Canada - English


  • Service: Audit, Advisory, Tax, KPMG Enterprise
  • Industry: KPMG Enterprise, Centre for Family Business
  • Type: Business and industry issue, Survey report
  • Date: 7/16/2013

Family Ties 

For centuries, family businesses have been the most enduring, prevalent and successful form of enterprise. Today, family businesses operate in almost every corner of the Canadian economy. They drive innovation and employment. Their resilience and adaptability make them a buffer against economic shocks and dislocations. They are vital to the development of both the prosperity and character of their communities.

Family Ties
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For all their importance, knowledge and understanding of family businesses in Canada is sparse. This report—based on a joint survey effort of KPMG Enterprise and the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE)—demonstrates a commitment to fill this void. This study aims to advance the understanding of family businesses, their current and future owners and the attributes that equate to their success.


The survey, conducted in two phases, solicited the views and experiences of 517 members of business families across Canada. The first phase of the survey sought the general views of family members who work in the family business. The second phase focused on the views of future generations, whether they work in the family business or not, to explore their unique challenges and needs in greater depth. Rather than collecting and disseminating masses of dry statistics, this study explores the internal dynamics of a representative cross section of Canadian family businesses. Our report offers valuable insights into some of the main issues facing family businesses today. We have supplemented our analysis with quotes from the respondents themselves and case studies that shed more light on family business challenges and solutions for response.


KPMG Enterprise and CAFE wish to thank all of the individuals who participated in our survey effort and for helping to advance our joint mission of assisting families in business and promoting their value to the economy of Canada. We trust our report will be of value and interest not only to those directly engaged in family businesses but also to the business and financial advisers that support them.



Dennis Fortnum

Dennis Fortnum

Canadian Managing Partner, KPMG Enterprise


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