Research identifies eight key principles of succession for family business

Baker Tilly-Ryan Glennon has participated in a global research study through its membership of Baker Tilly International, which takes a closer look at both the sociological and economic implications for the family business succession process.

The results from 1,650 business owners across 55 countries provide businesses with a common sense, practical, guide on how they should view and conduct the succession process. “It is anticipated that family businesses valuing trillions of euro will change hands over the next decade as the baby boomer generation pass their businesses on. Many of those retiring currently have no succession strategy. To achieve the best possible outcome, owners need to understand the many complex family, individual, and business issues that must be addressed in the succession process,” said Suzanne O’Neill, partner, Baker Tilly-Ryan Glennon.

To address the complex structures of family businesses, the findings of the research have been condensed into eight principles of succession which are intended to be a practical guide to how family businesses should view and conduct their succession process. Key findings from the research are: (1 ) Succession is not retirement, (2 ) Start with readiness, (3 ) Set your goals before the journey, (4 ) Price is not first, (5 ) Harmony is a must, (6 ) Plan early, start earlier, (7 ) Equality of not equal, and (8 ) Ask before you get lost.

“Creating, sustaining and enhancing harmony through the succession process is a must,” Ms O’Neill said. “In engaging with family and other persons involved in succession, business owners should recognise that those involved are seeking certainty about the process and about their future. They need to feel a sense of contribution and that there is a positive outcome where there are opportunities for individual growth.”

The full copy of Interim Findings of the Global Survey November 2013: Future Proofing the Capital Value of Your Business, is available at


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