Kollaras Group is a third generation family business that has grown substantially and successfully over almost 60 years in operation. Starting as a small fruit and vegetable-based family-owned business, Kollaras Group’s core business is now primarily focused on beverages, which they distribute to customers all over the world including cruise ships, airlines, hotel groups and retailers. Their tobacco arm of the business services a similar group of customers. Outside of the core business, Kollaras Group have a property development and property investment arm.
Strategies to Support Growth & Family Wealth
Nearly 30 years ago, second generation family operators, Tass and Michael Kollaras realised that the business was at a point where it could grow but they weren’t receiving the right advice. This is when BLG Director, Scott Brodie, was introduced to the brothers. He showed them how to structure the business for growth, manage their family wealth and incorporate succession planning into all future business decisions. “BLG really helped us get things right and made sure they met our long-term growth prospects when they first started with us all those years ago. A lot of those strategies that were put in place all that time ago are still helping us now,” John says.
Strong Business Advice is Always Available
Whether Kollaras Group are negotiating significant deals or going through company changes, John always consults with BLG Directors, Angela Bernardi or Scott Brodie. “They’re advisers to us and partners to us,” says John. “When we’re going through big deals or changes I probably talk to Angela and Scott three or four times a week.”
“BLG really understand what drives our family and our business,” John says, and as a family business going through generational change, succession and estate planning is an important focus. “A lot of it comes down to your structures and how the entities are set up, and BLG are very good at making sure those things meet our needs long-term,” John says. “We get a lot of value out of that.”
Alongside the long-standing relationship BLG and Kollaras have built, John also values the responsive and easy way BLG approaches each situation Kollaras encounters. “We’re a big business in a small business’s body, so we’re agile, we do things quickly, we think outside the box, and that’s what we like about BLG,” John says. “BLG keeps pace with that. They think outside the box, they’re quite lateral in what they do, they’ve always got ideas, there’s always a solution to a problem, and we like that.”
Benefits and Results
- Long-term partnership formed over many years, giving Kollaras the advice to move from a small family business to a large and growing family business
- Ensuring succession plan for the family business is top of mind prior to undertaking any significant business developments
- Ready and responsive communication and advice on any matter, whether large or small
- Offer ideas and solutions to any situation with an agile approach to business that keeps pace with Kollaras
- Tax planning, auditing and accounting systems set up to establish strong business operations
“BLG have the capability that the big firms do whilst they’re still local and have that service and outside of the box thinking. We really like that,” John says. “Plus the relationship is really important to us – a long term relationship, a lot of trust, a lot of background and a lot of understanding and listening. BLG are what we need.”