Fecha: Wednesday, 24 de February de 2021 a las 18:30h
As part of our session on the main challenges facing Spanish family businesses, our university has had the opportunity to present the main conclusions of the report on Spanish family businesses and the challenge of succession. This report is fruit of the work done by the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) group. The University takes part in the STEP group through the Chair of Family Business and Business Creation. The director of the Chair and professor of the degree in Business, Carmen Ruiz, and fellow professor Fernando Álvarez are two of the project’s researchers.
The report sought to answer three questions. Firstly, to learn about the degree of succession planning in family businesses, as well as to find out how the current leaders of family businesses plan for retirement. Second, the study explores how demographic change impacts on succession expectations. Finally, it explores differences between business leaders of different generations.
The answer to the first question is that less than a third (28%) of family businesses have a formal succession plan in place. However, the percentage of companies that have a defined plan of what they would do in the event of an unexpected generational transfer is 44%. In other words, there is a greater degree of planning for unexpected contingencies than for planned generational handovers.
When it comes time for succession, only 16% of the 110 companies surveyed flatly ruled out the idea that the new CEO should be a family member. In 57% of cases, they claimed it would be feasible for leadership to remain within the family, and 27% are clear that a family member should take over the leadership.
By what criteria are successors chosen within the family network? Almost four out of ten family businesses (39%) are guided by the degree of involvement and implication candidates have shown in the past. 25% of those surveyed made the decision subject to the board’s judgement.
The lack of foresight as to how to deal with succession is linked to the low number of managers who have definite ideas about their retirement. Only 37% have thought about what their retirement will look like and plan their retirement. If many of today's family business leaders have not taken the time to think about what their lives will be like away from the helm of the company, younger generations are clear that they do not want to drag out their careers as long as their predecessors did. The report also reveals that the new generations of managers (generation X and millennials) generally have higher levels of education.