• Service: Enterprise, Family business
  • Type: Business and industry issue
  • Date: 12/9/2013

KPMG’s Family Business Conference in Dubai a resounding success 

Family business conference
KPMG held its first regional Middle East & South Asia Family Business Conference in November 2013 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai. The Conference, themed “Family Businesses in the Middle East – Carrying on the Legacy” was a great success, with over 100 family business owners and leading executives from family enterprises across the Middle East and South Asian region in attendance.

“Starting a family business is easy, relatively speaking; sustaining it beyond a couple of generations is the hardest part. One of the most important tools to support succession is having mentoring programs; appointing a non-family member mentor for each of the next generation family members joining the business proves very useful.

Part of running a successful Family Business is the three circle model based on family, ownership, and business. The model incorporates key elements such as succession and the next generation, governance, growth, assurance, exit strategy, philanthropy and wealth preservation.” – Jamal Fakhro, KPMG’s MESA region Chairman and Managing Partner of KPMG in Bahrain and Qatar.

Family Businesses in the Middle East – Carrying on the legacy

Family business conference

Christine Blondel, Adjunct Professor of Family Business of Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise at INSEAD, and Senior Advisor to KPMG on Family Business Intelligence presented an excellent session on “Succession Planning in the World”. She highlighted that Family Business models strengths and weaknesses.

Some of the issues or weaknesses Family Businesses are more prone to, include succession issues, family fights, and miscommunication. Their strengths are that they can also be highly sustainable, with long-term commitments and views based largely on personal interest. The conference covered a lot of diverse topics that have a significant impact on the operations of Family Businesses.

Succession planning challenges

The presenters talked about succession planning on a country, regional, and global scale, and also the factors that are affecting this process. Another popular topic was the transition of Family Businesses from a local business to regional and global companies, and how to cope with these expansions.

“Family businesses are the backbone of many economies and some of the biggest challenges these businesses are facing is Governance and Succession planning for the next generation.

KPMG’s Family Business conference was held to enable family business owners across the region explore theses challenges and share best practices. KPMG member firms and International subject experts were also on-hand to help support family businesses in carrying on their legacy.” – Harish Gopinath, Head of Family Business and Enterprises for KPMG’s Middle East & South Asia Region

Running a successful family business

According to Fawzi Aburass, Head of Family Groups for KPMG in the UAE:

Presentation by Jamal Fakhro  

“KPMG’s initiative to hold their first Regional Middle East and South Asia Family Conference in Dubai was highly appreciated by all those in attendance. The event was focused on succession planning which is a very important element for all family run businesses.


The attendees have given stellar feedback for all the sessions held here today, as they found them to be highly useful and relevant to their own situations.”

Harish Gopinath

Harish Gopinath
Harish Gopinath is Head of Owner Managed Business Unit, KPMG Bahrain and Head of Middle Markets, Middle East and South Asia region.

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