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Family: The Compact Among Generations


Why do some families thrive for generations? What accounts for the sad deterioration that others experience? This book takes families and the professionals who serve them beyond the now widely accepted practices offered in Family Wealth and offers a view of Hughes's panoramic insights into what makes families flourish and fail. It lays out the basis for the vision of family governance the author has been developing through his work and research. His advice addresses not only what to do but how to think about the complex issues of family governance, growth, and stability and the ongoing challenge of nurturing the happiness of each family member.

James E. "Jay" Hughes Jr., Esq., a sixth-generation counselor-at-law, was the founder of Hughes and Whitaker, a law partnership in New York, where he focused on the representation of private clients throughout the world. Now retired from active practice, he frequently facilitates multigenerational family meetings, with an emphasis on governance issues. He serves on the boards of various private trust companies and is an adviser to numerous investment institutions. Before starting his own practice, Mr. Hughes was a partner of the law firms of Coudert Brothers LLP and Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (now Jones Day), both in New York.

Mr. Hughes's articles on family governance and wealth preservation appear in professional journals, and his series of reflections on related issues are featured on his Web site. He is the author of Family Wealth: Keeping It in the Family, published by Bloomberg Press, and a member of the editorial boards of various professional journals. A widely recognized speaker, Mr. Hughes is frequently called on to address international and domestic symposia on helping families to avoid the fate of the shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves proverb and to instead flourish through the growth of their human, intellectual, and financial capital.

Mr. Hughes is an emeritus member of the Board of the Philanthropic Initiative, a counselor to the Family Office Exchange, an emeritus faculty member of the Institute for Private Investors, a retired member of the Board of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, and former adviser to New Ventures in Philanthropy. He is also a member of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a member of the Roundtable of the Hastings Institute, a member of the board of the Spiritual Paths Foundation, and a member of the board of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Educated at the Far Brook School, Mr. Hughes is a graduate of the Pingry School, Princeton University, and the Columbia School of Law.
Readers may contact the author and learn more about his ideas at



Part One: Families of Affinity: Their Nature and Practices.

1 A Family of Affinity.

2 Defying a Proverb.

3 Obstacles to Affinity: The Seven Paradoxes.

4 The Physics of Affinity.

Part Two: Defining the Journey.

5 Essentials for Success.

6 Happiness: Finding the Spiritual Path.

7 Self-Actualization: Lessons from Psychology.

8 The Evolution of Family.

9 From Family to Tribe: The Emergence of Governance.

Part Three: Principles of Family Governance.

10 A System for Joint Decision Making.

11 Participation and Commitment.

12 Function and Structure.

13 Change and Accommodation.

Part Four: Family Leadership.

14 Family as an Organization.

15 Ensuring Dynamic Ownership.

16 The Second Generation: Leadership's Critical Stage.

17 Women and Ownership.

Part Five: Tools and Pathfinders.

18 The Essentials for Learning.

19 Educational Assessment Tools.

20 The Personne de Confiance: Service Redefined.

21 Roles and Characteristics of a Personne de Confiance.

22 A Father's Wisdom Epilogue.