Territory insights

Local insights
While our survey revealed striking similarities among family businesses around the world, countries had some clashing opinions particularly around internationalisation, professionalisation and digitisation.

Regardless of where they are in the world, family businesses face similar challenges but there are some distinct differences in particular markets.

Australia

Australian family businesses are working hard to find and sustain growth in a challenging market as well as trying to adapt to the dynamic global trends changing the face of business: digital and technological innovation, succession and rejuvenation, the managing of conflict with the family business and the innovative use of capital for growth and development. Australian family businesses are on the cusp of major change. How they deal with it will help shape their future. There is work to do, but Australian family businesses are resilient and remain confident of meeting the challenge.

  • Australian family businesses appear to be struggling to find sustainable and reliable growth, with only about half (53 per cent) reporting sales growth over the past 12 months.
  • Australian family businesses remain optimistic with 84 per cent aiming to grow in the next five years and are largely confident of achieving it.
  • Staff recruitment, business and product innovation, cash flow and cost controls were identified as the key challenges to growth for Australian family businesses in the next 12 months.
  • 11% of sales for Australian family businesses are generated from exporting to international markets. They are optimistic that this will rise to 15% over the next five years.
  • Less than half (47%) of Australian family business said that they have members of the next generation working in the business, with 26% working in senior executive roles. However, looking to the future, more family businesses (38%) said they are looking to sell or float their business than pass management to the next generation (24%).
  • Worryingly, one third of Australian family businesses (31 per cent) have no conflict procedure in place and only 14 per cent have a family constitution, which is widely recognized as one of the best mechanisms for effectively managing conflict.

Read more

Contact:

Sue Prestney
Partner
Phone: +61 (3) 8603 1201

David Wills
Partner
Phone: +61 3 8603 3183

Austria

Family Businesses in Austria believe that they play a vital role in their country’s economy but are concerned about the general economic situation. They see agility and being entrepreneurial as key advantages over non-family businesses. But many recognise disadvantages too as i.e.reduced access to capital. Austrian Businesses place strong emphasis on ensuring the business stays in the family and are less concerned with fast growth.

  • 60% of family businesses in Austria grew in the last financial year
  • 92% are aiming to grow in the next 5 years
  • Family businesses in Austria are more likely to see price competition as the key challenge followed by the general economic situation, innovation and attracting skills
  • Family Businesses in Austria believe they play a vital role in their country’s economy and society, including job creation, adding stability to a balanced economy and supporting community initiatives
  • Increased internationalisation is predicted – 54% of sales today are accounted for by international sales
  • 58% of Austrian family businesses plan to pass management to the next generation but only 22% of them have a succession plan in place that is robust and documented
  • 94% of Austrian family businesses have at least one procedure in place to deal with conflict

Read more

Contact:

Dr. Rudolf Krickl
Partner
Phone: +43-1-501 88-3420

Belgium

  • Almost half of the Belgian family businesses have grown their top line over the last 12 months, which is significantly less than compared to two years ago.
  • 70% of family businesses see price competition as a significant hurdle over the next 5 years.
  • Attracting and retaining suitable personnel remains one of the most important challenges for Belgian family businesses, even more than two years ago, and substantially more than the international average.
  • Export of goods and services is also for our Belgian family businesses becoming increasingly important. In 5 years' time, the Belgian respondents expect to realise 45% of their turnover abroad.
  • Clearly more than in 2012, Belgian family businesses have clear plans about the future of the company.
  • Professionalization remains an important theme, not just for the family business, but also for the family behind the business.

Read more

Contact:

Patrick Mortroux
Partner
Phone: +32 4 220 62 46

Philippe Vyncke
Partner
Phone: +32 9 268 83 03

Canada

Canadian family businesses continue on their path to steady, measured growth and they are 100% confident they will achieve it. However, in this technologically driven and disruptive economy, family businesses will need to invest in people, technology and systems that will allow them to be competitive. It’s time to professionalize all aspects of the business--a fact that global family business leaders appear to accept more readily than Canadian family business leaders.

Visit www.pwc.com/ca/familybusiness for more information and to download a copy of the report 2014 - launching on Oct. 23, 2014.

  • 67% of family businesses in Canada have experienced sales growth over the past 12 months.
  • Only 12% of Canadian businesses are selling into foreign markets, however, they are looking to grow this to 19% in five years’ time.
  • Only 20% of Canadian family businesses have a robust, documented succession plan in place.
  • 85% are looking to grow over the next five years.
  • Looking forward to the next five years, attracting the right skilled talent remains the number one concern for 71% of Canadian family businesses, followed by the continual need to innovate (56%) and price competition (51%).
  • Only 40% of Canadian respondents – compared to 57% globally – understand the tangible business benefits of moving to digital and have a plan for measuring them.
  • 88% of Canadian family businesses have at least one procedure/mechanism in place to deal with conflict (slightly higher than the global average: 83%).

Contact:

Sharon Duguid
Director, Centre for Entrepreneurs and Family Enterprise
Phone: +1 (604) 806-7583

Saul Plener
Partner
Phone: +(416) 941-8299

Germany

The German family businesses have performed relatively well over the past 12 months, and they are aiming to grow in the next five years, both in domestic and foreign markets. Although very confident they will achieve their growth target, family businesses in Germany will need to focus on innovation and strategies to attract the right skills and retain staff to ensure company's long-term future.

  • 61% of family businesses in Germany have experienced sales growth over the last 12 months.
  • 88% are looking to grow over the next 5 years, but only 5% are aiming to grow quickly and aggressively.
  • Price competition, the need to innovate, attracting the right skills and talent, staff retention and the general economic situation will be the key challenges to growth over the next 5 years.
  • 85% of family businesses in Germany generate sales from exporting goods and services to foreign markets, nearly all of them expect an increased internationalisation.
  • Family businesses in Germany believe they play a vital role in their country`s economy and society, including job creation, adding stability to a balanced economy and supporting community initiatives.
  • Just under a half will pass the ownership and management down to the next generation while a third will pass ownership of the business down but will employ non-family management.
  • 94% of family businesses in Germany have procedures in place to deal with family member issues and conflicts.

Read more

Contact:

Dr. Peter Bartels
Partner
Phone: +49 211 981-2176

India

Indian family businesses have performed relatively well in the past year and nearly 50% are expecting bullish growth. Indian family enterprises are focused on growth and are keen on professionalising as well as adopting new digital technologies to achieve significant progress. Indian family businesses are, however, significantly less likely than their counterparts around the world to foresee challenges in the next five years. They see regulatory compliance and the need to professionalise as priorities.

  • In line with the global average, two-thirds of Indian family businesses grew in the last financial year.
  • Indian businesses have strong growth ambitions for the next five years with 40% targeting quick and aggressive growth.
  • The key issues facing family businesses in India are similar to those facing family businesses across the world. The fact that Indian businesses tend focus a little less on market conditions, business or product development, staff training and the availability of finance, was mentioned more often in 2014 than in 2012.
  • Increased internationalisation is predicted for Indian family businesses. Thirty percent sales today are international sales and this number is expected to rise to 36%.
  • Indian family businesses tend to assign senior roles to family members, including the next gen. While two-thirds of Indian family businesses have a succession plan in place, only 15% have one that is robust and documented.
  • Seventy seven percent Indian family businesses have at least one procedure or mechanism in place to deal with conflict.

Read more

Contact:

Indraneel R Chaudhury
Partner
Phone: +91 (0) 80 4079 6001

Italy

Italian family businesses experienced slowed growth last year, and aim at achieving more in the future, along a steady and sustainable path. Innovation (diversification and new export markets) is of paramount importance, involving new technologies as well as supply chain partnerships. Retaining talents and attracting new ones stay crucial as well as professionalization, in fairly cohesive and less conflicting businesses. Sustainability target requires cost discipline to improve profitability and price competitiveness, rigorous cash management and availability of finance. Comply to different jurisdictions worries Italian family business leaders, exposed to an increasingly international environment.

Growth over the last 12 months

  • 52% of Italian family businesses experienced sales growth in the past 12 months, down from 60% in the past FBS
  • 25% recorded sales reduction in the same period

Growth plans for the next 5 years

  • 74% of Italian family businesses look for steady growth in the next 5 years, higher than the respondents to the past FBS (63% at that time)
  • 8% more family business leaders declare the aim of growing quickly and aggressively (just half than the global average, but 2% more than the Italian respondents to the past FBS)

Key challenges (innovation, talent, digital etc)

  • 76% of Italian family businesses look at innovation as their most vital challenge to face in order to achieve steady future growth (compared to the global average of 64%). In this respect new technologies play a key role (54% named it, compared to 41% for the global sample), and innovation is perceived as increasingly spread across supply chains (relevant for 43% of Italian respondents, significantly higher than the 28% recorded in Italy during the previous FBS, and also compared to 26% for the present global average)
  • Existing human capital is key for Italian family businesses: 55% of them face the challenge to retain talents (against 48% for the global sample), while 59% feel it is one among their top priority to attract talents (against 61% for the global sample)

Exporting and foreign markets

  • Long term growth is the key target for Italian family businesses, meaning to preserve profitability through innovation, new markets to entry in (rather than new regions in their domestic market) and diversification (new products and new sectors). Quick wins apparently are less relevant for Italian respondents than for the global sample
  • Italian family business are already more international than foreign peers (39% against 25% for the global sample), and still the most engaged with international expansion (in 5 years’ time, 49% against 32% of the global sample)
  • Key export targets include mainly Europe (54% of Italian respondents), the Americas (36%), Asia-Pacific (31%)

Succession

  • Only 9% of Italian family businesses have a succession plan in place that is robust and documented (16% for the global sample)
  • 46% of Italian family businesses plan to pass on management to next generation (40% for the global sample), while 22% of them plans to pass on ownership but to bring professional management in (32% for the global sample)
  • Three quarters of Italian family businesses have family members working as Senior Executives within the company (43% for the global sample), and 84% of Italian respondents declare to have next gen members working for business (55% for the global sample)

Family conflict provisions

  • 25% of Italian family business have no mechanisms in place to deal with conflict (17% for the global sample)
  • In particular, Family council is the most common procedure in practice in Italy (41% of respondents, 32% for the global sample), while globally the top listed procedure is shareholders agreement (54%, compared with 25% for the Italian respondents)

Contact:

Giorgio Elefante
Partner
Phone: +39 02 80646325

Federico Mussi
Partner
Phone: +39 0521 242848

Kenya

Growth is strong and prospects are bright, say family business and private company leaders in Kenya. They believe that companies like theirs benefit from agile decision-making and an entrepreneurial mind-set, particularly when they focus on strategies to support long-term sustainability, professional management, skills development and innovation. This focus helps to offset some risks to growth like economic and political instability and inadequate access to skilled labour.

  • 69% of family businesses in Kenya have experienced sales growth over the past 12 months.
  • 56% are looking to grow steadily over the next five years, and 32% plan to grow their businesses quickly and aggressively.
  • The economy, attracting the right skills and talent, political instability and the need to innovate and professionalise will be the key challenges to growth over the next five years.
  • 35% will generate sales from exporting goods or services to foreign markets in five years’ time, mostly within the East Africa region.
  • 55% have a succession plan in place for at least some senior roles, while 23% have put in place a succession plan that is robust and documented.
  • 73% have at least one procedure/mechanism in place to deal with conflict.

Read more

Contact:

Michael Mugasa
Partner
Phone: +254 (2) 285588

Malta

Family businesses in Malta recognise their importance to the economy and in creating employment. However, compared with 2012 they appear to be struggling to continue to support community initiatives, retain their stronger values and retain staff in tough times. They see competition and containing costs as challenges to growth, alongside the need to continually innovate. There is an increased focus on company re-organisation and succession planning, In fact, over the next few years just under half of Maltese family businesses plan on passing on ownership to the next generation and to bring in professional management.

  • Growth plans for the future are conservative with only 5% aiming to grow quickly and aggressively over the next five years. However, future growth expectations are more optimistic than in 2012.
  • Maltese family business owners/managers have similar priorities to the rest of the world in the next 5 years: company success/ long-term survival and, to enable this, a focus on skills, innovation and professionalism.
  • Family businesses in Malta are less likely than the global average to have non-family members who hold shares in the company, with 46% planning to pass on ownership to the next generation, while bringing in professional management.
  • Family businesses recognise the need for external management input at a certain point
  • Only 16% of family businesses in Malta have a succession plan in place that is robust and documented.

Visit http://www.pwc.com/mt/en/publications/family-business-survey/index.jhtml for more information.

Contact:

David Valenzia
Partner
Phone: +356 2564 7601

Joe Muscat
Partner
Phone: ++356 2564 7011

Mexico

Mexican family business have performed financially well over the past year and aim to continue with the growth synergy. Although this is very important to all Mexican family businesses, they will need to focus more on professionalize, re-organise, innovate and develop as businesses.

  • In line with the global averages, 66% of Mexican family businesses experienced sales growth over the last twelve months. An optimistic 81% expect to grow over the next five years.
  • On average, Mexican family businesses have two generations working together in the business. 83% of these businesses are owned and managed by the family members.
  • Although 57% of Mexican family businesses have some sort of succession plan, a vague 26% have a robust and documented succession plan.
  • Notwithstanding few Mexican family businesses have a functional succession plan, 50% are likely to pass on management to the next generation.
  • Even though 59% of Mexican family businesses haven't chosen a successor, they don’t think this will represent a major challenge in the future.
  • Second generation family members think that a key internal issue is keeping up with the development of management.
  • The personal-business goals for family business owners are mainly about ensuring the company´s long term future.
  • Although Mexican family businesses are positive on how they feel about their sector, they recognize they have trouble making long term decisions and that they are less open to new thinking and ideas.
  • Although Mexican family businesses are positive on how they feel about their sector, they recognize they have trouble making long term decisions and that they are less open to new thinking and ideas.

Read more

Contact:

Juan Carlos Simon
Partner
Phone: +52 55 5263 8532

Netherlands

Family businesses are essential for the Dutch economy and they are less deterred by economic unrest, because they take fewer risks and are more focused on the longer term. In addition, family businesses are more innovative and of great importance to employment. In the areas of financing, succession, digitalisation and human capital, however, there are a few bottlenecks which require the attention of both society and the family businesses themselves.

From society’s point of view it is crucial that Dutch family businesses continue to be strong and healthy. For this reason it is time that both the family businesses themselves and the wider society pay attention to the specific problems faced by this important group.

  • Growth among family businesses in the Netherlands has been slower than the global average and 39% of businesses have actually experienced a sales reduction.
  • Family businesses remain optimistic about future growth. 73% are looking to grow over the next 5 years, 12% are aiming to grow quickly an aggressively.
  • Key challenges are the availability of finance, succession planning, adopting to the digital world and attracting talent.
  • Dutch businesses are more reliant than average on international sales and increased internationalisation is predicted. 38% of sales today are accounted for by international sales.
  • Family businesses are insufficiently prepared for the moment of succession. In addition, the plans of the government to change tax treatment of successions could severely impact the capital structure at the time of succession.
  • Over 88% of Dutch family businesses have at least one procedure/mechanism in place to deal with conflict. They are more likely than average to have in place incapacity and death arrangements and to have employed third party mediators.

Visit www.pwc.nl/familiebedrijven for more information or to download the Dutch report.

Contact:

Renate de Lange
Tax partner
Phone: +31 (0)88 792 3958

Michel Adriaansens
Assurance partner
Phone: +31 (0)88 792 3630

Martijn Mouwen
Advisory director
Phone: +31 (0)88 792 6623

New Zealand

Family businesses in New Zealand have grown more than the global average over the last year and are more bullish about future growth. This seems to be driven by a relative optimistic view of the economic situation compared with other markets. Instead, family businesses will need to focus on the need to innovate, attracting the right skills/talent and complying with regulations to grow and compete effectively in the long term.

  • 74% of family businesses in New Zealand have grown in the last 12 months (vs. 65% globally).
  • 94% are aiming to grow over the next five years (vs. 85% globally).
  • The need to innovate, attracting the right skills/talent and complying with regulations will be the key challenges to growth over the next five years for New Zealand family businesses.
  • Family businesses in New Zealand believe they play a vital role in their country’s economy and society; including job creation, adding stability to a balanced economy and taking a longer term approach to decision making.
  • Most family businesses in New Zealand have some sort of succession plan although only 17% have a robust and documented succession plan in place.
  • 38% of New Zealand’s family businesses will pass the ownership and management of the business down to the next generation while a third will pass on the ownership but not the management down to the next generation.
  • 83% of family businesses in New Zealand have procedures in place to deal with family member issues/conflict.

Read more

Contact:

Robbie Gimblett
Partner
Phone: +64 9 355 8036

Nigeria

Family Businesses in Nigeria have seen similar growth levels as the world as a whole over the last year. However, they are more bullish about future growth with 25% aiming to grow quickly and aggressively over the next five years (vs. 15% globally). The key challenges to growth will be staff recruitment, government policy/regulation, market conditions and the threat posed by political instability.

  • 65% of family businesses in Nigeria have experienced sales growth over the past 12 months
  • 100% of Nigerian family businesses predicting growth are confident of achieving it
  • Political instability is a key challenge for three-quarters of Nigerian family businesses. Price competition and the general economy will also play a role; creating a need to continually innovate and plan for future succession and recruitment
  • Increased internationalisation is predicted. 13% of sales today are accounted for by international sales (expected to double to 26% of sales)
  • Most business have some sort of succession plan and a third of family businesses have a succession plan in place that is robust and documented (higher than the global average: 16%)
  • 85% of Nigerian family businesses have at least one procedure/mechanism in place to deal with conflict (similar to the global average: 83%)
  • 40% of Nigerian family businesses are planning to pass on ownership and management to the next generation. 30% are planning to sell or float the company (compared with 20% globally)

Contact:

Andrew Nevin
Partner
Phone: +234 (1) 271 1700 ext 6202

Mary Iwelumo
Partner
Phone: +234 (1) 271 1700 ext 6208

Peru

The situation among Peruvian family businesses resembles very much the results obtained globally, in terms of the growth they have been experimenting over the past years. They also regard their future growth with the same optimism. We are proud to state that two-thirds of family businesses in Peru grew over the past year, and a total of 81% of them is expecting to continue with this tendency to grow over the next 5 years.

  • 68% of family businesses in Peru have experienced a growth in sales over the last 12 months, in contrast with only 17% that underwent a sales reduction.
  • 70% of respondents are expecting their businesses to grow steadily over the next five years. Moreover, 11% of participants were positive on trusting even a fast and aggressive growth within the same period of time.
  • The main key issues that family businesses in Peru are facing were very similar to those mentioned by participants around the globe, in terms of staff recruitment and market conditions. However, Peruvian participants showed a special interest towards staff training and competition.
  • The need to continually innovate and attract the right skills and talent are considered by Peruvian participants to be the main challenges ahead. However, the following categories obtained a much higher result in Peru than they did in the global results: the need to professionalise, the need for new technology, the competition and a plan for succession of the company.
  • An increase in internationalisation of products is expected in Peru. Respondents stated that, currently, 16% of their total sales are international. This percentage is expected to reach up to 26% in the next 5 years.
  • Less than half of Peruvian family businesses have a succession plan for key senior roles.
  • 86% of family businesses in Peru have at least one procedure/mechanism in place, in order to deal with conflict (which is slightly higher in comparison with the global average: 83%).

Read more

Contact:

Bartolomé Ríos Hamann
Partner
Phone: +511 211 6500 - An. 2014

Romania

Even though there has been strong growth in the last year, family businesses in Romania are cautious about the future, with worries about the general economic situation and increased competition. Their priorities are clearly set out – the long term future and success of the business come first. Family businesses believe they play an important role in the economy and society, including job creation and adding stability to a balanced economy.

  • 74% of family businesses in Romania grew in the last financial year
  • Three quarters are aiming to grow over the next five years
  • The need to innovate, the general economic situation, market instability, attracting the right skills/talent, competition and an increasingly international environment will be the key challenges to growth

Visit www.pwc.ro for more information.

Contact:

Alexandru Medelean
Partner
Phone: +4 021 225 3614

Russia

Russian private and family businesses have performed well over the past year and most of them intend to grow steadily or even aggressively in the next five years. However, the main challenges to their growth in the near future include recruiting talent, government policy and regulations, and the overall economic situation, as well as the need to focus on profits and margins.

  • 72% of private and family businesses in Russia saw growth in the last financial year.
  • In 2014, 86% of Russian private and family businesses said they plan to expand over the next five years (23% of whom expect to do this quickly and aggressively), which is only a slight variation from 2012’s figure.
  • Both the overall economic situation and attracting the right skills and talent are seen as the key challenges for the next five years while political and market instability are considered to be less pressing issues.
  • The average share of international sales is expected to increase 18% in next five years, compared to 8% in 2014.
  • Compared with 2012, more Russian private and family businesses are planning to pass on ownership and management to the next generation (26%, up from 10%). Nonetheless, many Russian entrepreneurs are still ready to sell their businesses or float shares (50% in 2014 against 57% in 2012).
  • 45% of Russian private and family businesses have at least one mechanism in place to combat conflicts.

Contact:

Alina Lavrentieva
Partner
Phone: +7 (495) 967 6250

Singapore

Singapore family businesses have performed relatively well over the past year and a fifth plan to grow quickly and aggressively over the next five years. However, growth ambitions are lower than was found in 2012 with many being cautiously optimistic against the backdrop of a tougher economic environment.

It is anticipated to be a highly competitive market in Singapore for family firms and increasingly international in the years ahead. Many strive to ensure a long term future for the firm and feel that running the business professionally and injecting greater innovation will help to achieve that goal.

  • Key challenges that plague Singapore family firms in the next five years are the need to innovate, price competition and containing costs.
  • Company succession planning and the need to professionalise the business are two issues in Singapore that ranked higher than the global average.
  • Company succession planning and the need to professionalise the business are two issues in Singapore that ranked higher than the global average.
  • Only 15% of family businesses in Singapore have conflict resolution mechanisms in place – compared to 27% globally.
  • 89% of family businesses in Singapore do not have a succession plan that is robust and documented.
  • Over 30% of Singapore’s family owners plan to sell or float the business in the future, higher than the global average of 20%.

Read more

Contact:

Ng Siew Quan
Partner
Phone: +65 6236 3818

South Africa

South African (and global) family businesses remain resilient despite the adverse global economic environment they find themselves in post-recession. Significant challenges facing family businesses continue to focus around shortages of skills, the need to innovate, political instability, price competition and the containment of costs.

  • Family businesses in South Africa have a similar outlook to family businesses the world over in terms of the global trends that will transform their playing field over the next five years. Seventy-six per cent (79% globally) identified digital technology as one of the top three global trends that will affect their business, in addition to resource scarcity/climate change (58%, 52% globally) and the shift in global economic power (57%, 60% globally).
  • Many family businesses are filling the skills gap by bringing in outside talent at both management and executive levels – 63% of respondents (65% globally) have non-family members on the board, and 39% (34% globally) have non-family shareholders. A lot is expected of a non-family member joining a family business, with the individual being required to have both business and emotional intelligence if they’re going to succeed
  • 91% of the South African respondents have at least one mechanism in place to deal with family conflict, which is higher than the global average of 83%. Mechanisms include shareholder agreements (71%, 54% globally), incapacity and death arrangements (60%, 43% globally), family councils (22%, 32% globally), third-party mediation (33%, 27% globally) and family constitutions (20%, 22% globally). Only 9% (17% globally) have nothing in place at all.
  • Seventy-eight per cent of family businesses (65% globally) report growth in the last twelve months, and 64% (70% globally) expect to grow steadily in the next five years. Ninety-six per cent of South African family businesses predicting growth are confident of achieving it. South Africa is listed amongst China, the Middle East, Kenya, India and Russia as the top six countries/ territories to grow quickly and aggressively.
  • The key issues facing family businesses in South Africa are similar to those facing family businesses worldwide. Seventy-seven per cent of the South African respondents (63% globally) thought that market conditions and the general economic environment remain key external challenges over the next twelve months as well as the next five years.
  • Seventy-seven per cent of South African family businesses are planning to increase sales in the next five years through local growth and expansion of their business into Africa.

Read more

Contact:

Andries Brink
Phone: + 27 12 429 0600

Micke Le-Roux
Phone: + 27 12 429 0958

Spain

Spanish family businesses are more optimistic than global about the future of their companies; 92% of the Spanish respondents versus the 70% of the global sample believe that their companies will grow in the next five years. Nevertheless, Spanish family businesses are very conscious of the big challenges they must face in order to accomplish with this ambitious goal. Becoming more international, acquiring the capacity to evolve at the same pace as the rest of the market, adapting to the new digital era and taking advantage of the new global trends are some of the essential tasks that they pointed out in our survey.

  • Nowadays, 38% of the Spanish family businesses’ revenues comes from exportations, and they hope to increase this number to 50% in the next five years.
  • The reorganization of the company and the development of new products and business models stand out as the major internal challenges for Spanish family businesses. In the other hand, they point out the market conditions and the instability of the euro as the key external issues.
  • The vast majority of the Spanish family business respondents assure that digitalization will help them to have greater knowledge of their own company. And 59% is aware of the tangible impact that this transformation will have in their companies.
  • The global trends that Spanish family businesses are most concerned about are: technological advances, demographic changes and natural resources scarcity.
  • The business model of Spanish family companies seems like it is rapidly changing, the survey has revealed that the property of the business will remain in hands of the family but the management will be likely given to a professional outside the family circle.

Read more

Contact:

María Sanchiz Suarez
Partner of PwC Spain
Phone: + 34 915 684 715

Sweden

  • Growth over the last 12 months: 59 percent
  • Growth plans for the next 5 years: 72 percent
  • Key challenges in next 12 months:
    • Internal: Staff recruitment (44 %), company re-organisation (35 %), business/product development (30 %).
    • External: Market conditions/euro uncertainty (55 %), competition (31 %), govt policy/regulation (26 %).
  • Key challenges in next five years: Need to continually innovate (67 %), attracting the right skills/talent (65 %) price competition (62 %).
  • 48 % of Swedish family businesses see the need to adapt their organisation to an increasingly digital world, which is a lot less than the global average. Also only 18 percent prioritise attracting talent to convert to digital. Our interpretation of why the global and Swedish average differ is that the respondents profiles are not the same. The Swedish companies in the survey are to a larger extent older and in the third and fourth generation.
  • International sales expect to grow from 29 % to 34 % in five years' time. Swedish family businesses will mainly export within Europe (73 %). Next market is Asia Pacific (27 %) and third is Americas (17 %).
  • 9 % of Swedish family businesses have a robust and documented succession plan for all senior roles. 30 % have a succession plan for at least some senior roles. 38 % of Swedish family businesses plan to pass on ownership to professional management, which is an increase from the last study. 28 % plan to pass on to the next generation.
  • 85 % of Sweden family businesses have at least one procedure/mechanism in place to deal with conflict. The most common procedures are shareholders agreement, family council and incapacity and death arrangements.

Read more

Contact:

Tomas Lindgren
Partner
Phone: +46 (0)709-292583

Switzerland

Family businesses in Switzerland are facing challenges such as a lack of skilled workers, competitiveness, market access and digitalisation. This was the result of a survey of around 125 family-owned companies in Switzerland that PwC conducted as part of the global Family Business Survey 2014.

Shortage of skilled workers as main concern

  • A worrying trend is emerging with regard to skilled workers: Our first survey of 2008 suggested that only 24% of family businesses in Switzerland saw the recruitment of qualified staff as a key task for the following 12 months. Today, this figure has risen to 51%. In global terms, a record 74% of companies surveyed in Switzerland consider the acquisition of the right talent and skilled workers as one of the biggest tasks for the next five years.

Vigilance regarding competitiveness

  • Competitiveness is also receiving a lot more attention. Six years ago, this area was a concern for just 14% of respondents, while in 2012 the figure was 32%. In 2014 this has risen to 40%.

Concern about the price war

  • Family businesses in Switzerland are concerned about price competition and, to a slightly lesser extent, about the economic situation in general. In the past year, 56% of companies increased in size. Nevertheless, 76% expect to increase in size over the next five years.

Sights set on market access

  • Export represents an ever-increasing challenge for family businesses in Switzerland. In the context of globalisation, they are becoming more and more international. In 2012, just 2% of respondents were concerned about market access, now the figure is 11%. Currently, 76% of study participants export their products abroad. The most promising exporting countries are Germany, China and the United States.

Digitalisation offers operational development potential

  • In spite of their sustainable strategy, the majority of family businesses in Switzerland are not yet ready to meet the digital requirements. 49% of respondents say they need to adapt their organisation to the digital world – worldwide, this figure is 72%.

Read more

Contact:

Dr. Marcel Widrig
Head Private Wealth Services
Phone: +41 58 792 44 50

Taiwan

Taiwanese family businesses are more optimistic than the global average about future growth, but they are also realistic about the challenges they will face in achieving that growth. With fierce competition expected, Taiwanese companies are focused on the need to professionalise and innovate, as well as retain and attract staff, if they are to achieve the growth they hope for.

  • Three-quarters of Taiwanese family businesses grew in the last financial year.
  • 98% are aiming to grow in the next five years.
  • Key challenges will be the need to professionalise and continually innovate, attracting the right skills and talent, as well as fierce competition.
  • 50% of sales come from exports, higher than the global average of 25%.
  • 67% have non-family members on the board, which is in line with the global average.
  • 67% have non-family staff with shares in the business, and 75% have non-working family member shareholders, both significantly higher than in the rest of the world.
  • 75% have next generation family members working for the business, and 50% have given shares to members of the next generation who don’t work in the business.
  • Four out of five Taiwanese family businesses have at least one procedure/mechanism in place to deal with conflict, and are highly likely to manage and appraise performance.
  • 77% have some sort of succession plan in place for at least some senior roles, but only 5% have a plan in place that is robust and documented.

Read more

Contact:

Ryan Lee
Partner
Phone: +886 (0)2 27296666 26613

Howard Kuo
Partner
Phone: +886 (0) 2 27296666 25226

United Kingdom

UK family businesses are finding it tougher to compete in the post-recession climate, and are acutely aware of the need to keep pace with the speed of change in an increasingly fluid and disruptive environment where innovation is key and skills are scarce. Many are responding by professionalising the way they operate – from systems and processes, to corporate governance. But there remains a significant challenge which many have not addressed, and that is to professionalise the family as well as the firm, especially in relation to succession planning.

Visit pwc.co.uk/familybusinesssurvey for more information and to download a copy of the report.

  • Growth levels for UK family firms are noticeably higher than the global average – 73% of UK businesses grew in the last year.
  • 90% of UK firms are aiming to grow over the next 5 years but only 8% of firms want to grow aggressively.
  • Professionalising the firm is a key challenge over the next five years. 66 % of UK firms feel that market conditions are the most important external challenge for the coming year and attracting the right skills is the biggest internal issue. 80% of UK firms identified digital technology as one of the top three global trends affecting their business over the next five years.
  • Professionalising the firm is a key challenge over the next five years. 66 % of UK firms feel that market conditions are the most important external challenge for the coming year and attracting the right skills is the biggest internal issue. 80% of UK firms identified digital technology as one of the top three global trends affecting their business over the next five years.
  • A number of family firms are looking to become owners only, not managers, with 22% planning to pass on ownership but bring in professional managers. But doing this well requires a whole new set of skills, and makes it even more imperative to professionalise the way the family operates.
  • Progress has been made in a number of areas - 82% of UK firms have at least one mechanism in place to deal with family conflict.

Read more

Contact:

Sian Steele
Partner
Phone: +44 (0)1223 552226

Suzi Woolfson
Partner
Phone: +44 (0)207 213 5030 | Mobile: +44 (0)7711 733985

United States

US family businesses have been faring well, with strong growth in the past year and even stronger growth expected ahead. They recognize, however, that to thrive in today’s ever-more-competitive landscape, they’ll need to out-innovate their peers and get the right people on board – an increasingly tough challenge in a world where business as usual is no longer enough.

  • 70% of family businesses in the United States have grown in the last 12 months.
  • 95% are aiming to grow over the next five years.
  • Concern about finding talented workers rose sharply (46% to 60%), as did concerns about regulatory pressures (up from 37% to 60%).
  • For the most part, the new markets that US family businesses plan to export to are China and Latin America countries.
  • Although two-thirds of family business have some sort of succession plan, only one-quarter have a plan that is robust and documented.
  • 85% of US family businesses have at least one procedure/mechanism in place to deal with conflict.

Contact:

Alfred Peguero
Partner
Phone: +1 (415) 498 6111

Jay Mattie
Partner
Phone: +1 (617) 530 4323