About

Dean R. Fowler, Ph.D. is recognized as one of the world’s leading family business advisors.  He guides families through their intergenerational transitions by providing a comprehensive and integrated range of services including leadership development, next generation education, family constitutions, governance for decision making, and purposeful planning for the future that captures the dreams and values of the family. He also leads sibling teams and cousin consortiums to build upon their family legacy by honoring the past and securing the future.

During the past thirty years, Dean Fowler has served over 350 family clients in both the United States and Europe. His firm, Dean Fowler Associates, provides integrated services focusing on the “soft side of hard issues” by working collaboratively with the other professional advisors trusted by the family client. He draws upon his broad range of multidisciplinary expertise as both a clinically trained therapist and experienced strategic business consultant.

He was elected into the membership of the Milwaukee Estate Planners Forum.  The international association, The Family Firm Institute, honored him by selecting him to receive the prestigious “Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement”.  Since 1999 only 10 individuals have received this international award. He also serves of the Dean of Family Enterprise at the Purposeful Planning Institute based in Denver, Colorado.

His 2002 book – Love, Power and Money – has won world-wide acclaim in reviews in the major publications dealing with family enterprises as one of the best books on integrated family transition planning. In 2011 he published two new books – Family Business Success Factors and Proactive Family Business Successors.

In 1995 he developed The Comprehensive Family Business Roadmap™ and has since developed The Comprehensive Partners Roadmap™ and The Comprehensive Family Wealth Roadmap™. These Roadmaps allow family members, partners and advisors to voice – confidentially – their own perspectives on strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. The Roadmap Report evaluates these diverse perspectives, clarifies needs, and provides a comprehensive guideline with written recommendations for action tailored to the specific feedback from all the participants.

In 2009 a new television series – Family Inc. – was launched in five Midwestern states with Dean Fowler serving as host. (family-inc.com). Episodes of that series are streaming on this web-site.


“Having worked in several family businesses and on the boards of several family companies, I am acutely aware of the potential for heartbreak. A rare few worked. The opposite is the general case. After a family/business conflict, it is not uncommon for family members to never talk again for the rest of their lives. Some family business consultants, like Dean Fowler, have found better ways.”
John Torinus, Chairman, Serigraphics, Inc.

“Through his book and his leadership of our family council, Dean Fowler has given me the inspiration and the language I need to talk with my father about succession planning, his philosophy on business and family, and his personal expectations of his six children, and particularly, of me.”
Vesla Bemis, G4 Shareholder, Bemis Manufacturing Company

“At Steinhafels, we have worked with Dean on and off over many years as we have approached different transformational issues in our family business. We refer other business owners to him as well. Dean’s experience, professionalism and advice is second to none. I first met Dean when I joined one of his next generation Forums for Family Business. These Forums have served the state’s family businesses well for decades. Dean is a treasured resource for the Wisconsin business community.
Mark Steinhafel, Chief Operating Officer, Steinhafels Furniture