Speaker paints clear picture of family-owned business challenges.

From left, Jack Moore, corporate director, Benjamin Moore & Company; Alan Carsrud, director, Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center, and Jon I. Kislak, principal, Antares Capital Corporation and chairman of the Pino Center’s Board of Advisors.

Jack Moore, a fourth-generation family member of Benjamin Moore Paints—a company founded in 1883 that turned a profit in its first year—was the keynote speaker at the first Family Business Forum hosted by the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center. Moore’s address, titled “Corporate Governance in a Family-Owned Business” highlighted the Forum, which took place at Chispa Restaurant in Coral Gables.

More than fifty people, including University students involved in family businesses, accountants, attorneys, investors, and family business owners, were greeted with salsa music and Cuban pastries during a networking period and enjoyed breakfast during the discussion.

Moore spoke about compensation for family members, succession planning, and bringing in outside directors. The company remained under the Moore family through four generations, which took it from a small outfit to the fourth-largest paint manufacturer in the country. Berkshire Hathaway bought the company in 2000. Moore still serves as a corporate director of Benjamin Moore & Co.

“The same dynamics natural to family interactions often can cause problems for otherwise successful companies,” said Alan L. Carsrud, director of the Pino Center and also a speaker at the forum, which Jerry Haar, professor of management and international business and associate director of the Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management, moderated.

“A company that not only has survive that long, but that also has thrived as Benjamin Moore has, definitely is a great case study on what to do right in a family-owned business,” Haar said.

James T. Varnadoe, senior counsel at Holland and Knight, a law firm with offices throughout the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, offered advice from the legal perspective.

Sponsors for the Forum were the Institute for Family Business, one of the Pino Center’s four institutes; Rachlin, Cohen & Holtz, and Holland & Knight. Partners were the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and the College’s Business Alumni Chapter. For details about upcoming Family Business Forums and other Pino Center events, visit the Center’s web site.

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