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How a Family Retreat can transform your business

For the second article in our series exploring the theme of succession planning and family businesses, we spoke to Montrose collaborator Brian Thompson of Ducere Advisory about his own mental health journey and how his adult diagnosis of ADHD has shaped his professional journey.

Hailing from one of Europe’s leading family-owned businesses, Brian brings a unique perspective to issues around family governance and conflict resolution. As a trusted partner of Montrose, Brian works with families during their Retreat as part of a bespoke programme focused on their goals and objectives.

Neurodivergence in family businesses

The impact that Brian’s undiagnosed ADHD had on his family relationships - and, by extension - his part in the family business, inspired him to establish Ducere Advisory, a boutique Family Business Consultancy firm.

He describes being the only neurodivergent person in the room as an incredibly lonely experience:

“My family were loving and supportive, but ultimately couldn’t understand the way I work and my approach to things. It meant I felt isolated for much of my life, and led to people-pleasing behaviour which, ultimately, helps no one.”

At Montrose our team of specialist doctors and therapists are able to offer diagnostic tests and treatment for ADHD, as well as other neurodivergent conditions. Working with guests on both an individual basis and as part of multi-guest retreats, our world-class clinical care ensures guests have access to the kinds of therapy that, for Brian, completely changed his life:

“As a business, we were comfortable seeking professional advice for the company’s interests, but had never thought to do the same for our personal mental health. It was only after therapy to address my underlying issues that I was able to contribute fully and realise my potential.”

A therapeutic approach

The transformative effect of therapy on his personal life led him to pursue a career in helping others in the same situation. Working alongside our team of psychologists and clinical therapists, Brian draws on his first-hand experience of navigating a family business as a neurodivergent person to help others flourish in their environment.

He firmly believes that better family harmony is achieved when the individual members “learn about themselves, and then learn about each other.” This premise underpins the experience of a Family Retreats at Montrose, where each stay is tailored to meet the needs of the individual guests, which, in turn, supports the family as a whole.

All too often, Brian observes, the human aspect of the family business is neglected, and this, he knows from experience, comes at a cost:

“Businesses need to get their family relationships right in order to look after the other relationships within the company. This top-down approach means that they take what they’ve learned from our Retreat back to their company, which makes for better business performance.”

That’s why our team of clinical experts and therapeutic practitioners devise an experience that is designed to support your business development by safeguarding your mental and emotional health. We understand that each family is unique, and so are our Retreats.

Focus on the future

Here at Montrose, we share Brian’s belief that a key part of any succession-focussed Retreat should be on supporting the new-gen as they find their feet in the family business.

Brian recalls knowing next to nothing about his family’s company before being thrust into the world of business at eighteen, and helps families to develop strategies designed to make the transition into the daily fold as stress-free as possible.

Brian’s expertise in building trust between family members is build on nurturing intergenerational communication:

“The work I do goes hand-in-hand with Montrose’s approach, where counsellors and therapists listen to the family to establish what they need and how to move forward.”

When guests come to Montrose at the early stages of succession planning, our network of professionals is on hand to guide and support the family profile through a range of dynamic therapeutic approaches.

Find out more about how your family business would benefit from a bespoke Retreat by getting in touch with us today at or call +44 (0) 1433 350500.

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