Jeff Gould, Helm’s Bakery

On Thursday, June 14th Lineage Asset Advisors and Inheriting Wisdom held the 2nd Legacy Property Series event which highlighted the iconic Helms Bakery property in Culver City. The event was graciously hosted by Wally Marks and Josh Gilman, stakeholders of the Helms Bakery property, and convened over 35 attendees. Attendees were treated to a tour of the historical property which has successfully been transformed over four generations of family ownership. Wally Marks and Josh Gilman then treated attendees to a candid discussion about the challenges that they have had to overcome in order to successfully navigate four generations of family ownership. Proceeds from the event went to the Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change which is part of the Liberty Hill FoundationBelow are a few of the key takeaways and lessons learned from the discussion with Wally and Josh:

  • Key Takeaways:
    • Innovation and Design – The family stakeholders should mindfully adapt to changes in technology and innovation with their properties and have a process for vetting the deployment of new technologies into their buildings.
    • Estate Planning – Each family stakeholder in the property should start their estate planning work early to avoid potentially costly estate tax issues for themselves and their heirs. The larger the portfolio the more complex the tax strategy may become so it is imperative to get ahead of this discussion.
    • Governance – With large portfolios of commercial real estate, families should contemplate having a board of directors that will govern decisions across their portfolio. Each board member should have a family successor. There should also be outside consultants that are voted in to help balance out the decisions of the board.
    • Communication – Family stakeholders who are involved with the day-to-day property issues should have frequent meetings and discussions about the portfolio with family stakeholders who are not involved in the day-to-day. An annual family gathering or family assembly proves to be a fruitful time to bring the family back together and keep everyone engaged.
    • Education – The family should commit to providing an educational platform for those family stakeholders who are not involved in the day-to-day property issues and who don’t have a background in real estate or finance. This is a great way to continue building trust and unification across the different generations and backgrounds of family ownership.

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