According to Isabelle Le Breton-Miller, Professor of management and Chair of Succession and Family Enterprise, and Carol Bélanger, Lecturer in business psychology, both at HEC Montréal, family businesses face great challenges to survival and in the successful transfer of leadership and ownership. This was the focus of their presentation at the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU), an association devoted to innovative advanced financial solutions. The conference, entitled Guided by Knowledge, was held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa from May 7 to 10, 2017 and was attended by almost 450 professionals.
In their talk, Your Clients and Their Succession Plan: Nurturing the Sustainability of Your Clientele, Mr. Bélanger discussed the qualities of highly successful entrepreneurs, individuals known for their vitality, focus, and independence(1). Those same qualities, however, make succession, particularly within a family business, especially challenging. Indeed, Prof. Le Breton-Miller discussed three of the most common types of problematic succession that she and her colleagues have found to occur as a result of those challenges: they call these conservative, rebellious and vacillating(2). The speakers concluded their presentation by addressing how to ensure that these challenges will not arise – that there will be a smooth and successful succession when the time comes.
During this four-day conference, a large number of presenters shared their knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas including succession, financial and income planning, as CALU’s mission is to educate and mentor members and help to shape policy and legislation for the benefit of its members and their clients.
For more information:
CALU – 25 Years
(1) Bélanger, C. (2011). L’échec des successions des fondateurs d’entreprise : Avoir les défauts de ses qualités! Gestion: Revue Internationale de Gestion 36(1) : 41-46.
(2) Miller, D.; Steier, L. & Le Breton-Miller, I. (2003). Lost in time: Intergenerational Succession, Change and Failure in Family Business. Journal of Business Venturing 18(4): 513-531.