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Family Business

Family businesses have unique challenges and opportunities for growth.

Family businesses represent an important and growing part of the economy. Globally, more than 30% of large companies are family-owned. The number of family businesses in emerging markets with revenues exceeding $1 billion is growing rapidly, and family businesses will remain a vibrant force in mature markets.

In comparison with nonfamily businesses, family businesses exhibit different behaviors and performance. There are also clear distinctions between family businesses from developed and developing markets. Because of their tendency to take a longer-term and less risk-seeking perspective, family businesses from developed markets show greater resilience. Those hailing from developing markets exhibit greater growth ambitions and pursue global leadership.

Family businesses share many strategic and operational concerns with nonfamily businesses. At the same time, they face unique challenges—largely at the intersection of the family and the business. What is the appropriate governance structure and what role should the family play in the future of the business? How should the company manage succession planning, generational transitions, and capability development? How does it attract the best nonfamily talent? How should the value created by the business be shared among the family? How can growth be funded without diluting family control?

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