Tue, Mar 1, 2016

Business, Banking & Finance
GCC family businesses discuss future

Family business continuity across generations was the hot topic of engaging conversations at a recent meeting of regional family business leaders in Dubai, UAE.

The event was hosted by the Family Business Council – Gulf (GFBC) Chairman Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ghurair for regional Family Business Network (FBN) chapters in the GCC.

It was attended by Karl-Erivan Haub, Chairman of FBN International, the largest global network of leading family businesses all over the world,

Haub’s visit to Dubai last week enforces the ties between global FBN chapters including the GCC chapter led by the Family Business Council. 

The event was attended by heads of family businesses from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar as well as German families who are FBN members, visiting the region with the chairman.

The gathering showcased the commitment of FBN global members of family businesses to connect in order to share their best practices and experiences to benefit one another in their journey of development and sustainability. 

“We were honoured to host Haub in Dubai on behalf of the Family Business Council and engage with him on a host of challenges and opportunities facing family businesses in the GCC,” said Al Ghurair.

“Being a fifth generation family business leader, Haub was able to share deep insights into succession planning which is key to this region, he also discussed best ways to manage business group diversification challenges,” Al Ghurair added.

Haub said: “The growth of Family Business Network’s GCC chapter has been significant and it’s heartening to see that family businesses in the region are thinking long-term with a view to adapting strong corporate governance and practical succession planning measures.”

Haub is also the CEO of Tengelmann Group founded by the Haub family in Germany in 1867. The business group is one of the world's biggest privately owned, multi-sector retailers and one of Germany's leading investors in e-commerce start-ups.

In addition to sharing his family business experience on succession across generations, he also discussed the aspect of running a diversified retail business group and the innovation challenges this sector faces stressing how important it is for the family business to sustain innovation and reinvent its model if needed to withhold the test of time.

The event was attended by family business owners and some of their next generation members who are working in the business and groomed to be the next wave of leaders.

Al Ghurair concluded: “It is important to build strongly governed businesses ready for the critical phase of succession. It is also important to keep the wheel of innovation rolling through our next generation. At Family Business Council we will continue to foster a platform to share knowledge and build the capacity of GCC family businesses on critical topics key to the continuity of family businesses, which is the backbone of our economy.”  

GFBC is a private, non-profit organization that aims to strengthen family business governance and ensure their continuity over generations, while learning from and where applicable adopting international best practice. 

It is governed by a board of directors, representing eleven leading GCC family businesses. The board shares a common view that the continuity and prosperity of family businesses is vital not only for their families’ legacy but also for the economic sustainability of the region. 

GFBC is a member the FBN International, which is the largest global network ‘by families, for families’ representing leading family businesses all over the world.

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