Unlike their public-company counterparts, which focus mainly on increasing shareholder value, family-business boards must act on behalf of stakeholders with multiple and potentially conflicting agendas – for example, co-owners with equal power and completely opposing financial timelines.
Families that control an enterprise over multiple generations have a lot more to consider than the average business owner. Egon Zehnder's Jennifer Pendergast shares how families should approach selling their business.
At Egon Zehnder, we have worked with family businesses around the world since our founding in 1964. We interviewed scores of family executives to better understand their sources of success—as well as their pain points.
“Good governance is key to long-term success, especially in family-owned business, where stakeholder relationships are often complex,” says Sonny Iqbal, co-leader of Egon Zehnder’s Global Family Business Advisory.
One of the fundamental challenges of any family business is maintaining the balance between “family” and “business.” Within the owning family, there will be the same complex, interpersonal dynamics and conflicting aspirations and priorities that occur in any other family.
There is hardly any major Chaebol in South Korea that has not been rocked by a ‘war of princes’ during leadership succession. Notably, the one group that should be involved that is kept in the dark from this is the professional management.
In Emerging Markets Business, Egon Zehnder’s Sonny Iqbal and Richard Stark offered their perspective on one family business, Paraíso Verde, which was founded in Chile in 1911 and later fell into crisis following the loss of the founders.