Companies Get More than Financial Advice

Bankers Trust Co.'s private bank has teamed up with the Owner-Managed Business Institute to advise family businesses on organizational and strategic issues.

The alliance will allow the Bankers Trust New York Corp. unit - which has long offered financial advisory services to family business - to counsel owners on other matters as well. These include choosing an heir to the family business and managing the careers of family members.

"We have been dealing with family businesses on the financial side since our inception in 1903," said Lisa Marcus, a division manager in Bankers Trust's private bank. "But one of the things that we have not been able to do is adress the softer issues."

These include, for example the dynamics of bringing the next generation into a family-run business. That area, Ms. Marcus said, is a specialty of the Owner-Managed Business Institute, an education organization based in Santa Barbara.

Ms. Marcus, who is directing the Owner-Managed Business Institute program at Bankers Trust, recently joined the bank from U.S. Trust. She said the program would differentiate Bankers Trust from other institutions serving the family business market.

"Every insititution would love to have an owner-managed company say to them, |sell the business and then manage the money for us,'" she said. "Now, we can say |we can help you sell the business if that is what you want to do.' But, we can also help perpetuate the family business and get into the successsion issue."

|A Dynamite Idea'

Some market observers agree.

"I think it's a dynamite idea," said David Palmer, a private banking consultant in New York. "If they combine it with marketing personal private banking services at the same time, they can do a dynamite job.

The Owner-Managed Business Institute helps small businesses with marketing, financial planning, organizational psychology, estate planning, and other issues. Its advisory services unit serves as an consultancy to family enterprises.

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