In Spanish, there is a popular phrase that says, "Abuelo arriero, hijo caballero, nieto pordiosero," which is translated as, "Grandfather, hard worker. Son, gentleman. Grandson, beggar." It means that family wealth is typically gained and lost within three generations. Coincidentally, perhaps, this parallels what physicists tell us about the behavior of energy, which is said to transition from creation to stasis and finally dissipation. The energy never disappears, of course. It eventually becomes part of another creation and the cycle repeats endlessly. The Agbole - which is deliberately organized as an extended family institution - aspires to break the cycle of wealth dissipation by extending the creation phase so that it lasts at least one hundred years.
As a family, if the Agbole fails to sustain the creative enthusiasm and passion of the first generation, we increase the risk of our wealth slipping into stasis and then dissipation. Here, it's a good idea to offer up a working definition of wealth. Family wealth manager, James E. Hughes tells us that family wealth consists of three forms of capital:
Even more importantly, Hughes goes on to emphasize the fact that few families have understood that without active stewardship of their human and intellectual capital, they cannot preserve their financial capital. This means that, in addition to generating financial capital, the successful family will also develop and maintain a vigorous succession plan that assures that wealth continues to grow from one generation to the next.
One way in which the Agbole intends to operationalize its wealth management plans is by making good use of the traditional Yoruba family hierarchy, which can be conceptualized as a pyramid:
Every Agbole project will make use of all three roles. They represent what you might call the archetypes and the typical roles that the Agbole will activate on all projects. This business model is intended to encourage the generation of financial capital and support the succession plan, assuring that wealth continues to grow from one generation to the next.