Summit discusses opportunities, challenges for family businesses - GulfToday

Summit discusses opportunities, challenges for family businesses


Officials during the MESAC Family Business Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

KPMG Middle East, South Asia and Caspian (MESAC) Family Business Summit 2022, the flagship regional event for owners and senior leaders of family businesses, was held recently in Riyadh.

The conference was aligned to the core theme of leveraging innovation to drive transgenerational prosperity.

The sessions provided insights into key trends, opportunities and challenges faced by family businesses across the region as well as globally, along with a perspective on how prominent family businesses are addressing these matters.

The summit has also provided participants with a deeper understanding of how their businesses can drive growth, and leverage the skills and knowledge from the future generation of young leaders within the family amidst the evolving business landscape of the regions.

Dr Abdullah Hamad Fozan, Chairman & CEO at KPMG Professional Services commented: “For family businesses in this region, succession planning and transgenerational prosperity have become increasingly critical considerations.”

“With this conference, we aimed to bring together leading experts and family business practitioners to discuss perspectives on these themes.”

The keynote speech was delivered by Sheikh Mohamed Yousuf Naghi, the third generation Chairman of Yousuf MA Naghi & Sons Group, one of the leading family businesses in Saudi Arabia. Naghi presented his perspectives on sustaining a family business over generations.

The National centre for Family Business also participated in the event, represented by its CEO Dr Ayth Ibrahim Al Mubarak.

The audience was presented with two lectures by Dr Alfredo De Massis, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business at IMD in Switzerland and at University of Bolzano in Italy, and Dr Francesco Debellis, Professor at the University of Vienna, highlighting real life examples of family businesses addressing their succession and governance challenges.

“The requirement for a governance framework is realized as the idea to pass on the company to the next generation may collide with the family’s need to include outsiders in the leadership team to keep the business active,”, said Dr Francesco Debellis.

At the core of the conference were two panel discussions where leaders from prominent family businesses sat alongside researchers and experts to discuss themes of succession planning, governance and digital transformation.

Fuad Chapra, Head of Family Business and Private Enterprise in KPMG Saudi Arabia commented: “Family firms should recognise the important role of innovation to ensure the competitive advantage across generations, while tradition is a significant and distinctive asset for family firm innovation. Tradition and innovation are not necessarily contradictory, rather their relationship can be symbiotic.”

Tom McGinness, Global Leader of Family Business for KPMG Family Business and Private Enterprise spoke about sustaining an entrepreneurial culture in family business and nurturing the next generation in governance and innovation.

“We hope to have shed a light on the various tools family businesses have at their possible through trends in innovation to drive transgenerational prosperity,” Chapra concluded.

Meanwhile Thabat Venture Builder that aims to boost family businesses’ contribution to GDP to $320 billion by 2032, Sir Anthony Ritossa announced that he will be hosting the 20th Global Family Office Investment Summit in Dubai on Oct.18-20, 2022. The event is expected to attract billions of dirhams in investment to the UAE.

The Ritossa Summits have so far hosted more than 6,100 world leaders, family offices, investors and entrepreneurs from over 55 countries, representing $4.5 trillion in wealth. The Summits have raised $2.8 billion in purpose-driven investments globally and enabled more than 50 international companies and family offices to relocate or open representative offices in the UAE, bolstering the nation’s status as a global economic powerhouse.

Commenting on the upcoming event, Sir Anthony Ritossa, Chairman of Ritossa Family Office, said: “Thabat will not only propel the growth of family businesses and support the UAE’s overall economic trajectory, it will also act as a catalyst for more family office contributions to tackle some of the most pressing socio-economic challenges facing the Mena region.”

“There has been no shortage of supportive initiatives aimed at enhancing the role of the UAE—leaders, companies and people—inits advance into a more prosperous future. In line with such efforts, I’m a firm believer in the power of family offices as an economic engine and a force for good within the UAE and across the wider region,” Sir Anthony added.

Celebrating its 20th global anniversary and 13th Summit to be held in Dubai, the Global Family Office Investment Summit promises to garner extensive support for development programmes such as Thabat.

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