IMD Global Family Business

Helping families build a stronger family business ecosystem by addressing their societal, business, ownership, family, and individual strategies and well-being.

IMD Global Family Business

Helping families build a stronger family business ecosystem by addressing their societal, business, ownership, family, and individual strategies and well-being.


Our expertise is based on our deep understanding of the complexities of family enterprises from our work with many of the leading families and family enterprises in the world over the last 30 years.

IMD launched the world’s FIRST open enrolment program for families in business
3000 +
family business alumni in all open programs since launch
first IMD Global Family Business Award – presented annually – distinguishing prestigious family businesses around the world
6 awards
In 2021 the center was recognized by well-known institutions for its major contributions to education, research, and outreach

We offer highly specialized advisory to family enterprises globally. We help nurture talent, solve problems and unlock opportunities for family enterprise systems.

We are devoted to helping families achieve multi-generational success for their families, ownership groups, enterprises, and financial wealth. We provide services that transform families and owners into more capable, better organized and more united groups while supporting their enterprises, management teams, boards, and financial wealth to thrive over generations.

Family enterprises are faced with a set of unique challenges related to governance, succession, family dynamics, and strategy. The IMD Global Family Business Center has been a trusted partner for enterprising families for more than three decades, helping them navigate into a bright future.

Peter Vogel Director of IMD Global Family Business Center Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship

Insights & Research

Through our research and educational work with family businesses from all over the world, we have gained some extraordinary insights into the dynamics that can drive family businesses either to outstanding achievements or to failure. With the ongoing support of the Wild Group Chair for Family Business and the Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy, we have produced a wide range of publications, some published in top international academic journals.

I by IMD special edition

The family business issue: Adapt to survive and thrive

Family enterprises are among the most resilient businesses in the world. But now more than ever striking the right balance between resilience and adaptability is vital. In Issue 8 of I by IMD we present crucial insights into how families can face up to the challenges created by a world in flux.

Navigating Your Family’s Philanthropic Future Across Generations

A research report in collaboration with FBN International that highlights how philanthropy becomes a lifelong passion as families start to see that they can make a real difference in the world.

To support family philanthropists in their philanthropic journeys, we joined forces with FBN International to conduct a global research project entitled “Navigating Your Family’s Philanthropic Future Across Generations.” In this report, we share insights collected from leading philanthropic families from around the globe.

We have examined their approach to family philanthropy, opportunities, and challenges, as well as the impact of their philanthropy on various levels, such as the cause, the family, business, and society at large. This extensive research project has informed not only this report but was also an invaluable source of knowledge for Family Philanthropy Navigator.


Media & Events

The IMD Global Family Business Center helps family enterprises ensure the sustainable success of their business and family, whether large or small. We organize webinars and give presentations at various conferences around the world or virtually.

Keep up to date on our events, news and thought leadership. Join the Family Business Center on LinkedIn and subscribe to our newsletter below!

Philanthropie familiale : DĂŠfis et apprentissages dans un monde en crise

Cette confĂŠrence vous invite Ă  la rĂŠflexion et aux ĂŠchanges afin de mieux saisir les dĂŠfis et les apprentissages que chacun peut tirer de la philanthropie familiale. Contact us if you would like to register.

Topics: Family Business
Location: IMD, Lausanne 12 September 2023

Family Business Awards

Global Family Business Award

Distinguishing prestigious family businesses around the world since 1996

Promotes the indispensable role family businesses play in the global economy and serves as a platform for family businesses to exchange best practices and analyze the economic backdrop.

Sustainability in Family Business Award

Celebrating commitment to sustainability by family businesses since 2019

Rewards family-owned enterprises that are leaders in sustainability, demonstrating exceptional breadth and depth in their sustainability strategy, and exemplary implementation and impact.

About the Family Business Center

Our MISSION is to inspire enterprising families to help them ensure family unity, business success and to have a positive impact on society.
Our VISION is to be the number one center of excellence and trusted learning partner for globally leading enterprising families.
We have an outstanding and unparalleled LEGACY with 33 years of experience working with family businesses, family offices, and family foundations.
  • Chairs
  • Legacy
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Our team
  • Faculty
  • With sincere thanks to Wild Group and Debiopharm

    We are very fortunate to benefit from two Chairs dedicated to the study and support of family businesses.

    IMD was the birthplace of family business education in 1988.

    We are forever indebted to Frank Tilley, former executive-in-residence, who identified family business as a field IMD ought to be active in, and to Professor Alden Lank, the first faculty member to lead the initiative.

    Professors John Davis, Ivan Lansberg and John Ward were instrumental in launching the first Leading the Family Business (LFB) program in 1988. Dr Stephan Schmidheiny underwrote the pilot study.

    The IMD Global Family Business Award was launched in 1996, with The Lego Group, the first of many prestigious winners over the years. The award has continued to grow in reputation, promoting the indispensable role that family businesses play in the global economy.

    LFB continues to be an enormous success, generating much interest from around the world. The subsequent demand for custom programs (tailor-made for specific family business needs) has increased steadily and, in 2004, after welcoming more than 400 families from over 40 countries, we celebrated the 1,000th family business participant milestone.

    In 2008, the 20th anniversary of family business research and education at IMD was marked with the presence of Warren Buffett, who engaged openly with faculty and families alike. In 2009, the Biennial Family Business Forum was introduced as well as the first program specifically for Chinese family businesses.

    The IMD Global Family Business Center, in its current form, was officially inaugurated in 2011. Growing demand saw the welcome introduction of a new program: Leading the Family Office (LFO) in 2013.

    In 2019, the IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award was launched, celebrating and rewarding effort, performance and progress in the field of sustainability.

    In September 2019, Professor Peter Vogel took over the directorship of the Global Family Business Center. Before him, prestigious family business faculty have led IMD’s family business initiatives over the years, including Joachim Schwass, Denise Rouvinez. All have delivered premium programs and published cutting-edge research and insights in family business, contributing significantly to both the reach and reputation that the Center continues to enjoy today.

    The story continues…

    Recognized for its major contributions to education, research, and outreach, our world-leading hub is a unique place to prepare family businesses for sustainable success.

    2022 EUROPEAN INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCES STUDIES IN MANAGEMENT (EIASM), Workshop on Family Firm Management Research

    • BEST PAPER AWARD “Family Leadership and Radical Innovation ” by Alfedo De Massis, Ivan Miroshnychenko, with co-authors Lorenzo Ardito an Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli.


    • For his contributions to the family business field, Alfredo De Massis has been inducted into the Family Business Hall of Fame, which recognizes exceptional individuals in the family business sector. > read more



    • Peter Vogel and Alfredo De Massis celebrated for their expertise and thought leadership in the field of family business > read more


    • BEST PAPER AWARD: “Welcome or not? A mixed methods study on artificial intelligence technologies in family-influenced firms” by Jonas Soluk, Ivan Miroshnychenko and Satish Nambisan.
    • Best Reviewer Award: Ivan Miroshnychenko nominated


    • BEST PAPER AWARD on “Management Challenges in Family Business”: “Artificial intelligence adoption in family-influenced firms: A social capital perspective” by Jonas Soluk, Ivan Miroshnychenko and Satish Nambisan.


    • BEST UNPUBLISHED RESEARCH PAPER: “Conflict Origin and Management Mechanisms in Family Firms” by Marco Mismetti, Cristina Bettinelli, and Alfredo De Massis.
    • HONORABLE MENTION: “The global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on corporate performance of family and nonfamily firms” by Ivan Miroshnychenko, Giorgio Vocalelli, Alfredo De Massis, Stefano Grassi, and Francesco Ravazzolo.


    • The Center being recognized for its major contributions to education, research, and outreach > read more


    • BEST TEACHING CASE STUDY: “Brown-Forman: nothing better in the market” by Marta Widz, Marc Chauvet under the supervision of Benoit Leleux
    • BEST PAPER ON GENDER DIVERSITY: “Toward a reconciliation of discrepant perspectives on debt in female led firms” by Alfredo De Massis, Fernando MuĂąoz-BullĂłn, MarĂ­a JosĂŠ SĂĄnchez-Bueno, Pilar Velasco and Silvio Vismara.
    • BEST PAPER ON CONFERENCE THEME: “Family Business and the Natural Environment” by Ivan Miroshnychenko, Danny Miller, Alfredo De Massis, and Isabel Le-Breton-Miller.

    2021 FAMILY AWARD at the Family Enterprise Research Conference (FERC

    • BEST RESEACH ON DIVERSITY: “Women’s leadership and leverage decisions: Exploring the nature of family firms and their governance,” co-authored with Fernando MuĂąoz-BullĂłn, MarĂ­a JosĂŠ SĂĄnchez-Bueno, Pilar Velasco and Silvio Vismara.



    • Ivan Miroshnychenko received the Family Business Review Excellent Reviewer Award 2021


    The Center offers pioneering research, executive education and advisory services that bring together a unique team.

    Professor Peter Vogel

    Peter Vogel is an expert on family enterprises and leads IMD’s work in this field as Director of the IMD Global Family Business Center.

    Family businesses are highly complex. They must continuously align the interests of the family with the ownership and objectives of the business. They typically have a very long-term, values-based approach; each generation wanting to ensure the success of the business for the next.

    Complicated and sensitive family, business, ownership and financial issues can often present a tough challenge for family businesses. Family conflicts can flare up over a lack of clarity on the evolving roles of family members or diverging business visions. These issues present risks to both the family and the business. We are committed to focusing on the characteristics and challenges unique to family businesses.

    We do so with an incredible pool of faculty experts in their field. 

    Faculty team

    teaching in family business programs