Ginny Gilder - Olympic Medalist, G2 Family Office Founder, Social Entrepreneur & Owner of a WNBA Team [The Business of Family]


25 January 2021

1 hr 2 mins 32 secs

Season 1

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Ginny Gilder, is an American former competitive rower and Olympic silver medalist. As a second generation entrepreneur, Ginny’s day job is running her family investment office, Gilder Office for Growth but her heart leads her to focus on expanding access to opportunity in the realms of sports and education, especially for youth.

A serial social enterprise entrepreneur, co-owner of the WNBA Seattle Storm, and a writer, Ginny continues to look for ways to expand the footprint of women's professional sports in the U.S.

Standout Quotes:

  • "The way that people really become good at something and grow wealth is by concentration" - [Ginny]
  • "There are gifts hidden in tough times" - [Ginny]
  • "You should keep doing something only as long as you're learning and growing" - [Ginny]
  • "For any family that's lucky enough to have financial wealth you've got to think about whether you are going to insist that people get along, and at what price" - [Ginny]
  • "The biggest thing that's probably shifted is recognizing what we really want, which is adult relationships with our adult children" - [Ginny]
  • "If you want to see change in the world, well, you've got to invest, cos nothing's going to happen if you're not going to invest" - [Ginny]
  • "What's really most important to most people is Human Connection... and if you really want to be connected, you've got to deal with the stuff that's the toughest" - [Ginny]

Key Takeaways:

  • After making many mistakes starting a nonprofit, Ginny set up a business that helps start-up nonprofits avoid similar mistakes and achieve their goals.
  • Early in her career, she had goals that were not related to working in the family business.
  • Having a financial cushion had benefits, like the freedom to work without being tied to a focus on amassing wealth, although it came with less attention from their father.
  • When the time came for a transition of the family business, she knew she had to step up to the responsibility placed on her despite her lack of knowledge or passion in the family business.
  • There has to be a lot of very direct conversations if you want to be in business with your siblings.
  • Ginny clearly explains that she has no passion for the investment business, but got involved, for the love of family, the financial security, and the business relationships that come with it.
  • Having an investment office rather than a family office with bells and whistles was geared at equipping her kids to be independent, self-sufficient, and capable human beings.
  • Honesty has been hugely instrumental in navigating the family dynamics in Ginny's family, she also had to understand the importance of having adult relationships with her adult children.
  • When things go wrong, that's when you have to figure it out and it's also when you find out the relationships that are solid.
  • The importance of dealing with difficult family relationships: it's so easy when life is good to think everything is fine but as soon as life gets hard if you haven't dealt with challenges and learned how to disagree and resolve differences, you're not going to make it through the hardest parts of life.

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:49] Meet Ginny Gilder; sharing her personal and professional background.
  • [01:34] Her family history and the origin of the family business
  • [08:20] How Ginny got into the investment business.
  • [22:50] What was your father's position when you started your nonprofit organization?
  • [29:00] Ginny describes how the family dynamics affected the transition of the business to her generation.
  • [30:42] What would you say that you've learned from the separation of roles between family and business?
  • [33:22] What is the family business structure going forward?
  • [40:05] How do you differentiate your investment office from a family office?
  • [41:20] About Gilder Office for Growth
  • [48:56] How do you navigate through your family dynamics in the world of wealth?
  • [53:15] Tell us about what you're most passionate about in terms of one of the businesses that you own today.
  • [01:00:40] Ginny's letter to her kids

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