Press releases

Deloitte partners SMU Business Families Institute in case study initiative focusing on business families in Southeast Asia  

First of four cases studies Myanmar family business – the KBZ Group of Companies

Singapore, 23 November 2016 – As part of a three-year Business Family Research Programme made possible by a generous research grant from Deloitte Southeast Asia (Deloitte) to Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Business Families Institute (BFI) in 2014, both partners today revealed the outcome of its Case Study Programme which serves to deepen the research and insights into this region’s business families.

With an aim to highlight the experiences definitive of the family businesses being studied, and extrapolate educational and inspirational learning points for other family businesses, Deloitte and SMU BFI kicked-off the Initiative with a first case study on Myanmar’s business family – KBZ Group of Companies. The case, titled ‘Paving the Way for a New Generation – A case study of KBZ Family’, was launched in Myanmar today. BFI and Deloitte will develop three more case studies of business families in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines in the coming year.

Established by U Aung Ko Win in 1994, the KBZ Group of Companies is one of the family firms in the country which is integrating global economic concepts to address regional needs. The Group has grown in tandem with Myanmar’s economic transition, with its business growing from trading, banking and mining, to a diverse range of businesses covering aviation, insurance, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, healthcare, infrastructural development, transportation, tourism and hospitality.

In highlighting the key factors contributing to the KBZ Group’s success, the case study highlighted that the family had started planning for succession early and the next generation has been gradually taking over leadership roles and implementing changes across management, innovation and human capital. The KBZ Group is also one of the exemplary family firms in Myanmar which is giving back to its community, and setting a good example for other firms in the country to follow. For instance, the Group encourages each bank branch to take the lead in community service and empower branch managers to initiate their own community engagement activities. KBZ bankers are also encouraged to teach short-term financial literacy courses on a voluntary basis to the women whom KBZ Bank support as part of the Brighter Future Foundation’s microfinance programme.

Going forward, the KBZ Group intends to continue to play a key supporting role in the country’s future. A focus of the Group is to help nurture Myanmar’s entrepreneurs through investments, incubation and mentorship programs. This will put the Group in good stead to grow domestically and regionally in its next phase of expansion.

Mr Tam Chee Chong, Leader of Deloitte Private in Southeast Asia shared, “The private client segment in Southeast Asia is an important segment for Deloitte. Until recently, we have been serving these clients within our individual service lines. This year, we made the decision to consolidate our service delivery to this group, offering our whole suite of professional services under Deloitte Private. We see a lot of opportunity in the private client business in the region and family businesses contribute an integral role to the economy and community of their respective countries and beyond. Deloitte and SMU BFI are committed to understanding them in greater depth and together, we decided to kick-off the case study initiative with a business family in Myanmar because there is clearly a lot of investor interest in this last remaining untapped ‘greenfield’ market of Asia which holds tremendous economic opportunities for companies in Singapore and around the region.”

“BFI was set up with the vision of facilitating knowledge-sharing among families and supporting their learning and development, in order to build family and business sustainability. These case studies, together with past research done by our Institute, will augment our knowledge resource and masterclass teaching materials. The benefit to business families will be tremendous,” said Professor Annie Koh, SMU’s Vice President for Business Development, and Academic Director of BFI.

“In this respect, we are very grateful that the KBZ Group is sharing their story. Although the Group is at a much earlier stage of growth compared to many family businesses in Southeast Asia, it nevertheless presented us with many insightful and exemplary learning points that business families in the region can learn from,” she added.

The case study launch took place before an audience of over 30 business family members comprising local business family members as well as participants from Singapore who were in Myanmar between 20 and 23 November 2016 as part of the BFI Learning Journey. The BFI Learning Journey took 20 Singapore business families participants on a study trip which enabled meaningful exchanges with a diverse group of local business families to understand the culture and business opportunities available.

For more information on the three-year joint Deloitte-BFI Business Family Research Programme, please see:

To find out more on the Deloitte-SMU BFI case studies on business families in SEA, download the reports below:
Asian Business Families Succession: Going the Distance with the Next Generation
- Asian Business Families Governance: Crossing the Chasm for Inter-Generational Change

Press contact:

Marie Li
Marketing and Communications
Tel: + 65 6800 3717
M: + 65 9847 3503

About Singapore Management University

Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world-class research and distinguished teaching. Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading-edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy. SMU education is known for its highly interactive, collaborative and project-based approach to learning, and for its technologically enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes.

Comprised of six schools specialising in Accountancy, Business, Economics, Information Systems, Law and Social Sciences, it offers a wide range of bachelors', masters' and PhD degree programmes and is home to over 9,500 students. With an emphasis on generating relevant multi-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues, and being Singapore’s only university in the city, SMU enjoys strategic linkages with business, government and the wider community through its research institutes, centres and labs.


About SMU Business Families Institute

SMU established the Business Families Institute (BFI) in August 2012 in response to the growing needs of business families in Asia. Since 2010, SMU had recognised the emergence of Asian business families and discerned that they require specifically contextualised thought leadership and applied knowledge. With this in mind, SMU BFI collaborates with various partners, academic or otherwise, to be a knowledge leader in Asian business family-related education, engagement and research.

SMU BFI encourages business families to Think Generations, Think Growth, Think Giving and Think Global, and in doing so, the Institute addresses business family-specific issues such as family, ownership, business succession and governance. The vision of SMU BFI is to facilitate business families in Asia to develop, harness and leverage their family and financial capital across generations.


About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more about our global network of member firms.
Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and high-quality service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. To learn more about how Deloitte’s approximately 245,000 professionals make an impact that matters, please connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
About Deloitte Southeast Asia

Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd – a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited comprising Deloitte practices operating in Brunei, Cambodia, Guam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – was established to deliver measurable value to the particular demands of increasingly intra-regional and fast growing companies and enterprises.
Comprising 290 partners and over 7,400 professionals in 25 office locations, the subsidiaries and affiliates of Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd combine their technical expertise and deep industry knowledge to deliver consistent high quality services to companies in the region.
All services are provided through the individual country practices, their subsidiaries and affiliates which are separate and independent legal entities.

About Deloitte Private

Deloitte Private is an integrated practice focused on serving the needs of high net worth individuals, family groups and private businesses in Southeast Asia, on their journey of value creation and wealth preservation to ensure that their legacy is passed on through generations to come. Our dedicated advisors look beyond our traditional service offerings to provide the right mix of multi-disciplinary solutions to help turn personal and business aspirations into reality.

© 2016 Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd

Did you find this useful?