Testimonials

Family Business Matters has worked with more than 450 family businesses around the world and helping them chart their way through the unique challenges that face family businesses of all shapes and sizes. With more than 40 years of experience, Family Business Matters consultants understand what it takes to build, grow and sustain a thriving family business, generation after generation.

But don’t just take our word for it: Read the following testimonials of family business owners who have benefited from conferences, continuing education programs, family business retreats, speaking engagements and private family business consulting services we have provided. You'll also read endorsement for Family Business Matters by respected colleagues and professionals in the family business consulting industry worldwide.

Clients

“I met David Bork at a YPO meeting in Seattle in 1992. His wonderful intellect and style (coupled with some prodding from my YPO Forum) led us into a working relationship which is ongoing today. We began dealing with all of the issues of a closely held, fourth generation real estate development company and associated family. Not far into the process, my father became ill and died. David gave us the tools to manage the anxiety, uncertainty, and chaos that followed. Many in my family refer to the outcome as a true miracle. Today we are healthy and strong with great opportunity. We could not have achieved this success without my good friend and advisor, David Bork.”
A. M. Clise, Clise Properties, Inc.

Respected Professionals & Colleagues

“David Bork was one of the original pioneers in the field of family business consulting. I was introduced to David more than 15 years ago through our involvement with the Family Firm Institute. Over the years, David has shared his insights and expertise on numerous occasions that have proven to be invaluable. In addition to assisting some of our clients, he has also been a friend and advocate of Pitcairn Financial Group. His bold style of speaking the truth about the critical challenges facing family businesses and families of wealth is refreshing. David’s tremendous reputation, depth of experience, and his ability to affect profound change in family systems is truly impressive. I consider David a partner, collaborator, and a friend and value his ongoing contributions to our firm as well as all family businesses.”
Dirk Jungé, Pitcairn Financial Group
“I first heard Mr. Bork speak at the 1987 YPO University in Istanbul. His concepts, ideas and way of being were so interesting to me that I went to hear him speak in the next venue that was available. After hearing him a second time I invited him to come to Istanbul and meet my father, Dr. Nejat Eczacibasi, founder of Eczasibasi Group.

Bork’s keen intellect, his straight forward manner and his ability to clearly articulate his ideas made him an instant “hit” with our family. We engaged him to help us create the necessary agreements and procedures that would form the basis for how our family would interface with the business. My father’s ideas lead Bork to suggest that we adopt the “100 Year Plan.” We did as he recommended and the fundamental principles in that plan have been the criteria we have used on countless decisions. Taking the long view, as he recommended, has served us well.

Our situation was especially dramatic because Dr. Eczacibasi signed the agreements then went to Philadelphia for cataract surgery. Before he could have the surgery, he had a massive stroke and died a few days later. Had we not finalized the agreements developed by Mr. Bork, our family would have had a very chaotic period. Eczacibasi was his first client in Turkey. We told so many people about our success with him that he has subsequently come to Turkey more than 100 times to work with the leading companies of the country.”

Bülent Eczacibasi, Eczacibasi Holding
“As I travel the globe for my family business clients and for my own family’s Industrial Group, I find it difficult to identify one single family business consultant as multi-cultural and as multi-talented as David Bork. With unmatched years of international experience in family business consultancy, Bork is equally comfortable and efficient working with a Turkish family, a Belgian family or a North-American entrepreneur. Bork is an avid student of national cultures around the world. Therefore his direct and candid advice to his family clients is always peppered with subtle cultural nuances to ensure that the right message is received by the right people. David Bork is one of a kind and a true Global Family Business Consultant!
François M. de Visscher, N.V. Bekaert S.A.
“My wife and I heard David Bork speak at a YPO event in the late 1980s. We immediately realized that he was just the person to assist our family in dealing with multiple complex issues. He worked with us to lay the foundation for all the family business issues that have unfolded during the past 18 years. The principles that he taught us, which we subsequently adopted as our own, provided the structures and procedures needed to deal with many significant family and business matters since then. There is no question in my mind that David Bork played an important role in getting our family and our business to where we are today.”
Dr. Richard Kelley, Outrigger Enterprises Inc.
“David Bork is genuine, curious, playful, charismatic, insightful, provoking and caring. It’s a powerful combination in the service of families in business. He is also a great friend, supportive colleague, opinion leader, and “convocateur”. David has a refreshingly youthful presence for a guy with that much wisdom. A paradox, he is not, though he fortunately embodies all of these apparent contradictions. And they are all available to client families who choose him as a guide in that wonderfully complex world of family business continuity.”
Ernesto Poza, Case Western Reserve
“David Bork orchestrated my father becoming Chairman Emeritus and my appointment as Chairman of Koc Holding, A.T.M. His insight into our complex family dynamics and sensitivity to the needs and priorities of all family members made for a smooth transition. Because of his professional manner, coupled with his creative methodology, this was accomplished with both style and grace, something that would not have happened without him.”
Mustafa Koc, Koc Holding
“From the very beginnings of the creation of the field of family business, David Bork has been an innovator and forward thinker. He integrated different disciplines to serve the many diverse clients that he worked with. David’s thinking continues to find and shape new approaches to the needs of his clients. I have great respect for David’s ability to remain open to new ideas.”
Kathy Wiseman, Working Systems
“We began our successful journey covering three generations with David over 20 years ago. David is very bright, compassionate and capable…a trusted advisor & friend. David helped my brother Bill and I redefine our roles in the mid 1980’s after our parents passed the equity and torch to us. Together we established an outside advisory board, which David chaired in the first year. During this period we outlined written rules for future employment (five years outside employment after graduating college, and a “real” job after entrance)… if they so desired for our seven sons, plus guidelines for wealth accumulation for both generations and a financially healthy business.

Two of our sons are co-presidents and soon will be co-CEO’s supported by the entire family. Today, David continues to help us as we face the challenges of eleven younger children in the fourth generation. We remain a healthy, happy harmonious family, with nine Mitchells active in the business…our family is indeed indebted to the advice and council both personally and professionally from the great David Bork.”

Jack Mitchell, Mitchells
“Without question, David Bork has been one of the most beneficial resources I have found in my 44 years of law practice. In representing and assisting families in a variety of family businesses over 4 decades, I have seen first-hand the extra dimension of challenges which family relationships cause in owning and operating a family business, and especially in family business succession.”

"You have a unique ability to sort out the personal sticking points in the business context. From your half-century of experience, you seem to have "seen it all". You bring wisdom, gravitas and a gentle, but firm hand. This is critical in guiding families through a process which results in a true reality check and establishing clear lines between personal family relationships and the family business. I have personally seen you orchestrate and facilitate the energizing, preservation and perpetuation of the Golden Goose."

Tibaut Bowman, Business Attorney
"It was a great pleasure working with you this past week. You are a brilliant man with a super-natural ability to weed thought the facts (and non-facts), cutting right to the core of the issues being presented. Your broad-based knowledge allows you to piece things together quickly. It is a privilege to watch you work. Quite fascinating, actually. You are tough, firm and fair. Everyone might not get exactly what they want, but it will definitely make business sense and be as fair as fair can be. I am really looking forward to continuing to work with you. If a potential client asks for references, please feel free to use me as a reference."
Ricardo Longoria, Exelco Companies