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How to win the generation game and avoid a succession of problems

Family business

How to win the generation game and avoid a succession of problems

IbyIMD+ Published 9 February 2023 in Family business • 7 min read

Ensuring a smooth transition of a family enterprise starts with answering the questions of the next in line, write Peter Jaskiewicz and Sabine B Rau

“When are you planning to retire?” That might not be a question you can easily drop into conversation around the dinner table of a business-owning family. Yet it is one of the 35 most pressing questions weighing on the minds of the next generation, or Next Gens, according to our interviews with more than 100 enterprising families around the world.

As researchers into family businesses, we recognized that there was a lot of support and advice for the senior generation but less awareness about the needs and concerns of Next Gens. Yet, within the next decade, 60% of enterprises will see a change of ownership. And two out of three family offices will be passed on by 2033. This means Next Gens are set to inherit about $2,000bn in financial wealth, marking one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.

Hailing from business-owning families ourselves, we are aware of how misunderstandings can seep into relationships between senior and younger members, in turn…

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