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BMO Financial Group Releases Book on Succession Planning:

'The Transition Experience: What Every Canadian Family Business Owner Should Know Beyond Succession Planning'

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 16, 2012) -

  • New book from BMO's James Wong offers an insider's look into the challenges of succession planning
  • 85 per cent of Canadian small business owners do not have a succession plan in place
  • Order a free copy of the book by visiting
  • James Wong is available to provide insights and strategies on how to put in place a business succession plan

BMO Financial Group's James Wong, Vice President of Succession Planning, has co-authored a new book, The Transition Experience: What every Canadian family business owner should know beyond succession planning. The book offers readers an insider's look at the challenges of passing on ownership and control of a family business.

Co-authored by Mr. Wong and Sarah Kruger, the book presents first-hand accounts of multi-generational business owners and the challenges they face, including families undergoing the transition of their businesses for the first time.

"Succession planning should be a priority for every business owner as it touches a variety of individuals, including business owners, employees, business, lenders, current family members and future generations," said Mr. Wong. "Creating a succession plan can also help realize the maximum potential value of a business while mitigating risks associated with economic uncertainty or a sudden shift in management."

Mr. Wong added that it is easy to be intimidated by the succession planning process; it is sometimes difficult to know where to start as the planning process can be complex. He expressed the hope that his book would provide guidance and motivation to those that need it.

"A BMO study revealed that 85 per cent of Canadian small business owners do not have a succession plan in place," said Cathy Pin, Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Given that these entrepreneurs account for almost 97 per cent of all employers in the country, this can have major implications for the Canadian economy. The good news is that financial advice and expertise is available, and a smooth transition is achievable when a well thought-out succession plan is developed and followed over a period of time."

Here is what people are saying about The Transition Experience: What every Canadian family business owner should know beyond succession planning:

"Any business owner who desires to maximize the end value of his or her business and minimize the surprises, trials and tribulations inherent in the exit process should read this book."
-Martin Rochwerg, National Chair, Private Client Group, Miller Thomson LLP
"BMO's use of real case studies makes the material relevant and relatable for those navigating the world of family enterprise."
-Judi Cunningham, Executive Director, Business Families Centre at the Sauder School of Business
"Transitioning your business can be complex, scary and full of emotion. This book shows a variety of situations and provides clear direction for action on a number of topics. Most of all, it really helps answer the question, 'Where do I start?'"
-Paul Higgins, Jr., Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee Inc.

Mr. Wong will embark on a cross-Canada book tour this Spring and Summer. He is available for interviews to discuss issues related to succession planning, including:

  • How to start planning for the successful transition of your business
  • Why it is important to start early?
  • What are some of the important factors to consider?
  • Who to consult when developing a succession plan?

To order your free copy of The Transition Experience, please visit:

About the Author

James Wong joined BMO Harris Private Banking in June 2000 specifically to launch succession planning services. Since then, he has assisted many families with their business succession and has gained a valuable appreciation of the many challenges families face with businesses including preserving family values in a highly performance-driven business environment.

In his work, he has developed several best practices that take into account the unique culture of Canadian family businesses. Many of these practices are shared the book he has co-authored The Transition Experience - What every Canadian family business owner should know beyond succession planning.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For further information:
Media contacts:
Rachael McKay, Toronto

Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal

Laurie Grant, Vancouver