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By families, for families

Olivier de Richoufftz is executive director, FBN International, Switzerland.

This year on 20-22 September in Cannes, the Family Business Network will create a private and confidential environment for family businesses to discuss key issues and live cases on the topic of 'building success on talent'. Olivier de Richoufftz explains the FBN approach

For the first time in FBN's Summit history, a broad ­spectrum of live cases is being offered to participating families. This new dynamic element to the two-day ­programme will not only create networking opportunities but will allow members to learn from one another in a private, but open environment. Since the Summit is open only to members of business-owning families, the setting will be one of confidentiality in which the presenting families can feel comfortable sharing their issues with participants, and the participants can be comfortable to ask challenging questions while at the same time sharing their own dilemmas and insights.

The live cases are an additional and complementary component to the other facets of the event - the plenary sessions, workshops and family visits –and are most certainly the closest element in the Summit to FBN's principle of 'by families, for families'. Some examples include:

- Succession: a thought-provoking discussion led by the Melkonian family on how they thought 'out-of-the-box' when it came to succession. Would you be prepared to do the same?
- Next generation: the Chilean mining company, Compañia Minera El Bronce. A fifth generation family business that has grown into a company with 150 family shareholders and from nine family branches discusses the keys to building a family governance structure based on the next generation.
- Control and ownership: Dachser, the German intelligent logistics company is owned by two families, Rohde-Dachser and Simon, who hold equal shares in the company and have largely delegated control to a highly-qualified administrative board.
- Governance: Companhia Cedro Cachoeira, Brazil. The family will share their experiences of the expansion of the company as well as the development of a professional governance and management structure that serves both the company and the owning family.
- Develop talent: Marco Drago chairman of De Agostini Italy will animate discussions on how they develop talent within the family and in the business for sustainable success.
- Talent integration (internal and external): Being a world-wide company active on five continents requires very specific talent. How does the Squinzi family identify and develop the talents within the family? How do they integrate family and non-family talents to further expand Mapei?

Family business visits
The family business visits part of the programme is designed to provide the opportunity for families to discuss in a less formal way any issues pertaining to certain businesses. Each visit will have a specific moderator who will bring their own experience to the debate while reinforcing the concept of 'by families, for families'.

The event in Cannes also allows time for a number of workshops to run in parallel to one another. This provides the opportunity for groups to discuss and explore key issues around the theme of 'building success on talent' in more depth. Members of business-owning families will share their experiences alongside expert moderators who will stimulate discussion and provide fresh insights into topics such as non-family executives, preparing the next generation, philanthropy, the family as governors, women in family business and family shareholder development.

Key note speakers
The international nature of the event is evident in the selection of key note speakers who will be present at the Summit. Speakers include Marc-Antoine de Dietrich, chairman of the supervisory board of De Dietrich Process Systems, France. He will discuss the strategic renewal of the De Dietrich family business and how they went through the process of selling and buying back their family business, building on their strategic talent.

Reynier and Floris van Bommel from the Netherlands will present what the family and the company have done to discover the talent of the ninth generation. And how they transformed a traditional shoemaking company into a multi-segment modern shoemaker expanding into new markets.
Issues concerning governance and how to maintain an effective governance and executive team where family and non-family work together will be presented by Thierry Peugeot, chairman of the supervisory board of PSA Peugeot-Citroën, France.

In the context of the gala dinner, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco will touch upon the issue of philanthropy as a way to carry talent.

The new approach taken by FBN this year (live cases, workshops, plenary sessions and family visits) will allow all delegates at the Summit to participate, debate and interact in a confidential environment which we believe will allow for a successful and challenging event for members of business-owning families.

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