Thought Leadership

Pitcairn Family Survey Reveals Lack of Time & Process as Key Barriers to Effective Wealth Education

Pitcairn’s Gen7 Project™ Expands Focus on Rising Role of Family Learning and Multi-gen Communication 

Jenkintown, Pennsylvania (March 3, 2020) – Pitcairn, the leading family office, announced today survey results from its annual Wealth Momentum Forum, a gathering of ultra high net worth family members and advisors, facilitated by its dedicated family learning lab, the Gen7 Project. The survey found that wealthy families cite “lack of time” (29%) and “lack of a clear path” (27%) as the two biggest roadblocks to effective family learning. The survey was based on 70 rankings from Forum attendees that included multiple generations from wealthy families. Additional findings included lack of priority (21%), lack of confidence (13%), and lack of connection (10%) as impediments to getting started.

“Family learning is at the very heart of multi-generational success, yet this survey reveals just how hard it is for families to meaningfully communicate and share knowledge,” said Pitcairn Chairman, CEO & President Leslie Voth. “We recognize the critical role we can play in helping families navigate these conversations and better realize their legacies.”

Family learning, as defined by Pitcairn, includes wealth education surrounding financial literacy, values and mission, family culture and communication, decision making and governance, and philanthropy, delivered in a variety of flexible and personalized formats. Learners of all ages and stages, from senior leaders to millennials and teenagers, benefit from family wealth education, an area rarely covered in more traditional academic environments. Wealthy families today struggle to prioritize this amidst increasingly complex lives, and despite recognizing the importance of family learning, many aren’t sure where to start. 

In addition to the survey, Forum participants took part in a number of experiential workshops and sessions designed to raise their awareness of the importance of family learning and the barriers they may face. The sessions were led by the Gen7 Project, Pitcairn’s innovative thought leadership and learning lab.  

“The energy in the room was palpable and emotional,” said Amy Hart Clyne, Pitcairn’s Chief Knowledge & Learning Officer and head of the Gen7 Project. “Family leaders and rising generations were eager to engage, learn from each other, openly discuss where breakdowns exist, and share ideas on how best to resolve them. The message from families is loud and clear. They need new ways to talk to and learn from each other. And they need to do it through meaningful experiences.”

The Gen7 Project was established by Pitcairn in 2019 to solve the evolving and complex challenges of ultra high net worth families as they transition their assets and legacy to future generations. Its mission is to inspire modern families to share knowledge that activates and elevates their true potential. The name pays homage to the ancient leadership principle that every decision should benefit those seven generations into the future. The Gen7 Project is defined by discovery, sparked by curiosity, driven by inspiration, and rooted in intellectual rigor. Initiatives include personalized family learning, signature events and experiences, and insights and thought leadership. For more information, visit our website at


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