Dec 23, 2020 - CFOs In Tech: Here’s How A Six-Year-Old Enterprise Tech Company Is Taking On IT Giants, With A Veteran CFO guiding the ship

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From the Editor's Desk

Build a Family Business That Lasts

Companies that endure do these five things right.

Given their portrayals in the media, it might be easy to dismiss family businesses as hotbeds of power playing, favor currying, and back-stabbing - preoccupations that can hurt the company, the family, or both. Think of the Murdochs and NewsCorp, or the Redstones and National Amusements, to name just two. But despite the headline-grabbing tales, many family businesses have enjoyed success for decades, even centuries. For instance, the Italian winemaker Marchesi Antinori, established in 1385, has thrived as a family business for more than 600 years. Similar examples can be found across the globe just within the alcohol business; they include Gekkeikan in Japan (founded in 1637), Berry Bros & Rudd in the United Kingdom (1698), and Jose Cuervo in Mexico (1795).

So which is it? Are family businesses prone to dramatic implosions, or are they some of the most enduring companies in existence? The answer is both. They can be much more fragile or much more resilient than their peers. Given that family businesses - companies in which two or more family members exercise control, concurrently or sequentially - represent an estimated 85% of the world's companies, ensuring their longevity is essential.

To explain the difference between those two fates, we'll delve into an area rarely explored in business schools or the media: the impact of ownership on a company's long-term success. Ownership of any asset confers the power to fundamentally shape it.

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