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To survive for over a century is a major achievement for any business. But when family dynamics also come into play, the challenge is even greater.

So, how have Europe’s most enduring family businesses managed to negotiate their way around the most common pitfalls? And what can younger family businesses learn by their example?

We partnered with Bocconi University to carry out in-depth interviews with dozens of executives at 10 of Europe’s most-successful family businesses to uncover the secrets to their long-term survival.


Leading Thoughts

The Generation Game

Many family businesses struggle to survive beyond the tricky third generation. As the old adage goes, the hardworking first generation builds the wealth, the second generation preserves it—and the third generation squanders it. During the third generation, three tensions come to a head—which can quickly threaten business survival.





Discover how Europe’s most successful family businesses navigated these challenges—and their three best practices for success


Heir Apparent

It’s easy to assume that your next CEO (and the next, and the next) will be someone in the family—often the eldest child. But not everyone has the right qualities or skills to be a great business leader. And even natural born leaders need the right training and experience to develop their potential. Europe’s most successful family businesses have thrived because they made smart investments in their future leaders.





We look at how Europe’s most-successful family businesses navigate the thorny question of succession.


Lessons from Exemplary European Family Businesses



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