Case Study

SEDCO Holding Group: Pioneering strong governance among Middle Eastern family businesses

10 pages
December 2015
Reference: IMD-7-1656

In 2010, SEDCO, a wealth management company headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, embarked on an ambitious program of transforming what had been a traditional family owned business into a world-class, institutionalized holding entity. Corporate structure and governance had underpinned its rise to one of the country’s leading conglomerates. Yet the current transformation required that SEDCO articulate a fresh set of values and governance principles, some reflecting a clear departure from the region’s established ways of running a family business. SEDCO’s family and corporate values had always included its commitment to conducting business in accordance with Islamic guidelines known as Shariah. In its quest to establish itself as a global player in private wealth management, SEDCO sought to combine these tenets with international standards in areas such as social responsibility, environmental protection, and business ethics. As a result, a central place in the company’s activities had to be accorded to the process by which business was conducted. With its fourth non-family member at the helm as Group CEO, by 2014 SEDCO had come a long way in promoting its philosophy of ethical investment, and had emerged as a global force in Shariah-compliant wealth management. The main questions on the management’s minds now were: Would the transformed company be able to uphold and sustain its business as well as family-rooted values? Was it in a position to engender a culture that would support these values? And could it cement its role as an inspiration to other family-owned businesses in Saudi Arabia and across the region?

Learning Objective

Family values and governance among fast growing middle eastern family businesses and conglomerates.

Succession, Family Governance, Next Generation, Family Values, Conglomerate
Middle East, Saudi Arabia
SEDCO Holding, Finance and Insurance, Financial Services
Field Research
© 2015
Available Languages
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