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

The global manufacturing company installed a G4 member as CEO in 2017 and plans to refresh its board. The family is also making changes in the family office and family foundation as it works to educate G5.

Although many people have encountered MacLean-Fogg Co.’s products, they probably haven’t noticed them, unless they’ve looked at the hardware that sits atop telephone poles or the parts inside car exhaust systems and transmissions, such as gear blanks and wheel nuts.

The company, built by the MacLean family over the past 94 years, now generates $1 billion in annual revenues. Its success attests to its ability to live up to its founder’s goal, as stated by Duncan MacLean, the president and CEO: “We solve customers’ problems for a fair price, on time.”

Today, the company, based in Mundelein, Ill., operates 23 factories all over the world that make engineered components for the electrical, telecom and automotive industries. MacLean-Fogg has two primary businesses: MacLean-Fogg Power Systems, which serves the electric utility, telecommunications and civil markets; and MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions, which serves the automotive, heavy truck and other industries.

As MacLean-Fogg’s leadership moves from the third generation to the fourth, the company is managing change on several fronts: in its leadership, its board, the shareholders, the family foundation and the family office.

“This company...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.