- IMD Business School  - IMD Business School  - IMD Business School

The Global Family Business Center is a trusted source of research and education for family businesses around the world.


The Global Family Business Center is a trusted source of research and education for family businesses around the world.

The family business resource since 1988, we are a world-leading center of excellence in research, education, and outreach for family enterprises globally and are devoted to helping families achieve multi-generational success. Our center of excellence operates from our campuses in Lausanne and Singapore and delivers off-site programs worldwide.

Our MISSION is to inspire enterprising families to help them ensure family unity and 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.

 - IMD Business School

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 Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship and Director of the IMD Global Family Business Center
 - IMD Business School
Our programs

Open programs

We offer a series of open educational programs in addition to a more customized approach focusing on the needs of your family, ownership group, or business. Our expertise is based on our deep understanding of the complexities of family enterprises garnered through our extensive work with leading families and family enterprises over the last three decades.

 - IMD Business School

Custom programs

Custom programs are tailor-made programs for individual families. They are available upon request and are designed together with the family. They provide an in-depth, tailor-made approach to understanding and resolving the challenges faced by a specific family business. Our approach focuses on the family business ecosystem as a whole and often includes diagnostic assessments, designing structures, developing strategies, processes, or plans, facilitating courageous conversations, educating, and benchmarking.


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.

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

Family Business Awards

GFBA 2023 - IMD Business School
Global Family Business Award

Distinguishing prestigious family businesses around the world since 1996

The Global Family Business Award 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 climate.

 - IMD Business School
Sustainability in Family Business Award

Celebrating a commitment to sustainability

The Sustainability in Family Business Award was set up to give recognition to family-owned enterprises that are leaders in sustainability, demonstrating exceptional breadth and depth in their sustainability strategy, and exemplary implementation and impact.

Our team

IMD’s Family Business journey: A legacy unfolds

IMD, a pioneer in family business education since 1988, has made significant contributions to the field, thanks to the vision of Frank Tilley and Alden Lank. This evolution over the years highlights IMD’s commitment to fostering the growth and success of family businesses and to adapting and innovating in the field of family business education, meeting the changing needs of business-owning families worldwide.

  • From 1988 to 1997

    The first IMD Leading your Family Business (LFB) program was launched in 1988, with key contributions from Professors John Davis, Ivan Lansberg, and John Ward. The Family Business Network (FBN), the world’s leading organization of business families, was founded at IMD in 1989. The IMD Global Family Business Award was launched in 1996, recognizing the crucial role family businesses play in the global economy.

  • From 1998 to 2007

    The Wild Group Chair on Family Businesses funded research and educational activities at the Center. Another LFB program was launched as part of the IMD flagship program OWP. The demand for custom programs tailored for specific family business needs increased steadily, celebrating the 1,000th family business participant milestone in 2004.

  • From 2008 to 2017

    IMD marked the 20th anniversary of family business research and education with the presence of Warren Buffett. The IMD Global Family Business Center (GFBC) was officially inaugurated, and the Leading your Family Office (LFO) program was added to the portfolio. In 2017, Professor Peter Vogel became the holder of the Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy, marking a new era in IMD’s family business offering.

  • From 2018 onwards

    In 2019 Professor Peter Vogel took over the directorship of the Center, continuing the legacy of Joachim Schwass and Denise Kenyon-Rouvinez. 2019 also marked the launch of the Navigating your Family Enterprise into the Future (NFE) program as well as the IMD-Pictet Sustainability in Family Business Award, running from 2019 to 2021. The center welcomed two new faculty members: Alfredo De Massis, who leads research within the Wild Chair and Marleen Dieleman as Peter Lorange Chair in Family Business. The Center broadened its reach further with the launch of LFO in Singapore and the Future-Proofing your Business Family (FPBF) program.

With sincere thanks to Wild Group, Debiopharm and Peter Lorange

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