Who Am I?
I am Ted Dwyer, a consultant and confidante to family businesses. I’ve been giving practical business and succession advice to family businesses for over 40 years. Do you need a mentor or advisor who has a family business heritage and who can help you achieve some tangible results? I hope you enjoy my website and I look forward to meeting with you.
Ted Dwyer, Family Business Background.
My first business memories involve going into Dwyer & Co. in Washington Street, a business premises still standing opposite the Court House in Cork. It was a wonderful, old fashioned building that housed the many different businesses which my family’s company was involved in. My father, grandfather and brother George all worked there when I was a young fellow. My godfather, John Harding, also worked there and he used to give me one of the bars of Fry’s dark chocolate, that he kept in his desk, whenever I called to see him. Happy days!
Many of the people who worked in that business became friends over the years and when the business ultimately closed in the 1980s, after trading for 160 years through five generations, it was really like a death in the family as so many wonderful loyal people lost their jobs.
I often asked myself why it happened. A lack of succession planning at Dwyer & Co was, I think, a big issue. Too many family members, including my Dad, who subsequently lost his job, vying for ownership and control.
I’m a realist. I have made it my life’s work to try and help family businesses survive, but I know they sometimes don’t, for many reasons. Even if one door closes, another can open and I have seen that happen too.
My brother George left the family business in 1972, having run the shirt factory for a number of years. He could see that the future was uncertain and that the company had no focus or long term plan. He then set up his own family business, Eurostyle. Initially making shirts, they then moved into the manufacturing of ladies golf wear and then the distribution of all kinds of golf wear. That business still goes strong under the direction of George’s two sons, Alan and Peter.
In 1971, having worked with a Cork financial advisor for a few years, I decided to start up my own business called City Life. For me, with the business background I had, the starting of a new business was the most natural thing in the world. My son Eamon is now the boss and the succession plan is ongoing. We are nearly there and I have already been talking to Eamon’s daughter (aged five) about taking over in about 25 years’ time to bring our little business into the 3rd generation. Dream on Ted?
City life has, for the last 46 years, been my passion. Helping other family business owners to achieve financial independence outside of their business when they reach retirement age has been the most important part of what we do. Much of my work over the years has been in the small family business market so I have become a trusted confidante in relation to all areas of my clients’ family business lives. It is true to say that it is an area I love.
Perhaps I will be able to help your family business some day.