You’re proud of what your family has built – from industry leadership to community impact — and you want to see your legacy continue for generations to come.
Your Enterprising Family is enjoying financial success. And you’re also grappling with dilemmas related to communication, conflict, and change. You don’t always see eye-to-eye and you worry that tensions will tear at the fabric of your family and negatively impact your ability to manage and steward your business interests.
As important as financial resources are, what you really want is for your family to be together, work together, and stay together. You want a connected and capable family.
We define an “Enterprising Family” as a family who recognizes that a legacy of transgenerational wealth requires a connected and capable family, as well as shared financial assets — and who acts accordingly.
An essential characteristic is that your family’s economic system and its emotional system are intertwined. Your family’s linked fate makes it essential to learn to communicate well, manage differences constructively, and navigate change proactively.
A “family business” is a single asset, which we define broadly to include an operating company, a family foundation, a family office, real estate, or other financial asset.
A “family enterprise” is the collection of your family’s financial assets. From a systems perspective, and as a matter of risk management, it is important to consider how decisions regarding one asset impact decisions regarding other assets.
Sankofa Legacy Advisors exists to help families implement the missing piece of the legacy wealth puzzle. It’s easy to find advice on how to run your business or manage your money. What’s not so easy is for families to find specialized support in cultivating “the family side” of family enterprise.
Our mission is to help you be as purposeful in developing your family’s human capital as you are in growing and protecting your financial capital. We partner with you to develop family members as connected and capable leaders who are engaged stewards of both their financial and non-financial assets.
Families are the bedrock of our societies. Family businesses are the cornerstones of our economies and pillars of our local communities.. Helping you and your family craft your legacy is an important part of our legacy.
Nearly everything you see, hear, and read about wealth is focused on financial assets. This singular focus fails to recognize that an investment in human capital is what gives rise to financial capital initially — and what is required to sustain and grow financial wealth. We help you bridge that gap.
Sankofa Legacy Advisors helps you and your family cultivate the full dimensions of your wealth. This includes your human, intellectual, social, spiritual, and time capital, as well as your financial capital. We refer to this collection of resources as your “Family Capital”.
Our clients tell us that we help them identify and address needs they didn’t recognize they had.Learn more about how we can help meet your needs
Communication is a big issue for me because my family doesn’t talk about a lot of issues that are important to me. With coaching and encouragement from Thomasina, I’ve initiated conversations with both my parents that never would have happened otherwise.
It will take some time and is a work in progress, with an emphasis on “progress”.
It has required me working on myself and I can honestly say that I am in a much better place as a result of what I’ve learned from Thomasina.
Thomasina's extensive knowledge of family dynamics provided our family with data-driven insights on issues that exist at the intersection of family and business.
Your most precious asset is who you are, not what you own.™ You have an innate worth and wisdom and deserve the space and support to discover the depths and live into the fullness of who you are. So does everyone else.
You have a responsibility to yourself and to those who are here today, as well as to those who came before you and those who will come after you. Our firm name, “Sankofa,” speaks to the concept of stewardship.
Families are a paradox of the dual quests for individuality and for togetherness. Family members are both as distinct as fingerprints, and as connected to each other as fingers on a hand.
There is generally more to the story than you may recognize. Awareness of context provides perspective, gives meaning, and offers insight into new possibilities.
Be clear about what you believe. Endeavor to live in accordance with what you say you believe and muster the courage to stand firm in your convictions.
Be patient with and kind to yourself and others, regardless of whether you think it is “deserved.” We all make mistakes, and most people are doing the best they know how.
Our founder, Thomasina H. Williams, works with families as a strategic thought partner, facilitator, and guide. She believes that a family’s most precious assets are who they are, individually and collectively, not what they own. Thomasina helps families tap into their innate wisdom so they can transcend life’s inevitable challenges, reach their potential, and sustain enduring legacies.
Working at the intersection of family enterprise, leadership development, and family systems, Thomasina helps families navigate the unique opportunities and challenges of combining family and finances.
Thomasina is a member of Forte, a cadre of vetted family advisors within the Family Wealth Alliance, a family office network that is part of financial giant Charles Schwab. She was also the first Family Dynamics Consultant hired by one of the largest private banks in the United States. She played a leadership role in building a new service offering to support the bank’s ultra-high net worth clients in managing generational transitions. Her work also included training the bank's wealth advisors in understanding family systems, so they can better support their clients.
A seasoned practitioner of Bowen Family Systems Theory since 2015, Thomasina has created family systems-based frameworks to support Enterprising Families and created an emerging online learning community experience for women called The FEW: Family Enterprise Women™.
Thomasina’s personal passion and professional quest to be of service to Enterprising Families is fueled by her own family history of loss of wealth and fracturing of relationships during the transition from her grandparents to her mother’s generation. She strives to help other families avoid what happened to her family.
Thomasina leads our multi-disciplinary consortium of industry-leading consultants in helping families, individuals, and advisors sustain transgenerational legacies of success.
Learning community of multi-disciplinary professionals dedicated to helping families develop deeper relationships, meaningful lives, and purposeful legacies.
Science-based leadership development programs that help individuals and teams build social and emotional intelligence to improve engagement and well-being at work.
Kathy Wiseman was one of the first consultants to Enterprising Families to incorporate family systems theory into her work. She continues to be recognized as a leading expert, educator, and speaker on family systems and family learning. As a long-time member of the faculty at The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and in her consulting practice and professional collaborations, Kathy supports motivated family members and family advisors to think systems and increase their capacity to manage themselves in times of change.
Gaia Marchisio is a family enterprise consultant who grew up in an Enterprising Family. A recognized expert, educator, and speaker on family enterprise, in addition to her private consulting practice, Gaia is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School. She also serves as Faculty Director of Columbia's Global Family Enterprise Program. Prior to joining Columbia’s faculty, Gaia was a tenured associate professor in the Coles College of Business, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship, at Kennesaw State University for over 15 years. During eight of those years, she also served as the Aronoff Professor of Family Business, and as the Executive Director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center.
“Sankofa” is a wisdom principle from the Akan people of western Africa. Its traditional depiction is a mythical bird with a long neck, its feet facing forward, its head turned backwards, and an egg in its mouth.
“Sankofa” means – here we are firmly planted in the realities of the present, as we honor and draw lessons from the past, to give birth to new possibilities for the future.
“Sankofa” epitomizes the principle of stewardship for families seeking to craft transgenerational legacies of success – to build on the foundation laid by those who came before you and leverage potential in the present to flourish for generations.
We help families develop leaders to sustain both their financial wealth and their individual and collective well-being across generations.