CEIBS CEO Summit 2013: Going Global & Family Heritage Session

CEIBS CEO Summit 2013 & CEIBS Foundation Annual Dinner were held December 4-5, 2013 at the CEIBS Shanghai Campus. The CEO Summit this year highlighted hot topics such as business opportunities in the new Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, the globalization of Chinese enterprises, family business succession, and macroeconomic and financial trends discussed at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The event attracted more than 100 CEIBS CEO Programme alumni, experts and scholars.

The Summit’s “Going Global & Family Heritage” session was jointly organized by the CEIBS Research Centre on Globalization of Chinese Firms and CEIBS Kaifeng Centre for Family Heritage, and was hosted by CEIBS Marketing Professor Wang Gao.

CEIBS Associate Dean & Bayer Chair in Leadership Prof. Katherine Xin and CEIBS Cathay Capital Chair in Accounting Prof. Ding Yuan spoke about Chinese firms who have gone abroad through overseas mergers and acquisitions, including AVIC International, Four Dimensions, ICBC, and Evergreen Holding Group. The professors elaborated on the companies’ talent management and integration patterns, and the advantages and challenges they faced when going global.

CEIBS CEO Summit 2013: Going Global & Family Heritage Session

CEIBS Michelin Chair Professor in Leadership and HR, and Academic Director of CEIBS Kaifeng Centre for Family Heritage Prof. Jean Lee and CEIBS Professor of Finance and Accounting, Co-director of CEIBS Kaifeng Centre for Family Heritage and Director of IESE-CEIBS Coordinated Ph.D. Program Prof. Oliver M. Rui moderated a discussion on family heritage that explored classic case studies of family heritage, such as the Yeo family (Singapore), the Mulliez family (France), Monzino Group (Italy) and HoshiRyokand Hotel (Japan). The professors gave an analysis of the DNA that is unique to long-lived family businesses, and the governance strategies that facilitate smooth succession. They also offered suggestions for selecting and developing qualified successors. Factors that helped the founding generation successfully establish their firms can become stumbling blocks to the firms’ future development. Emotional bonds drive the founding generation to strive for the success of their family firms, but things are different for the later generations. To build an evergreen firm, the second-generation successor should introduce professional management while the third-generation successor should focus on perfecting the corporate governance structure.

CEIBS CEO Summit 2013: Going Global & Family Heritage Session

In today’s ever-changing business world, enterprises must continually sharpen their competitive edge, continue to change and innovate, and seize the opportunities of globalization. They also need to be financially prepared to deal with crisis more promptly. Otherwise, they may need to be sold or acquired or have to merge with others, resulting in constant changes in ownership. There is, however, a group of firms with staying power. According to statistics, there are more than 40 firms with more than 200 years of history. Most are located in Europe and Japan, and only two are based in the United States.

Family firms with longevity share the following attributes:

-They believe it is more important to carefully preserve and develop the unique family assets than to create and pursue greater wealth or business opportunities;
-Their major driving force is the passion, values, family relations and spiritual legacy left by the older generations;
-The family name/brand image, and the long-term relationships with customers and suppliers are their unique positioning advantages;
-Centralized equity ownership and flexible organizational structure bring them superior competence.
In today’s fast changing world, value-based and relationship-based leadership is key to the successful succession of family businesses.