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New qualification for family business advisors launched

A UK business school is launching a programme dedicated to business education for advisors to family businesses.

Bristol Business School, part of the University of the West of England, has created a joint venture with the International Centre for Families in Business (ICFIB) to develop an 18-month part time programme, the Postgraduate Certificate in Family Business Advice.

Starting this October, it is designed to give professional intermediaries – from lawyers and management consultants to accountants, bankers and IFAs – the opportunity to enhance their learning about the nature and dynamics of the family business.

It will also provide an opportunity for advisors to enhance their experience of dealing with family business issues by getting involved in a live consultancy project.

"The learning environment we are looking to create with the programme is one that encourages the exchange of knowledge between academics, family businesses and the advisors," said Nicholas O'Regan (pictured), Professor of Enterprise & Innovation, who heads the programme.

Research by the ICFIB has shown that many professional advisors, whose experience has been with non-family run companies, are often uncomfortable when confronted with the family business and rarely fully understand the very nature of the business model.

John Tucker, director of the ICFIB, believes it is therefore a timely offering. "By offering this programme for professional intermediaries, it will help them develop greater understanding of the unique issues facing the family in business," he said.

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