Professor Joachim Schwass

Family Business and Entrepreneurship


Joachim Schwass is Professor Emeritus of Family Business at IMD and founder of the IMD Global Family Business Center.

He has taught Family Business and Entrepreneurship with a main focus on generational and owner related issues. He has lectured and conducted Family Business programs around the globe, and advised many of globally leading family businesses.

Prior to joining IMD, Professor Schwass was Managing Director of several companies which were part of his own family's business. He was managing industrial manufacturing businesses in Australia and USA as well as an international trading business in Switzerland. He started up several international businesses.

Educated in Germany, France and Switzerland, Professor Joachim Schwass attended graduate studies at Technische Universität Berlin and Université de Fribourg where he obtained a Lic rer pol and a Dr rer pol.

His book “Wise Growth Strategies in Leading Family Businesses” was published in 2005, in German in 2007, in Spanish in 2008, in Mandarin in 2012 and in Japanese in 2015. He is the lead author of "Wise Wealth", which was published in 2010, and in Mandarin in 2013. He is the lead author of “Wise Family Business, Family Identity Steering Brand Success”, which was published in 2016.

He directed the Annual Distinguished Family Business Award for 10 years. He was Executive Director of the Family Business Network (FBN) for 10 years and served on the Board until 2010.


  • Wise Family Business Joachim Schwass and Anne-Catrin Glemser, Palgrave Macmillan 2016
  • Wise Wealth Joachim Schwass, Hakan Hillerström, Holger Kück, Colleen Lief, Palgrave Macmillan 2010
  • Schweizer Wirtschaftsdynastien Daniel Hug, Chanchal Biswas (Hrsg.), Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2013