Voices in Leadership: Family & Wealth

Chief Knowledge and Learning Officer Amy Hart Clyne sat down with Jay Hughes, an established expert and author on how families can create strategies to preserve their human and intellectual capital as well as their financial assets. Their conversations deliver a deep dive into how today’s multi-generational families can find prosperity and happiness now and into future generations.

In our first series, Amy and Jay reflect on Family & Wealth – two simple words with complex meanings and implications.

Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in Three Generations

The old proverb “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” illustrating the challenge facing multigenerational families is well-known. Throughout history, people have voiced this adage. Cultures around the world have similar phrases describing how wealthy families struggle to endure. In this segment, Amy and Jay discuss what gives this phrase its staying power, and Jay brings the concept to life with an example we can all recognize from our own families.




Understanding Family – Blood vs. Affinity

What makes a family? We’ve all experienced close bonds with people who don’t necessarily share our DNA. Amy and Jay unpack family dynamics through the lens of “affinity” and why that concept is vital to avoiding the “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” proverb.



The True Definition of Wealth

The word “wealth” has a complex and illuminating etymology. Amy and Jay break down the definition of wealth, and Jay reveals key insights around his work defining the five capitals of wealth. He details why financial capital may in fact be the least important to long-term family success.


Advice for Families

Jay Hughes also shared a lesson from a classic children's tale for multi-generational families focused on longevity and long-term success.



About Pitcairn

Pitcairn is a true family office and leader in helping families navigate the challenges and opportunities created by the interplay of family and financial dynamics. Through Wealth Momentum®, an experience-based family office model, Pitcairn helps families achieve a more effective and complete experience. Since its inception, Pitcairn has partnered with some of the world’s wealthiest families to meet their needs and drive better outcomes – year to year, decade to decade, generation to generation. Today, Pitcairn is recognized as an innovator, guiding families through generational transitions and redefining the industry standard for family offices. The firm is located in Philadelphia, with offices in New York and Washington, DC and a network of resources around the world.