Jennifer M. Pendergast Ph.D is a family enterprise consultant and adjunct professor at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. She is active as an academic director and instructor for the Family Enterprise Suite of executive education programs. She serves as a consultant on family enterprise and family office strategy and structure. She is a board and trustee for multiple family enterprises.
Previously she served as the inaugural John L. Ward Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and Faculty Director, Center for Family Enterprises (KCFE) at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. In that capacity, Jennifer guided the market leading executive education and MBA programs and the research agenda for KCFE. Before that she served as the US leader of the Egon Zehnder’s Family Business Advisory. She began her career in family business consulting at Family Business Consulting Group. Early in her career she was an associate in the McKinsey & Company Atlanta office. With a PhD in strategy, Jennifer has also taught on the faculty of Georgia Tech and Wharton Business School.
Jennifer’s teaching, consulting and writing concentrate on strategic planning and business growth, developing and managing family councils and ownership groups, structuring and improving the effectiveness of boards of directors, planning for ownership and leadership succession and creating and managing family offices.
Jennifer received her Ph.D. in Management from Wharton Business School and holds a B.S. in Finance from University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and has authored numerous books and articles, two of her standout titles are: Family Business Succession: Your Roadmap to Continuity co-authored with Kelly LeCouvie and Building a Successful Family Board, which she wrote with John Ward and Stephanie Brun de Pontet.
Family businesses are uniquely complex enterprises. This program empowers current and future directors of family-owned businesses to navigate the challenges posed by those organizations while learning to design, engage and lead boards that leverage their companies’ strategic advantages.
One of the most critical times in a family enterprise’s evolution is moving from the processes, people and structures that proved successful for a controlling owner to those that support a sibling partnership. Engage with faculty from the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises for leadership insights on governance architecture and effective decision making to support a vision that will guide multigenerational continuity.
Join peers from leading family-run organizations to learn how family governance can help sustain business continuity, family unity and commitment. Come away equipped and energized to realize your vision for the future of your family enterprise with confidence.
As an aspiring leader within family enterprise, you’ll discover how to establish your credibility and authority in the business community, among family shareholders, with the board and management team. As an established leader, you’ll explore the complexities of mentoring the next generation and of managing succession and letting-go. For all, the program can enable you to better manage the nuanced paradoxes that are characteristic of family business leadership.
Challenging, often subtle family dynamics, sensitive communications and interlinked governance structures all contribute to the complexity of family offices. Guided by renowned faculty, you will learn to navigate complex family office dynamics to more fully align stakeholders. You will develop skills to plan strategy, promote trust and communication, and address challenging issues around governance and continuity.