Institute Spotlight: Dennis Jaffe

As part of the Institute’s mission to provide educational content and opportunities to engage with industry experts and its members from all over the U.S., the Institute will periodically highlight a member of its faculty. This bi-weekly series will feature all of the domain heads for each Domain of Family Wealth. This week, we’re introducing Dennis Jaffe, head of the Governance & Decision-Making Domain.



Dennis Jaffe

Senior Research Fellow, BanyanGlobal

Chair, Governance & Decision-Making Domain, UHNW Institute

Click here for Dennis’ LinkedIn and here to read his bio.


“Governance is the way in which many family members can work together, deal with their differences, make decisions and keep renewing and recreating the family into the future.”

Dennis describes the Governance Domain as the infrastructure by which a complex family enterprise organizes and manages its business, wealth, resources and family members. In his video, Dennis discusses the three primary considerations families and their advisors face in the Governance & Decision-Making Domain. These include:

  1. Governance agreements must be dynamic. Many families and advisors consider governance to be a static document or agreement, when in reality, successful governance structures are a complex ecosystem with entities that bring families together.
  2. Governance structures are most successful when they are flexible. Agreements must be designed to adapt to the changing circumstances of a family and their enterprise as their businesses grow, family members age and new generations enter the family.
  3. Governance requires intentional leadership succession. As families evolve and generations age, next-generation family members must develop leadership capabilities as they step into decision-making roles. Meanwhile, older generations must share their knowledge while also stepping back to allow new leaders to thrive.

To learn more about the Governance & Decision-Making Domain, see our guide to the 10 Domains of Family Wealth.