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Juan Corona is Academic Director of the IEF; Jesús Casado is Business Relations Director of the IEF.

The Instituto de la Empresa Familiar (IEF) has strongly supported the promotion and development of family enterprise in Spain, and represents the family business community on a national level

Since its foundation in 1992, the Instituto de la Empresa Familiar (IEF) has been a vigorous supporter, promoter and educator of family enterprise and its development. IEF members are all presidents, managing directors or members of the board of the companies they own. Linked to the different Autonomous Communities of Spain by Regional Associations, IEF represents Spain's family business community on a truly national level.

The total number of businesses that belong to the IEF is 105; their global turnover is €3.6 billion, equivalent to 9% of Spain's GDP, and they generate more than 210,000 jobs. They are active in areas including services (19.9%), industry (18.2%), food (17.6%). construction (15.8%),  media (7.9%) and banking and insurance (7.9%). Of these businesses, 13% are in the first generation; 72% in the second; 21% in the third and 17% in the fourth.

The Regional Associations
Without any doubt, one of the most significant features of the IEF is its network of Regional Associations (Asociaciones Territoriales). These are a response to the peculiarities of Spain's political structure, which is formed of 17 Autonomous Communities.

In essence, it is a model halfway between German federalism and Italian regionalism. The existence of these Regional Associations was debated and the idea of dependence on the IEF was rejected. The associations are linked to the IEF by means of an agreement of collaboration, but they are legally independent. Currently, there are 16 Regional Associations, one for each Autonomous Community, except in Navarre and Extremadura. In the Comunidad Valenciana, two Associations exist together.

The Associations show the will of the IEF to be linked more locally to the family businesses set up in the different Autonomous Communities. At the same time, it is a way to attend to the demands of smaller family businesses than those associated with the IEF. However, as in the IEF, they are leading companies in their field and in their respective territories.

This regional network has brought about a national projection of the IEF and has fostered a transfer of the culture of family business to the different parts of the Spanish territory.

The link
The link between the IEF and the Associations is established by a collaboration agreement. The Associations are identified as "linked to the IEF", which implies thoroughness and quality in their activities. The formal obligations imposed by this agreement are mainly the exchange of information and documentation; that is to say, documents and studies elaborated by the IEF, articles and press releases, the stance of the IEF on the relevant subjects and the transcriptions of the conferences organised by the IEF.

The activities
As far as formation activities are concerned, the IEF performs a specific programme for the Associations that includes the participation of the best national and international experts in this field. The subjects studied include the succession of family business, government of family business and protocols.

In coordination with the Family Business Chairs promoted by the IEF, academic activities are carried out with the participation of the members of the Associations.

Each year the IEF organises an Annual Meeting (Congreso Nacional) where the members of the IEF and Associations meet  in a friendly atmosphere to promote the defence and improvement of the interests of family business in Spain.

The total number of businesses that are members of the Associations is 750. Their global turnover is €2.4 billion, equivalent to 6% of Spain's GDP, and they generate more than 171,000 jobs. The sectors of activity in which they operate include industry (30.7%0; services (27.1%); building (18.8%); food (16.4%0; hotel business (7%); others (13.1). Most of these business are in their second generation: 23% of the businesses are still in first generation; 56% in second generation; 18% in third generation; and only 3% in fourth generation.

The existence of the Associations reinforces the representation of the interests of family business all over Spain and helps create a global opinion on this matter, better adapted to the necessities of each of the 17 Autonomous Communities.

The Regional Associations: insiders' views
As President of the Asociación Andaluza de la Empresa Familiar (AAEF), I would like to thank the  IEF for its contribution and support throughout our founding process, which started 15 months ago in Seville.

All of us felt from day one not only that defending the interests of the family firms in southern Spain was a meaningful project, but also that we had the right partner in the IEF. We therefore look forward to helping the IEF in its efforts to develop the role and culture of the family business in Spain in the future.
María Joaquina Martínez de Salazar, President, Asociación Andaluza de la Empresa Familiar (AAEF).

The Asociacion Balear was born as a small group of family businessmen, with the firm support of the IEF. We have to mention of the members of our islands, which are members of the IEF because they gave a major boost to the creation of the Asociación Balear.

The first two years of collaboration with the Institute of Family Business were essential to the existence of the association. It was from this moment on that the Asociación Balear began to contribute fully to the Institute and Regional Associations. We believe that the exchange of opinions and activities among the different Regional Associations can make the field of family business in Spain more powerful, rich and promising.
Jose Luis Roses, President Asociación Balear de la Empresa Familiar.

Since the establishment of the Family Business Asociation in Castilla y León, in June 1997, we have transmitted to the regional political authorities the necessity of taking steps that could provide the continuity of family businesses. The regional government, concerned with the specific problems of these companies, established in January 2000 a 99% bonus on Inheritance Tax, although applicable only to small enterprises (up to €3 million sales). 

Since 2001, this bonus has been extended to all family businesess with the limitation of not being quoted on the Stock Exchange. Moreover, in 2002, the government of Castilla y León pioneered a non-refundable economical aid for those companies carrying out a Family Protocol.

Nevertheless, despite these achievements, we want to advance towards a more ambitious legal framework that will allow the continuity and development of the family businesess in Castilla y León.
Antonio Perez, Presidente de Empresa Familiar de Castilla y León.

The Catalonian Association was set up three years ago and at present has 102 members. Under the members' decision, we dedicate 90% of our training activities to the problems in the relationship between the family and the company.

We consider two matters very important. The first is to obtain a massive turnout of members and their relatives to all activities, and the second is to enhance members' active participation through talks and discussions. We always insist on the attendance of key personnel, due to the fact that there is a tendancy to send junior members who are not able to take strategic decisions. The training of business families in all these matters is the Catalonian Association's main target.
Antonio Gallardo, Associacio Catalana de l'Empresa Familiar.

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