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GROWTH COMPANY CEOS SHORT ON SUCCESSION AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANS, COOPERS & LYBRAND 'TRENDSETTER BAROMETER' FINDS

GROWTH COMPANY CEOS SHORT ON SUCCESSION AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLANS,
 COOPERS & LYBRAND 'TRENDSETTER BAROMETER' FINDS
 NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Chief executives of America's fastest-growing companies are more adept at creating new products and exploring new markets than planning for their own futures, according to the results of Coopers & Lybrand's most recent "Trendsetter Barometer" survey.
 In its quarterly survey of 210 chief executives of America's fastest growing companies, Coopers & Lybrand found that only half (51 percent) have a management succession plan in place. Moreover, only slightly more than one third (38 percent) of the chief executives have formalized their plan in writing.
 "There are too many businesses that defer serious thinking on management succession," says Daniel J. O'Brien, national director of Coopers & Lybrand's Emerging Business Services group. "Without a workable management succession plan, the untimely departure of a corporate leader could easily knock a growing company off its fast track."
 Equally of concern, according to O'Brien, is that less than half (46 percent) the CEOs interviewed have a buy-sell agreement in the event key owner-managers leave the company. And only 39 percent of the CEOs with buy-sell agreements say theirs is up to date and funded by life insurance.
 O'Brien urges growth company CEOs to put such agreements in place. "Without equitable, workable and adequately funded buy-sell agreements, these companies may fall prey to protracted shareholder arguments and legal actions. Lack of funded agreements may also lead to a liquidity crisis for both the company and the personal estate of a key shareholder," he explained.
 Financial Planning Also Given Short Shrift.
 Growth company CEOs also have neglected personal financial planning, "Trendsetter Barometer" found. Although 88 percent maintain they know the current value of their estates, nearly four in 10 (39 percent) admit they do not have up-to-date estate plans.
 Says O'Brien, "The sad commentary is that these CEOs, who so successfully navigate the growth of their companies, are neglecting to chart an appropriate course for their families' financial security."
 Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" is developed and compiled by the firm's Emerging Business Services group with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of Business Science International. At each Coopers & Lybrand office, an Emerging Business Services team is available to serve the needs of growing and midsize companies.
 One of the world's leading accounting, tax and consulting firms, Coopers & Lybrand provides solutions for businesses in a wide range of industries. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 17,000 professionals and staff in 100 U.S. offices and more than 67,000 people in 117 countries worldwide.
 Camera-ready graphic art available upon request.
 -0- 3/19/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" interviewed CEOs of 210 manufacturing and service companies identified in the media as the fastest-growing U.S. businesses over the last five years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $1 million to $50 million in annual revenues/sales./
 /CONTACT: Maggie O'Donovan of Coopers & Lybrand, 212-536-3174/ CO: Coopers & Lybrand ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO


SM-SH -- NY020 -- 9560 03/19/92 09:58 EST
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Date:Mar 19, 1992
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