Family Business Magazine Blog

A recent article in The Practitioner -- an online publication of the Family Firm Institute, an organization for professionals who advise and study family enterprises -- pointed out the difference between "firm survival over time" (continuity of a family business through the years) and "longevity of a family enterprise" (a family's ability to create wealth and value over generations).

The Practitioner article -- by Pramodita Sharma, the Sanders Professor for Family Business at the University of Vermont's School of Business Administration and a visiting scholar at Babson College -- argued that family enterprise success can be defined in ways other than leadership transfer from one generation to the next. "Both the creative destruction of firms and pruning of the enterprising family are integral parts of longevity of an enterprising family ....," Sharma wrote. "Recent reviews of the research on succession, governance, professionalization and performance all point in the same direction -- that one size does not fit all and the overarching numbers of ‘success' are insufficient to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of family enterprises and their pathways to success."

Family Business Magazine's cover subjects for May/June 2014, the Power family, sold J.D. Power and Associates to McGraw-Hill in 2005....Read more

Free Feature Article

A PwC survey of nearly 1,000 NextGens from around the world found they are highly ambitious.

A global survey of more than 950 NextGen family business members by professional-services firm PwC found the rising generation is eager to ascend to leadership roles and confident in their abilities.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they can add “significant value” to ensure their family firm’s strategy is fit for the digital age. More than six of 10 (62%) said their potential to professionalize their company’s management practices could add significant value.

Yet about half have not yet had the chance to step up. Only 48% said they’ve been given the responsibility to lead a change initiative or project in their organization.

“This is a group that is very, very confident in their abilities, even maybe overconfident in some regard,” says Jonathan Flack, U.S. family enterprises leader at PwC.  “They seem to be eager to take control of the helm.”

Big ideas
PwC’s online survey, conducted between June 10 and Sept. 13, 2019, drew responses from 956 NextGens across five continents and 11 industries. More than half (51%) were between the ages of 25 and 34, 36% were 35 and older, 10% were ages 21 to 24, 3% were under 31 and 1% did not provide their age. The...Read more

Feature Video


Todd Immell, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP discusses robotics processing automation operating models for family offices. Final installment in a 4-part series.