Judy Lin Walsh advises owners of the world’s largest family businesses and family offices on generational transition and succession. Her specialty is working in complex family ownership systems to align the goals of the senior and next generations and to build effective and sustainable governance. With clients spanning North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, Judy’s passion is helping families realize the power of their collective platform to make their mark on world.
Judy has written extensively for Harvard Business Review, Trusts & Estates Magazine, and Family Business Magazine, with a focus on issues related to multi-generational family ownership and next generation development, including “The Inheritance Effect,” “Should You Join the Family Business?” and “Is Your Next Generation Entrepreneurial Enough?” She has been quoted in The Financial Times and presented her insights at leading organizations including the National Trust Closely Held Business Association, Trusted Family, Family Business Alliance, and more.
One of the challenges Judy enjoys most is helping families understand the impact of estate planning on the psychological ownership of the business. “Later generation inheritors often struggle with being gifted wealth rather than earning it on their own,” Judy observes. But it’s possible to help them reframe their role as active owners with the ability to shape the future of the family enterprise, rather than simply passive beneficiaries. “Both senior and next-generation family owners have a right and responsibility to figure out how they fit into the family enterprise and what their shared legacy will be,” she says.
Judy’s fascination with the complex layers of family businesses started early. Her first job was in a family business owned by close family friends. The timing was fortuitous, as the first-generation founder was transitioning to become Board Chairman and the second-generation leader was rising as CEO. The interplay between business decisions and family relationships sparked Judy’s lifelong interest in family businesses.
A former associate at Accenture and Goldman Sachs, Judy holds a BS in Economics from MIT and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She sharpened her leadership skills at Dartmouth, where she was captain of the women’s ice hockey team and recipient of the Julia Stell Award for outstanding leadership.
Judy and her husband, Nate, met at Dartmouth and now live in Boston with their daughter, Lily, and corgi puppy, Hank the Tank. They strive to balance dual careers, a full family life, and a love for travel. Their most memorable adventures include exploring the temples of Siem Reap, the monuments of Petra, and the wildlife in Kruger National Park.