Dennis T. Jaffe, Ph.D

Senior Research Fellow

For over 40 years, Dennis has been one of the leading architects of the field of family enterprise consulting. As both an organizational consultant and clinical psychologist, he helps multi-generational families to develop governance practices that build the capability of next generation leadership and ensure ongoing capability of financial organizations and family offices to serve their family clients.

An acclaimed speaker, workshop leader, and writer, Dennis is one of the most recognized names in the field of family business, having helped hundreds of families and their advisors work through generational transition issues. He has written more than 100 articles, and his books have influenced the development of the field. His most recent book, Borrowed From Your Grandchildren: The Evolution of 100-Year Family Enterprise (Wiley, 2020) reports on his interviews with family members from 100 global 100-year business families. His other books include Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations (James Grubman, co-author), Stewardship in your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across Generations, and Working With the One You Love, one of the original books that defined the challenge of family business.

He is a Family Business Fellow at the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell University, a faculty advisor at the Ultra High Net Worth Institute, a regular contributor to Forbes Leadership channel, reporting on family cross-generational family business and wealth, and a professional member of STEP, Society for Trust and Estate Planners.

Since its inception, he has been an active member of the Family Firm Institute, presenting at annual conferences, serving on the board, designing and delivering educational courses in their GEN program and writing for the Family Business Review. In 2017 he was recognized by the organization for his international work, and in 2004, received their prestigious Richard Beckhard Award for contributions to professional practice.

For 35 years, he was professor of Organizational Systems and Psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco, where he is now professor emeritus. He received his B.A. in Philosophy, M.A. in Management and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University.

“At this stage of my career I am thinking of my legacy and how I can pass on what I value and what I have learned about family enterprise to new generations,” Dennis says. “I am delighted to be working as a mentor to younger colleagues, and to the large global families served by BanyanGlobal.”