Britta Pfister, Distinguished Fellow, INSEAD Global Private Equity Initiative

Asian family offices are at a nascent stage of development; while they are keen to progress, there are clear philosophies they don’t see the need to change.

When their business goes into distress, family firms have more than money at stake. Does this place them in a better position to manage their way out of trouble?

Many family owners are tempted to float their company on the stock exchange, lured by the idea of raising significant amounts of cash. But going public is not always what it’s cracked up to be.

  • As a vehicle for wealth management, the family office is still relatively new in Asia, but that’s now changing. Opportunities abound for managing this family wealth.

  • Family firms are dominating global business today. To ensure longevity, they must phase their many challenges through long-term planning. The first step is to design a road map for the future governance of the firm and the family.

  • Clear and well defined family values, trust, networks and innovation are often the bedrock for success in family firms, but designing governance structures to face ownership and succession roadblocks are also essential for longevity.

  • There were no sweet goodbyes when Britain lost Cadbury to U.S. food giant Kraft. How did the once family-owned firm run on strict Quaker values fall victim to globalisation?

  • Threatened by a sudden and hostile takeover, the Hermès family sought strength in unity and formed an elaborate defence to ensure the 130-year-old company remained under family control.