x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Succession tips for businesses

The author Barbara Hauser offers to general advice on how to transition your family business.

For more than 25 years, from Switzerland to Saudi Arabia, Barbara Hauser has worked with countless families on their succession plans. Her book, International Family Governance: A Guide for Family and Advisers, represents the fruit of her labours. Ms Hauser attended the Family Business Retreat in Bahrain to provide her expertise and present the book, which has just been translated into Arabic. Here are three key themes:

Stay flexible

Governance should be flexible and personal to the family. There will always be new challenges, both personal and professional, and it's important to remain open-minded. Although the constitution must be tailored to the family, employing outside help, including legal advice and a moderator, is recommended.

Control emotions

Realise that many family firms unwind due to personal conflicts. Communicate with the whole family at a very early stage and welcome new members into the fold.

Encourage co-operation

Have the family work on corporate governance together, including a constitution. Don't make the process exclusive. This approach leads to clarity and accountability.