KPMG's 1st Family Business Forum in Athens, Greece

KPMG's 1st Family Business Forum in Athens, Greece

The first conference dedicated exclusively to the Family Businesses, organized by KPMG in Greece, was successfully concluded on May 26. The event attendants exceeded the 160 from approximately 60 companies, who actively participated in the discussions by answering to polling questions raised in real time and posing key questions that concern the family businesses. Noteworthy is the fact that attendees ranged from the first until the fourth generation of the family business.

Deputy Senior Partner, Head of Advisory

KPMG in Greece

Contact

Related content

Family business conference

The first conference dedicated exclusively to the Family Businesses, organized by KPMG in Greece, was successfully concluded on May 26. The event attendants exceeded the 160 from approximately 60 companies, who actively participated in the discussions by answering to polling questions raised in real time and posing key questions that concern the family businesses. Noteworthy is the fact that attendees ranged from the first until the fourth generation of the family business.

In his speech, Mr. George Stathakis, Minister of Economy, Infrastructure, Marine & Tourism, pointed out that the government is firmly oriented towards the family entrepreneurship and intends to support it through a set of measures that move along three axes: the improvement of the financing conditions, the undertaking of initiatives which will simplify the licensing procedures and the creation of a stable institutional and fiscal framework Particular emphasis was placed by Mr. Stathakis on the contribution of the new European Investment Plan while, as he said, the government will seek to create Business Service Centers similar to the civil one (KEP) sharing the same operating model ensuring a better service for companies.

Mr. Konstantinos Michalos, President of KEEE and EBEA, saluted the event, underlining the contribution of family businesses to the Greek economy and stating that in a new and stable model of economic development, these could play an even more crucial role provided they will manage to exploit their advantages and limit their disadvantages.

The Greek and foreign speakers of the event analyzed the Family Business issues through three themes: Governance, Succession and Development.

Jesus Casado, Secretary General, European Family Businesses, and Christophe Bernard, Global Head of Family Business at KPMG through an interactive session presented the European Barometer and trends, according to which family businesses possess the 70% of GDP and 60% of working manpower, and talked about the difficulties that these businesses face. Jesus emphasized on the fact of lack of a clear and common definition for Family Business, resulting to insufficient statistical data that can be used. The main difficulties faced by family businesses are the issue of Succession, as it appears that the probability of taking charge of the company significantly reduces from generation to generation (from 30% at the first generation, falls to 1% when it comes to 4th generation onwards), the issue of access to finance and the governance of the company. For Jesus Casado legal and economic transfer of a family business need to be further simplified, because as he noted, family businesses can support the economy and could provide a solution to the issue of employment in the times of crisis.

Christophe Bernard referred to a recent survey by KPMG showing that among the most important features of family businesses are their long term vision, the fact that they focus on what they can to do well, the values they have, their people orientation (hence is why they invest three times more in the education of their people) and their financial structure, which is more "neat" as they are very much concerned with their viability in the future.

In her speech, Ms. Lena Papalexopoulou, founding member and member of the Board of the Non-Profit Organization "DESMOS" and stakeholder of TITAN, highlighted that one difficult issue of succession which 450 000 businesses face every year in Europe, is the lack of successors and a succession planning, resulting to a shut down for one third of them.. Ms. Papalexopoulou stressed that meritocratic criteria are necessary, since as she revealed, research in Greece shows that 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs want to “pass the baton” to the next generation although they believe that these family members do not have the necessary qualifications.

The conference participants were asked to answer whether the establishment of an institutional representation of family businesses is necessary. Ninety seven per cent answered positively, while as many believe that the establishment of a new body is necessary and that representation cannot be done through existing bodies.

The internationally renowned Christine Blondel, Family Business professor at INSEAD and Director of the FAME program was a speaker of the conference, who along with the participants analyzed and worked on exercises based on a real case study for family business.

A successful example of a Cypriot family business was presented by Mr. Panicos Poutziouris, Professor in Entrepreneurship & Family Business in UClan Business Management School.

The event concluded with a panel discussion which was moderated by Professor Blondel while the panelists were Alexandros Angelopoulos (Vice President of the group Aldemar Resorts), Aristotle Panteliadis (Managing Director of Metro AEBE), and Konstantinos Sepetas (Director of Sales and Marketing, Ipirotiki Bottling Industry Vikos SA) and Jesus Casado (Secretary General, European Family Businesses). The speakers shared with the audience their experiences from their own family business.

Connect with us

 

Request for proposal

 

Submit

KPMG's new digital platform

KPMG International has created a state of the art digital platform that enhances your experience, optimized to discover new and related content.