Succeeding through Succession

Evaluating the “succession recession,” or lack thereof

The pandemic interrupted all aspects of our lives, with a profound impact on the businesses we rely on each day. For business owners across industries – from tourism to retail to financial services – many considerations and tough decisions have been made since March 2020. While some owners shifted to a remote model, others moved operations, and in some unfortunate instances, applied for PPP loans, laid off employees and closed shop. Succession plans, some of the most thought-out and considered preparations owners can make, were perhaps the most affected.

To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on wealthy business owners in order to provide proper financial advice, CCPW conducted a nationwide survey of 150 high- and ultra-high-net-worth business owners across industries and business sizes. They asked questions about how leadership and business decisions have evolved since the start of the pandemic, what investment implications there have been and how advisors can help during these trying times.


“Succession planning is a hugely crucial consideration for business owners looking to provide seamless continuity – especially in a volatile period. With the counsel of a trusted advisor, bringing family members and potential successors to the table for these conversations ensures accountability, interest and ultimately, a smooth transition when the time comes.”

– Joannie Bozek, Director of Trust Services and Chief Fiduciary Officer


“It’s no surprise to see that like many Americans, business owners have chosen to relocate as a result of the pandemic, but no decision should be made hastily. There are very specific considerations, from SALT implications to payroll updates and changing domicile that must be ironed out before any move.”

– Donna Cuiffo, Director of Family Office Services


“We’re encouraged to see business owners having productive conversations with their wealth and tax advisors in the current environment, as tax policies are evolving quickly and the M&A market remains hot. Sophisticated advisors can help clients both satisfy current needs and see around corners to leverage tax laws to their advantage.”

– Jose Reynoso, Director of Advanced Tax & Estate Planning / Trust Services

Business owners made tough choices in response to the pandemic's impacts:

Business Owners Touch Choices

Since March 2020, two thirds of wealthy business owners (65%) have moved their businesses. Their rationale:

Business Owners Touch Choices

When making a business decision, business owners consult the following:

Business Owners Touch Choices

Additional Information:

Succession Survey Executive Summary

Press Release

Contact Information:

Steve Brownell

Steve.Brownell@CitizensBank.com