Next-generation family businesses


Next-generation family businesses

Evolution – keeping family values alive

Worldwide, only one in three family businesses successfully make the transition from one generation to the next. The desire to maintain and respect tradition whilst striving to adapt and progress in response to a changing business environment makes family businesses most vulnerable at times of transition. Deloitte’s EMEA Family Business Centre conducted in-depth interviews with almost 100 future leaders of family-owned companies across Europe, Middle East and Africa.


We found that in today’s family businesses, a new generation of highly qualified young men and women is emerging. Many have experience in other companies and abroad and are ready to face the challenges ahead, such as internationalisation, innovation and digitisation – all whilst maintaining the core family values of the business and respecting the legacy of the generations before.

Key findings


The main challenges that the next generation of family business leaders face:

  • To maintain the family character of the business and keep the family values alive
  • To grow the company in a rapidly-changing economic and business environment
  • To retain independence in ownership, although 40% of respondents do not rule out the possibility of external investors


In their own way

The next generation of family business leaders intend to make changes when they take over:

  • 80% say that their leadership style will be different compared to the previous generation
  • 56% will change the family company’s strategy
  • 56% will change corporate governance structures
  • 51% intend to take more risks than their predecessors, but in a more controlled way



Innovation is important to the next generation:

  • Top 3 priority for 76% of respondents
  • 55% say that their companies innovate at a faster pace than competition
  • The previous generation of family members is well aware of the need for innovation (61%) but is not so willing to take on the associated risks (40%)
Next-generation family businesses
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