Family businesses are a driving force in the world's economy. Recently, we asked Peter Englisch, Global Family Business Leader, to discuss the state of family businesses, how EY supports their needs and the recently launched Family Business Center of Excellence.
Q: How have family businesses been faring through the global economic downturn?
A: We have found family businesses to be resilient and growing. When we talk to family business owners, they tell us that the most important factor in their success is their long-term perspective. They don't think in terms of months, but rather in terms of generations. And they stay true to their family culture and values.
Q: What sets EY apart in serving family businesses?
A: First, we bring vast experience: 90% of our clients are private or family-owned businesses. Also, we devote significant resources to advancing the interests of entrepreneurs and recognizing their achievements. The Entrepreneur Of The Year program and the Strategic Growth Forum provide exceptional learning and networking opportunities.
Q: Does EY have a distinctive approach to the issues facing family businesses?
A: Family-owned businesses, unlike most other commercial entities, often need to manage personal variables in addition to traditional business issues. To address these challenges in a comprehensive way, we developed a proprietary model, the "Growth DNA of a Family Business."
This tool integrates the business agenda and the family agenda. The model addresses every area of concern for a family business, from capital management, sustaining growth, tax management, talent management and balancing risk, to culture and corporate social responsibility.
Q: What is the Global Family Business Center of Excellence?
A: Our Global Family Business Center of Excellence is all about empowering family business owners to connect with our services as well as with one another. Since family business owners prize the opportunity to establish links with peers who have similar challenges, the Center is designed to help forge those vital connections.
Through the Center, we also provide our clients with information on flagship events such as the Entrepreneur Of The Year. Visitors to the site will find background on "Growth DNA", the Junior Academy, our training program for young successors to family businesses, timely research and more.