficiently, and harmoniously. This program which takes place in New York City and on the Columbia University Campus is designed to draw families from around the globe who share common challenges across cultures.


In just three days, the Enterprising Families: Learning and Leading Together program will help you view your family’s business situation through time-tested frameworks that provide best practices and lessons learned from academia and practice. Business and investment managers will understand better how to work with and on behalf of others in the family. Family members who do not have formal roles will learn how to stay engaged and have their voices heard. Owners (directly or through trusts and holding structures) will gain perspective on how to understand their goals and expectations from family assets.

After the course you will be able to:

  • Better understand the unique opportunities and challenges of your enterprising family through analytical frameworks
  • Create an action plan tailored to your specific situation
  • Share your experience and learn from similarly situated families
  • Identify common goals with your family members, regardless of role, age, or gender
  • Understand how to be an active and engaged owner
  • Learn how to read and analyze financial statements and gain strategic insights into family investments and operating businesses
  • Learn how to implement structure and integrate best practices into your existing family enterprise

Program Structure

The program draws upon the deep resources of Columbia Business School’s Family Business Program to provide world-class instruction through interactive lectures, case studies, classroom exercises, and guest speakers. Some pre-reading is required but assignments will be completed during class time.

Day One focuses on understanding your current family situation from a new perspective. What do you own, and how does your family approach ownership across all assets? You’ll explore a case study that highlights ownership of a complex family enterprise from the family perspective.

Day Two will delve into business fundamentals for those who may or may not be involved in day-to-day operations and management. Managers and non-managers will learn best practices for family business in a way that goes beyond business and investments and into the heart of the family.

Day Three rounds out the topics with a focus on wealth management and organizational options such as family offices, two critical components of an enterprising family. Students will have an opportunity to reflect and create an action plan tailored to their specific needs.

Who should attend

This course is designed for members of a family that own, operate and/or govern a complex family enterprise. The family enterprise may include one or more shared assets including an operating business, investments, joint philanthropy, or a family office. Multiple family members are encouraged to attend together.

Trust the experts

Daniel Wolfenzon

Biography Daniel Wolfenzon is the Stefan H. Robock Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School. He received a Masters and a PhD in economics from Harvard University and holds a BS in economics and a BS in mechanical engineering from MIT. Professor Wolfenzon previously taught a...


Patricia Angus

Patricia Angus, JD, MIA, TEP, is Founder and CEO of Angus Advisory Group LLC, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and Director, Family Business Program. A recognized thought leader in multi-generational family governance and wealth, she has advised families with businesses, trusts, and ...


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