Family Businesses Key to UK Economy…

Yet a Worrying Number Fail at Succession Planning

Family businesses, which are key to the UK economy and account for an estimated 70-90 per cent of annual global GDP, are failing at succession planning. With every two in three businesses in the UK being owned or run by families and around 9.5 million people employed by family firms, troublingly, statistics and research suggest that only 30% of family businesses survive to the second generation and only 10% successfully to the third, the rest being either sold or closed down.

Andrew Wates, Former Chairman of Wates Group Ltd, one of the UK’s largest privately owned construction companies and in its fourth generation as a family business, will address this issue at the STEP Business Families Special Interest Group exposé on the 20th October 2011.

David Harvey, Chief Executive of STEP, stated:

“We are very excited to have Andrew Wates speaking at this event as he is the luminary of family businesses and has an entrepreneurial spirit that has set a fine example for the sector.”

Evidence indicates that the transition from one generation to the next is not an easy task and despite the many benefits of having a succession plan in place, many companies simply neglect in developing one, giving fruition to failure. Whilst a carefully planned and executed succession arrangement can overcome tragedy, it is unlikely to exist without first confronting a complex set of decisions and personal family issues.

With the pressures of getting advice right, experts and businesses alike can come and hear both the experiences of an advisor and Andrew Wates as a semi-retired family member, alongside the advice of expert practitioners, in how to handle the "red-flag" issues of succession planning, tax, law and trusts in retirement, ownership issues, and dispute resolution at STEP Business Families Special Interest Group event on the 20 October 2011.

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