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 my own business called City Life. For me, with the business background that I had, the starting of a new business was the most natural thing in the world. My son Eamon subsequently joined me and the succession process started with the passing of some of the shares to him and then the running of the business. For me, working with Eamon was always a pleasure. To have him as my boss was an unusual but yet most satisfying experience.
In 2019, Eamon decided (with my approval) to sell the business to Invesco and so, in June 2019, we joined forces with them in their Cork office which is situated at 6 Lapps Quay. After 48 years of being in business on my own, it is very different to be working for someone else. Thankfully, as time goes by, I am starting to accept the positives of the new situation. My deal is that I will stay working until the middle of 2021 – doing what I love to do, looking after the financial affairs of my customers and bringing in new business & new clients. Old habits die hard!
I am so lucky to love what I do. In 2021, all being well, I will celebrate 50 years in business. Over the years, I have helped many people achieve financial independence outside of their businesses. Helping them to build up an adequate pension fund so that if, like me, they are fortunate to have a son or daughter interested in and competent enough to join them in their business venture that they will be able to pass control and ownership to them. Selling a business isn’t always an option when the next generation comes on board.
In recent years I started Ted Dwyer Family Business which tries to help small family businesses with the normal succession issues that they all face as their business starts to move through the generations. Please contact me if you feel I might be of help.