Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE)

Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE)

October 24, 2013 13:00 ET

50.6% of Family Businesses Head for a 'Succession Tsunami' in the Next 5 Years

48.5% Want to 'Keep it in the Family' but is the Next Generation Willing to Lead?

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 24, 2013) - Family owned enterprises represent an estimated 80-90% of all North American businesses*. With the founding generation heading for retirement in record numbers, an unprecedented number of businesses will see a leadership transition within the next five years.

Recent polling by The Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE) on this impending 'succession tsunami' has revealed that while 81.8% of businesses would choose to hand their family business over to a family member, only 48.5% have the expectation that a family member would, in fact, choose to take over the business.

"We read the disparity between the desire to pass the business to family versus belief they would accept the job as a clear trend of younger generations opting out," said Allen Taylor Chair President of CAFE Central Ontario. "When you consider this could effect so many Canadian family enterprises in the next five years, you can see why this will be a topic of concern at our upcoming Family Business Forum."

CAFE's bi-annual Family Business Forum event will be held November 5, 2013 at Toronto's Glenn Gould Theatre. It is a "Short Talks", 1/2 day conference that provides business families with timely relevant information in a high impact format. Amongst the networking and speaking activities scheduled, delegates will engage in discussion about the succession tsunami with an eye on sharing experiences, concerns and solutions.

"The CAFE Family Business Forum will bring together some of the most accomplished family businesses leaders from across the country, including speakers John E. Peller of Andrew Peller Limited, Domenic Primucci of Pizza Nova and Steve Beauchesne of Beau's All Natural Brewing. These leaders in family business are being proactive in training the next generation of leaders for success," added Taylor. "This is an ideal environment to tackle all issues of concern."

71.4% of Canadian family businesses polled believe that the most likely family member to take over would be a child, but worry that the next generation may lack the experience to lead. Ad-hoc areas of concern identified by family business owners included lack of broad business experience, lack of experience outside of the family business first, and having the skills necessary to manage staff and the family business.

One surprisingly bright spot from the survey was that business optimism seems unanimous among respondents with 100% saying that they believe their company will remain profitable for the next 5 years even without them at the helm.

"This shows a lot of confidence from family business owners both in the economy and the processes they set up during their time in a leadership role," added Taylor.

*Source: Family Firm Institute Inc.

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