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KPMG hosts Middle East, South Asia and Caspian Family Business Summit in Riyadh

Conference discusses transgenerational prosperity through family business innovation in the presence of renowned global academics and leading family businesses from Saudi Arabia and the wider MESAC region

KPMG Middle East, South Asia and Caspian (MESAC) Family Business Summit 2022, the flagship regional event for owners and senior leaders of family businesses, was held at Hotel Hilton Riyadh on October 12, 2022.

The conference was aligned to the core theme of leveraging innovation to drive transgenerational prosperity. The sessions provided insights into key trends, opportunities and challenges faced by family businesses across the region as well as globally, along with a perspective on how prominent family businesses are addressing these matters.

The summit has also provided participants with a deeper understanding of how their businesses can drive growth, and leverage the skills and knowledge from the future generation of young leaders within the family amidst the evolving business landscape of the regions.

Dr. Abdullah Hamad Fozan, Chairman & CEO at KPMG Professional Services commented: “For family businesses in this region, succession planning and transgenerational prosperity have become increasingly critical considerations. With this conference, we aimed to bring together leading experts and family business practitioners to discuss perspectives on these themes.”

The keynote speech was delivered by Sheikh Mohamed Yousuf Naghi, the third generation Chairman of Yousuf M.A. Naghi & Sons Group, one of the leading family businesses in Saudi Arabia. Naghi presented his perspectives on sustaining a family business over generations.

The National Center for Family Business also participated in the event, represented by its CEO Dr. Ayth Ibrahim Al Mubarak.

The audience was presented with two lectures by Dr. Alfredo De Massis, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business at IMD in Switzerland and at University of Bolzano in Italy, and Dr. Francesco Debellis, Professor at the University of Vienna, highlighting real life examples of family businesses addressing their succession and governance challenges.

“The requirement for a governance framework is realized as the idea to pass on the company to the next generation may collide with the family’s need to include outsiders in the leadership team to keep the business active,”, said Dr. Francesco Debellis.

At the core of the conference were two panel discussions where leaders from prominent family businesses sat alongside researchers and experts to discuss themes of succession planning, governance and digital transformation.

Fuad Chapra, Head of Family Business and Private Enterprise in KPMG Saudi Arabia commented: “Family firms should recognize the important role of innovation to ensure the competitive advantage across generations, while tradition is a significant and distinctive asset for family firm innovation. Tradition and innovation are not necessarily contradictory, rather their relationship can be symbiotic.”

Tom McGinness, Global Leader of Family Business for KPMG Family Business and Private Enterprise spoke about sustaining an entrepreneurial culture in family business and nurturing the next generation in governance and innovation.

“We hope to have shed a light on the various tools family businesses have at their possible through trends in innovation to drive transgenerational prosperity,” Chapra concluded.