Responsible Family Business & Wealth Ownership
Family business and wealth ownership is expanding, and demand for education and support in this area in an increasingly complex world is well-established. Many programmes focus on the next generation and on business succession rather than on the ownership and application of more passive wealth and other more holistic needs of families.
The theme of our 2018 programme is risk management, and our programme will explore this from all angles relevant to families and family businesses: How can risk be reduced by taking advantage of the unique opportunities that family resilience offers? How to identify and manage risks within the family, the business and the external world, including political and other risk? How do we understand and manage conflicts of interest and the risks they give rise to? Risk, if well identified and managed, represents opportunity, particularly for family business and wealth, and for families generally.
The Cambridge advantage
The approach of the Responsible Family Business & Wealth Ownership (RFBWO) programme is a curriculum focused on areas in which the resources of the University of Cambridge are employed to achieve outstanding leadership in the area of family business and wealth ownership. Through research and the building of a global community, we believe we can address some of the most important issues facing our societies today and in the years to come.
One of the primary objectives of the programme is to establish a global forum that will offer participants a learning experience that reflects the quality and reputation of the University of Cambridge, and which showcases our expertise as a centre of competence and leadership on issues in and around family-owned businesses and wealth. Using our research-led faculty and a community of global business and wealth owners, governments, advisors and other thought-leaders, we will provide a voice in relation to the role of family businesses and wealth owners in facing the challenges of today and tomorrow. This programme will commit to action and focus on academic research and topics that are entirely relevant to family businesses, wealth owners and our communities.
The programme will address issues relating to:
- How to expose the thorny issues facing family business entrepreneurs
- How to manage passive asset ownership effectively
- How to plan for growth balancing family culture, tradition and business strategies
- How to govern interwoven and conflicting matters shaping the development of the family business and the business family
- How to craft a transgenerational succession and engagement plan that ensures family business continuity
- How to master entrepreneurial, managerial, leadership, ownership, wealth management, financial and risk management matters
The focus on the RFBWO programme is on leadership and research and ensuring deep engagement of those who join the programme, thanks to exchange and debate within the classroom. Our objective is to improve not only the well-being and financial and business interests of the families involved, but of the societies and communities we all live and operate within.
The programme will cover the following core topics:
Leadership & Followership
- Personal development
- Enhancing leadership skills and capabilities
- Becoming an effective Board member
- Organisational development and human resources
- Intergenerational collaboration
- Effective branding, marketing and public relations
Governance & Structures
Delivering impactful contributions within the family business
Challenges for the future, and the role of family wealth and businesses in society
Understanding the "animals in the zoo" – the vehicles used to own family businesses and wealth and how they work, and the governance needed, including trusts, foundations, companies, partnerships, insurance arrangements
Succession Planning & Asset Protection
- Understanding the real needs of family business and wealth owners – succession planning, governance, asset protection and family constitutions
- Role of psychiatrists and psychologists in helping families avoid wealth being destructive of family relationships, family businesses and family wealth Changing demographics and the need for wealth and business owners to deal with ageing and succession impact
Investment & Tax
- Private equity and venture capital
- Alternative (asset class) investments
- Public companies and what investors need to know
- Portfolio analysis
- Balance sheet recognition and basic accounting
- Social impact investing
- Understanding the tax and regulatory world affecting family business and wealth
The optional elements, which can be offered post programme include the following:
- Organisation and running of individual family "retreats" covering a variety of objectives including the development of a family constitution or charter. Individual family retreats, an area in which Founding Advisors Iraj Ispahani and Philip Marcovici are active, may also form part of the linked optional offering, with families having the ability to benefit from private workshops and analysis allowing them to ask the important "what-ifs?" and undertake a "health check" of their existing succession and asset protection plans. Family constitutions and other tailored outcomes may be objectives, and members of the Cambridge faculty participating in the programme (or other external teachers) may be involved.
- Business strategy training focusing on the family business, family office or other enterprise maintained by the family. Learning from their peers as well as from the faculty of the University of Cambridge, programme participation can be followed by a tailored and individual programme for the family business involved, with key executives (who may not be family members) then joining the graduates of the programme for a tailored programme of executive education that is private to the particular business involved, and which helps build trust between family and non-family business leaders, focusing on strategy for the particular business involved.
- Opportunities for family members to undertake training specifically around supporting transitional events together with professional staff independent of the family, provides a powerful means of providing a bridge between advisors and family owners by ensuring smooth generational succession and a well-prepared and confident younger generation, as well as a motivated professional management team and or advisory network.
- Philanthropy - sharing perspectives on philanthropy and giving, including ideas for the next generation on how to engage. How to create good governance and reporting frameworks and measure sustainable impact.
- IT systems, technology and innovation.
- Communication and intergenerational understanding - how to create and encourage open and effective communication across all generations.
- Learn from faculty from a broad range of University of Cambridge departments including law, business, economics, psychology and public policy.
- Gain insights from prominent family business owners and renowned industry experts.
- Receive individual mentoring for each participant; an academic mentor who will be in touch with the participant in advance of the programme, during the programme, and in relation to follow-up possibilities.
- Receive an invitation to an annual alumni event that will bring together those who have attended earlier programmes, with the annual event having research of a key issue relevant to global family business and wealth owners at its heart.
- Successful participants of the programme will be awarded a Certificate of Attendance from Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education.
Who should attend
The programme will be restricted to family members, affording a safe environment for sharing and learning from peers.
We would welcome the following groups to attend:
- Owners of family businesses and next generation family business owners. Some families may choose to send several family members spanning the generations.
- Owners of family passive assets
- Principals within family offices
Participants will have all completed their education and started their professional career.
Application for the programme is taken very seriously. The applications are reviewed with care to ensure the group is homogeneous in terms of objectives and experience. We endeavour to revert to each applicant within 48 hours (over a working week).