The big four firm announced it had acquired David Smorgon’s family advisory business, Pointmade.
In light of the deal, Mr Smorgon, a former senior executive and director of Smorgon Consolidated Family Industries – one of Australia’s largest and most successful family businesses – has been appointed executive chairman of PwC’s family, business and wealth practice.
Mr Smorgon has been working with PwC for the past year as a consultant after Pointmade and PwC formed an official alliance, but this acquisition will see him join the firm full time.
PwC’s private clients leader, David Wills, said the decision was made to acquire Pointmade based on increased client demand for family business services.
“Given the growing demand in the market for this kind of work, PwC has acquired Mr Smorgon’s family advisory business, Pointmade, to ensure David’s availability to our clients," Mr Wills said.
“David’s appointment as executive chairman of our Family, Business and Wealth practice further demonstrates PwC’s commitment to supporting the family business sector. We’re delighted to have David Smorgon on board with PwC.
“We’re investing heavily in building a unique skill, with a national team now working closely with David Smorgon to deliver a distinctive and innovative values-based approach to managing the ‘family’ side of family businesses," he said.
According to Mr Smorgon, family businesses come with their own specific set of opportunities and challenges and require specialised advice to help them prosper.
“Many families are very good at what they do in their business but they’re not spending enough time on their ‘family’ issues. A healthy family business needs a healthy family; owners need to assess the health of the family with the same depth and rigour as they assess the health of the business, looking at what’s working and what isn’t," he said.
“This involves establishing the right structures and processes, with a strong emphasis on good governance. Only when these are in place, supported by regular and effective communication, training and education, will the family give itself the best chance of continuity and harmony.
“As someone who has been through the ups and downs of a thriving family business, I’m determined to help other families facing similar challenges. I have enormous passion and interest in sharing my experience.”
David Smorgon has been working in and with family businesses for more than 40 years and is the founding chairman of Family Business Australia, a role he held between 1997 and 2002.