IESE Business School | Groups


The Family Business Club at IESE aims to help its members find their position inside their Family Business setup. A matrix was therefore developed to highlight crucial stages of the business and its key stakeholders.

The long-term success of a family business relies on the performance and cooperation of its key stakeholders. The IESE Family Business Club Matrix outlines how the roles of both the MANAGEMENT and of the shareholders (OWNERSHIP), as well as the basis of their collaboration (STRUCTURE), change in relation to different maturity stages of a family business. Regardless of the maturity quadrant and focus point, the FAMILY always plays a vital role, even though it might not have any legal power on how the management, the ownership and the business structure is organised and transferred.

LEGACY BUSINESSES are considered companies in their start-up phase or when being newly acquired by an individual or a group of entrepreneurs. All share in common the long-term investment approach of its owners who have intentions to hand over the business to future generations. The goal to create a legacy differentiates legacy businesses from other start‑ups or business takeovers.

YOUNG FAMILY businesses face unfamiliar challenges in respect to both management and ownership. Approximately 30 % of all family businesses last into the second generation. The first business succession must be managed and a continuously growing business often entails fundamental changes in the management team. Approx. 50 % of all IESE MBA students that have a family business belong to the 2nd generation compared to the company founder according to the IESE Family Business Club Survey March 2019.

CORPORATE FAMILY businesses have already successfully managed successions both on the shareholder and operative level. Only 12 % of all family businesses survive through the third generation. In many cases, an increased number of stakeholders creates more sophisticated structures with regards to who is managing, governing, and owning the business now and in the future.

In perpetuity, the key stakeholders must constantly reflect on their entrepreneurial behaviour as well as leadership competence and have to assure the validity of the corporate governance in place in order to maintain a sustainable business model for accomplishing the succession objective.