It is clear that family businesses are a major player in society, a large employer, and an economic force. They remain the bedrock of the Maltese economy and are vital to its success.
Every family business is also unique and, no matter how successful, most of them will encounter issues concerned with succession, whether of management or ownership or perhaps both.
When evaluating a family business, it is important to gain a deep understanding of the family dynamics and relationships between generations.
Key areas for review and discussion would include:
- The values of the family
- The vision for and purpose of the family business
- The family’s commitment to the business
Concepts of stewardship, legacy, fairness, opportunity and the long-term are often the main drivers of the family business. Profitability can also be an important consideration, although frequently a much longer-term one than in other businesses where third-party pressures can influence decision making and necessitate shorter-term actions.
Only by understanding the above can we truly support the family and the business in developing succession strategies that will reflect the goals of both.