I was fortunate to be a speaker last week at the same conference as Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. And, better yet, the topic of Ivanka’s speech had to do with how she was raised and why she works so hard despite her family’s wealth.
Now as most of you know, the passing of wealth between generations and the way in which we raise and prepare our children to receive wealth, however much or little, is a topic of concern to me and to my clients. It is a concern to me as a parent. It is of interest and concern to me as the past Chair of a community foundation that supports family philanthropy, and as a lawyer that advises clients on these issues, and it is of concern to me as a citizen of a great and wealthy country that must grapple with the issue of how our heirs and descendants will live in a complex world with a disparity of wealth and resources.
It is one which I write about frequently, and think about daily with clients and for myself.
So, I was delighted to be at this conference with my youngest son Alex and to find Ms. Trump to be a humble, hard working, and thoughtful woman who thinks about this topic. She is building her familiy legacy by extending the brand to new areas where she and her brother are responsible for the results and she days that her dad would fire her if she gave him cause.
She attributes, at least in part, her work ethic to the fact that her parents instilled in her a duty of self reliance. She said that she never ceased to be amazed by the younger generation of her wealthy peers who talked about flying in “their jets.” “Those jets belong to their parents not to those children,” observed Ivanka.
She is grounded, writes thank you notes, writes handwritten letters to people she respects and from whom she wants to learn. And, while she correctly observes that her name might get more recognition she encouraged others to simply try it. To be thankful, to write to others and to learn from those they respect. That’s good advice for any person, at any age, and at any level of wealth.
So, if the Trump family can achieve a third generation committed to work, to business, and to preserving the family legacy and at the same time being a great person, then I have high hopes for thoughtful clients on this issue.
If you have any questions about my visit and Ivanka Trump’s speech, just leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com