Family businesses in the region are looking at the next stage of growth by evaluating factors such as geographical and industry-sector expansion, establishing governance and addressing challenges such as succession planning.

To facilitate conversation around these topics, KPMG Lower Gulf hosted a Middle-East and South-Asia Family Business Summit. Subtitled “Driving growth through innovation and technology”, the Summit explored the latest trends, challenges and opportunities for family business groups in the UAE and wider region.

The summit was led by Professor Randel Carlock, Professor in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Founding Director of the Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise at leading international business school INSEAD. He was joined by Tom McGinness, Global Chair KPMG, and other prominent speakers from family-owned entities in the region who shared their perspectives and success stories in a panel discussion. The summit offered insights into how businesses can drive growth while leveraging new technologies in the evolving business landscape of the region.  

Nader Haffar, Chairman and CEO, KPMG Lower Gulf, said: “Seventy percent of current family business leaders in the region do not have a succession plan in place[i]. Inter-generational wealth transfer can create an opportunity to build trust and drive these organizations’ growth and diversification aspirations in the region. The KPMG MESA Family Business Summit aimed to provide direction to navigate potential roadblocks and put family-run organizations on the path to success.”

A few of the themes discussed at the summit included: what makes an organization innovative, how new technologies and digital disruptors could be impacting their growth, and how family businesses could be made more resilient by focusing on leadership development, strategy and succession planning. There was also discussion around the comparison of family businesses being led by millennials and how they perform versus the older generations.

In addition to Professor Carlock, speakers included Abdulla Fareed Al Gurg – Group CEO, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, UAE; Hala Yateem – Director, A M Yateem Brothers, Bahrain; Subramaniam Eassuwaren – Director, Eswaran Brothers, Sri Lanka; and Tharwat Amer – Group CFO, SEDCO Holding, Saudi Arabia.



[i] KPMG Global Family Business survey

Source: BPG Group