Family Meeting: Case Studies

Case Study: The Anderson Family Annual Meeting – Afternoon at the Cottage

In the heart of summer, nestled in the serene setting of their family cottage, the Anderson family gathers for an event that has become a cherished tradition. Unlike the typical family reunion, this gathering holds a unique purpose: forging a path for the family’s financial future. Orchestrated by their trusted advisors, the Andersons – spanning three generations from grandparents to teenage grandchildren – convene to embark on a journey of financial education, strategic planning, and family bonding.

The objectives of these annual meetings are multifaceted, aiming not only to review the family’s investment portfolios and discuss estate plans but also to explore new investment opportunities. Perhaps most crucially, these meetings serve as a platform for educating all family members on financial matters, ensuring that financial wisdom is passed down through generations. The approach adopted by Markdale Financial Management is meticulously crafted, ranging from pre-meeting preparations to ensure a tailored agenda to the incorporation of an educational and engaging financial knowledge game.


The Anderson family, consisting of the grandparents, their adult children, and teenage grandchildren, have established a tradition of meeting each summer for an afternoon dedicated to discussing their family’s financial future. These meetings are facilitated by their trusted advisor from Markdale Financial Management.


The primary aim of these annual meetings is to review the family’s investment portfolios, discuss estate plans, explore new investment opportunities, and most importantly, to engage all family members in financial decision-making and education.


  • Pre-Meeting Preparation: Ahead of the meeting, Markdale Financial Management works with the Andersons to create a customized agenda, ensuring all relevant topics are covered.
  • Educational Component: Recognizing the varying levels of financial expertise within the family, the meeting includes a fun, educational component – a financial knowledge game designed to encourage learning and participation across generations.
  • Facilitated Discussion: The financial advisor plays a key role in facilitating the meeting, ensuring a balanced conversation that allows each family member to voice their opinions and concerns.


  1. Portfolio Review: The meeting begins with a comprehensive review of the family’s investment portfolios. This includes discussing performance, potential risks, and future strategies.
  2. Estate Planning: The discussion extends to estate planning, where the grandparents share their plans, ensuring transparency and understanding among the family members.
  3. Exploring New Investments: The family explores new investment opportunities together, discussing the potential benefits and risks, fostering a sense of collective decision-making.
  4. Interactive Financial Game: The highlight of the meeting is the multi-generational financial knowledge game. The family is divided into teams mixing generations, encouraging collaboration and learning.


  • Enhanced Financial Literacy: The teenagers gain invaluable insights into investment and financial planning, preparing them for future financial responsibilities.
  • Strengthened Family Bonds: The interactive game and open discussions foster stronger relationships and understanding among family members.
  • Informed Decision Making: The comprehensive review of portfolios and new investments leads to more informed and unified family decisions regarding their wealth management.
  • Succession Planning: Through these meetings, the family has developed a clear and shared understanding of the estate plans, reducing the potential for future conflicts.

Case Study: The Singh Family Foundation – Integrating Philanthropy and Financial Stewardship Across Generations

At the core of the Singh family lies a deeply rooted commitment to philanthropy, particularly in the realm of mental health. The Singh Family Foundation, a testament to this commitment, brings together two pivotal generations – the visionary grandparents and their proactive adult children – in a collaborative effort to make a meaningful impact. Facilitated by the expertise of Markdale Financial Management, the foundation conducts a blend of virtual and in-person meetings, creating a dynamic platform for discussion, decision-making, and family engagement in philanthropic pursuits.

This case study delves into the unique structure and approach of the Singh family’s interactions, focusing on how they leverage both modern technology and traditional gatherings to foster a robust and impactful family foundation. The quarterly Zoom meetings and the annual in-person assembly at the foundation’s office are not mere formalities; they are strategic, well-orchestrated events that serve a dual purpose. Firstly, they provide a comprehensive overview of the foundation’s financial health and philanthropic activities. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, they function as a medium for education, family bonding, and nurturing a shared vision for charitable impact.


The Singh Family, spanning two generations – grandparents and adult children, have established a family foundation dedicated to mental health. They conduct quarterly meetings via Zoom and an annual in-person meeting at the foundation’s office, with an agenda focused on financial and philanthropic review and strategy.


The primary goal of these meetings is to review the foundation’s activities, assess the financial health and performance of its investments, and plan for future charitable projects. These gatherings are instrumental in maintaining transparency, enhancing education, and ensuring the foundation’s objectives align with the family’s philanthropic values.


  • Quarterly Zoom Meetings: The focus is on reviewing quarterly results and discussing ongoing projects. These virtual meetings enable consistent engagement and timely decision-making.
  • Annual In-Person Meeting: This meeting serves as a cornerstone event to delve deeper into strategic planning and foster family bonding.
  • Facilitation by Family Office: Their family office advisor expertly facilitates these meetings, ensuring a structured, inclusive, and effective dialogue.

Meeting Structure:

  1. Quarterly Zoom Meetings:
    • Foundation Update: The executive director presents the quarterly results, outlining achievements and challenges.
    • Investment Review: The investment committee chair, along with a guest presentation from one of the investment managers, provides an update on the foundation’s investment portfolio.
    • Impact Reporting: The program coordinator discusses the impact of the foundation’s charitable giving, highlighting success stories and areas for improvement.
  2. Annual In-Person Meeting:
    • Comprehensive Review: A more detailed review of the year’s activities and financial performance.
    • Strategic Planning: A session dedicated to planning future philanthropic initiatives and investment strategies.
    • Youth Engagement: Younger family members present special projects, integrating fresh perspectives into the foundation’s activities.
    • Catered Dinner: A local chef provides a catered dinner post-meeting, reinforcing family bonds and celebrating the foundation’s achievements.


  • Enhanced Engagement and Education: The regular Zoom meetings keep all family members informed and involved, while the in-person meeting offers a more in-depth engagement opportunity.
  • Effective Decision Making: The diversity in presentation and active involvement of different family members in various roles lead to well-rounded and informed decisions.
  • Foundation’s Growth and Impact: Regular reviews and strategic discussions have significantly contributed to the foundation’s growth and the effectiveness of its philanthropic impact.
  • Family Unity and Legacy: The annual in-person meeting, coupled with a celebratory dinner, strengthens family ties and reinforces the family’s philanthropic legacy.

Conclusion: Key Learnings

Through the lens of the Anderson and Singh family case studies, we gain invaluable insights into the transformative power of well-structured family meetings in wealth management and philanthropy. These case studies not only highlight the functional aspects of such meetings but also delve into the profound impact they have on family dynamics, financial literacy, and the nurturing of a shared vision for the future.

Key Learnings from the Anderson Family Annual Meeting:

  1. Multi-Generational Engagement: The Andersons’ summer meetings at the cottage, facilitated by Markdale Financial Management, underscore the importance of including all family members in financial discussions. This approach fosters financial literacy across generations and strengthens family bonds.
  2. Interactive and Educational Focus: The introduction of fun, educational components like financial games ensures active participation and makes complex financial concepts more accessible and engaging for younger family members.
  3. Holistic Review and Planning: Regular portfolio reviews and discussions on estate planning ensure that family members are not only informed but are also active participants in decision-making processes.

Key Learnings from the Singh Family Foundation Meetings:

  1. Flexibility in Meeting Formats: The combination of quarterly Zoom meetings and annual in-person meetings allows for consistent, flexible engagement. This approach caters to diverse schedules and maintains a continuous flow of communication.
  2. Diverse Family Involvement: Encouraging family members to take on different roles, from presenting special projects to participating in strategic discussions, empowers them and deepens their connection to the family’s philanthropic mission.
  3. Celebrating Achievements: Integrating social elements like catered dinners into meetings reinforces family ties and offers a moment to celebrate the foundation’s successes, enhancing the sense of collective achievement.

Both case studies demonstrate how family meetings, when expertly facilitated, can transcend mere financial discussions, becoming a vital tool for education, unity, and strategic planning. Markdale Financial Management will conduct your family meetings with ingenuity, consistency, and fun. Offering tailored facilitation services for your family’s meetings. Whether your focus is on wealth management, philanthropic endeavors, or a combination of both, our expertise in creating engaging, productive, and inclusive family meetings can help you achieve your goals.

We invite you to contact Markdale Financial Management to explore how we can assist in orchestrating family meetings that not only address financial and philanthropic objectives but also foster a spirit of unity and shared purpose within your family. Let us help you turn these gatherings into cornerstones for your family’s legacy and success.