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Hong Kong Tatler - - | Tatler Focus Hsbc Private Bank -

am­ily busi­nesses are once more a com­mer­cial force to be reck­oned with. For the fam­i­lies them­selves the pas­sion may never have dimmed, but there is a re­newed com­mer­cial in­ter­est in how re­silient large fam­ily busi­nesses in par­tic­u­lar are prov­ing to be in the face of global un­cer­tainty. So what are the sources of their strength? We asked a range of ex­perts at HSBC Pri­vate Bank and be­yond for their take on the unique char­ac­ter­is­tics of good fam­ily en­ter­prises.

They un­der­stand own­er­ship, con­trol And Long-term plan­ning It’s said that fail­ing to plan is the same as plan­ning to fail. Bernard Ren­nell, re­gional head of global pri­vate bank­ing, Asia Pa­cific, and global head of fam­ily gov­er­nance and fam­ily en­ter­prise suc­ces­sion at HSBC Pri­vate Bank, says that lack of ad­e­quate plan­ning can con­demn even the strong­est fam­ily busi­nesses. “Most fam­i­lies are used to think­ing strate­gi­cally for their fam­ily busi­ness and in­vest­ments—it’s nat­u­ral; it’s in­stinc­tive,” he says. “But it’s less in­stinc­tive to plan for ‘the busi­ness of the fam­ily’. How­ever, if the fam­ily busi­ness is to suc­ceed over the longer term, it’s es­sen­tial to plan for the im­pact of in­ter­gen­er­a­tional wealth trans­fer on the busi­ness and on fam­ily har­mony.”

Ren­nell un­der­lines fac­tors that can cre­ate the right con­di­tions for a healthy, long-liv­ing fam­ily busi­ness: “De­vel­op­ing a frame­work for col­lec­tive de­ci­sion-mak­ing which recog­nises and re­spects the dif­fer­ent roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of own­ers and man­agers—a crit­i­cal dis­tinc­tion as the fam­ily grows in num­ber over time.”

They Are in it for The Long Term Ac­cord­ing to Adrian Wooldridge, man­age­ment ed­i­tor at

if fam­ily busi­nesses can cap­ture the essence of their his­tory, this cre­ates an ap­peal that en­gen­ders a long-last­ing and

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