Breaking new ground – how estates are finding new ways to manage assets
Estates, whether urban or rural, need to be on the front foot if they are to prosper in today's challenging economy and survive the ever-increasing welter of legislation. Should they sell up, borrow or diversify? Do they represent acres of opportunity or could they become dangerous millstones? And what are the ground rules that will help a family estate make a positive net contribution? For many years, the landed estate has perhaps been viewed as the oldest and earliest family business. Traditionally, large tracts of land with associated buildings, the main hall or house, farm buildings and let cottages were in one family's ownership, run by the estate's factor or agent, and passed from eldest son to eldest son from generation to generation.
Estates are becoming much more commercially savvy about their management of assets and tax optimisation, with many even turning to outside business people to take the position of CEO on a family board, says Fiona Graham
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