The significance of corporate governance in family businesses was the overarching topic at the forum organized by the Asharqia Chamber at the Chamber’s premises in cooperation with the GCC Board of Directors Institute. As around 63 percent of Kingdom’s business entities are family businesses, the forum was addressing a lot of people. High-level speakers presented different focus topics, from smooth transition to succession planning to programs and institutes supporting family-run businesses. Next to Deputy Minister of Commerce and Investment Mr. Abdulsalam Al-Mana, also Mr. Abdulhakim H. Al-Khalidi, Chairman of Asharqia Chamber, and Ms. Jane Valls, Executive Director of the GCC Board of Directors Institute, stressed the importance of supporting family businesses and addressed their day-to-day business and their struggle with e.g. political pressures or lack of public trust. However, family businesses should not be intimidated by these, as they contribute 32 percent to the GDP of KSA during the period by the end of 2017 and employ 76 percent of the private sector workforce and 52 percent of the total manpower in the Kingdom by 2017.
In the subsequent panel discussion led by Dr. Ibrahim Al-Mutrif, former Secretary General of Asharqia Chamber, also V-LINE CEO Detlef Daues took part and shared his experiences on leading a family business in first generation. Next to the focus on how the younger generation learns the tools of the trade, also clear succession plans for ownership and management were discussed, as they are needed to be put forward in order to ensure smooth transition between generations and ensure continuity of business. They focused on issues such as separating family affairs from business, establishing training and development programs for the smooth transition of management to the next generation.
Picture shows from left to right:
Jane Valls, Executive Director, GCC Board Directors Institute; Abdul Salam bin Abdullah Al Mana, Deputy Minister for Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Trade; Detlef Daues, CEO of V-LINE EUROPE; Abdulhakim Hamad Al-Khaldi, Chairman, Asharqia Chamber