Family Business Survey 2021 - Greek report

From trust to impact

Why family businesses need to act now to ensure their legacy tomorrow

The unprecedented, tumultuous events of the past year have presented family businesses with enormous challenges. And although many have demonstrated significant resilience amid the crisis—the rapidly changing state of the world has served as a wake-up call for family business leaders looking towards the future.

In our 10th PwC Global Family Business Survey, we reveal the current thinking—and future outlook—of 2801 family business leaders across 87 territories. Our findings show that it’s no longer enough to rely on values and legacy to propel the business forward. Tomorrow’s family business requires a new approach for lasting success—one based on accelerated digital transformation, prioritisation of sustainability goals and professional family governance.

Download the Greek report

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"If family businesses want to get to the sweet spot where competence and ethics converge, it requires a change of mindset, a rethinking of their priorities and behaviours and a new definition of legacy."

Peter Englisch 
Global Family Business Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Key takeaways

The time to act is now if family businesses want to keep their legacy for future generations. Watch an overview of the key findings from the Family Business Survey 2021. 


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Explore the key topics for Greece

Family members noted that their strong sense of values and company purpose assisted them in overcoming the crisis.

Strong support to their employees and to the local community in troublesome periods is one of the fundamental principles that came up. 

Greek Family Businesses benefited from intensified communication and strong company values during the pandemic crisis. Greek Family businesses appear somewhat more ambitious than their global peers regarding growth prospects in the post-Covid-19 period. 

They expect to continue to rely mostly on the traditional sources of financing of operational cashflow and bank lending. They also aim to be more diversified going forward.

Greek Family businesses are coming out of the crisis with priorities similar to their global peers, namely:

  • Diversification and expansion of their activities
  • Digitalisation and introduction of new technologies
  • Evolving and new business thinking
  • Sustainability and focus on the local community

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Greek Family Businesses feel a responsibility to fight climate change and ensure that sustainability is embedded in everything they do.

They recognise that there is an opportunity for their company to lead in sustainable business practices and they consider contributing to the society essential. To date, they mostly do it by engaging in traditional social responsibility activities, such as local community support and philanthropy.

Even though Greek Family Businesses recognise the importance of sustainability and the opportunities and challenges that may arise from it, they have not yet incorporated and formalised it into their strategic planning.

The majority of Greek Family Businesses do not have a formally documented and communicated ESG strategy. This may pose a threat to them, as in today’s business environment, more pressure is put on companies to demonstrate their environmental social and corporate governance (ESG) credentials. Failing to demonstrate commitment to sustainability with concrete actions, could result in losing the trust and goodwill and long term even the “license” to operate.

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According to the Global Family Business report, strong digital capabilities translate into better performance, increased agility, more focus on sustainability and more transparency.

In Greece, digital, innovation and technology rank high on the priorities list of family businesses, however, the progress has been slow. Even though Greek Family

Businesses recognize that digitalization, innovation and technology are significant, almost a third of them acknowledge that their digital capabilities are not strong enough.

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Close to 90% of Greek Family Businesses feel they have a clear sense of company and/ or family values. Yet, less than half of them have the family values and mission of the company articulated in writ

Greek Family Businesses feel that the levels of trust, transparency and communication are quite high among family members. However, only half of them believe that there is family alignment on the company’s direction.

This gap is further accentuated by the lack of formalised governance policies; even though most Greek Family Businesses are positive about the clarity of roles and strength of leadership within the business, almost 40% of them acknowledge they have no formalised and documented governance policies in place. This is quite low compared with the global survey average, where only 21% of family businesses claimed to have no formalised governance policies.

Family Businesses need to formalise corporate governance. Strong family and company governance policies will be key in the coming years. especially, as the family business owners intend to continue to be involved in the control of their companies and are interested in their longevity and success.

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Addressing successful Succession Planning and Conflict Resolution

Greek Family Businesses want to maintain thefamily business, create a legacy and be involved in activities that make them proud as owners. However, formal succession planning policies are rarely present.

Even though Greek Family Businesses expect the next generation to be in control in the next five years, only 24% claim to have an agreed, robust and documented succession plan in place (compared with 30% globally).

Misalignment among family members can cause conflicts and jeopardize the longevity of family businesses. Greek Family Businesses admit that conflicts occur in their businesses. The vast majority chooses to handle them within the immediate family and only 5% have conflict resolution mechanisms. This comes in contrast with the global average, which shows that global Family Businesses are more willing to discuss conflict resolution openly with the family and engage third parties and use formal mechanisms to resolve them.


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Contact us

Kostas Perris

Partner, Advisory, PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 6874002

Fotis Smyrnis

Partner, Assurance , PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 6874691

Vassilios Vizas

Partner, Leader of Tax & Legal Services, PwC Greece

Tel: +30 210 6874019