How Can I Foster Inclusion Among My Team?

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I am in a difficult positon as founder of a very successful advisory firm. I have two children, one of whom has always stated he wanted to be in my business, went to school for finance, got his CFP® and has worked with me for the last three years gaining more and more knowledge. The other had a career as a lawyer, moved away, had a couple of children (my grandchildren) and has recently come into the business full-time. She contributes a lot and has been successful gaining new clients. She is more successful than my son in new business development.

She wants to be leveled out from a salary perspective to her brother because they are both my children. I want her to earn less salary (she is making as much as she was in her legal career) and then get paid on new business she brings in with HNW clients. She will end up making more doing this. But she believes I am favoring her brother with this approach.

They get along well, have a very good sibling relationship and I don’t want to change this by acceding to her demands or by making her upset. My offer to her was very fair, but she sees it as choosing one child over the other.

Am I unreasonable? Is there a better way to approach this?


Dear T.N.,

Being a “fair and just” parent never seems to work out, no matter how hard we try! Today I was with my son and he needed a code for something. I told him it was my three kids’ birthdays, but they were in a different order. He responded by saying, “So you finally admit I am the favorite one.” Gosh, it was just a way to reorganize something to do with their birthdays, and that was his immediate reaction. It seems no matter what parents do, the lens for the kids is always, “Who is the favorite one?”