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Only 40% of family businesses of the Region of Murcia plan their future managers

This is one of the main conclusions of the first ‘Cuadernos de Trabajo’ published by the Mare Mare Nostrum Family Business Chair ’of the University of Murcia and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena.

Communication Bankia

By  Communication Bankia

Publish on 
15 May 2020 - 13:15

  • The 'Cátedra de Empresa Familiar Mare Nostrum', with the collaboration of Bankia, the Cajamurcia Foundation and AMEFMUR and Instituto de la Empresa Familiar de Murcia , launch 'Cuadernos de Trabajo' (Work Notebooks), with the aim of analysing the behaviour of regional family companies
  • The first edition, written by the chair director, Ángel Meroño, states that only 58% of companies considering generational transfer have inheritance plans

Only 40% of family businesses in the Region of Murcia plan their future managers, which implies the risk of facing the generational handover hastily in a way that could threaten their continuity.

This is one of the main conclusions of the first 'Cuadernos de Trabajo' published by the 'Mare Nostrum Family Business Chair' of the University of Murcia and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, with the collaboration of Bankia, the Cajamurcia Foundation, AMEFMUR and the Instituto de la Empresa Familiar of Murcia. Its objective is to analyse the most relevant issues regarding family businesses in the region with scientific rigour, but using an accessible language and format.

The first edition was written by the chair director, Ángel Meroño, and addresses the problems of inheritance and, in general, the continuity of the family business, using data from the 2016-2019 period of the Family Business Barometer of the Region of Murcia.

The text states that the early stages of any company are aimed at developing and consolidating the business model, but that over time it becomes essential to think about the future. In the case of family-owned companies, it involves planning the incorporation of the family, and when the time comes, planning the inheritance.

However, only four out of ten family-owned companies plan their inheritance "which entails a significant risk of facing the generational transfer hastily, thereby threatening continuity". "In addition, the negative economic scenario derived from the pandemic will also affect the viability of many family-owned companies," says the text.

The paper analyses continuity plans considering the influence of generation at the head of the company, the economic situation, business and family guidance.

The companies that think about the transfer are mainly first-generation and they are characterised by a greater familiar orientation and a better perception of the economic situation, based on future outlooks. However, only 58% have planned the inheritance.

The companies that would opt for selling are mainly third-generation; they do not consider inheritance and have acceptable turnover. However, their outlook on the economic situation is very negative. Due to the existence of a certain family harmony, they seem to agree that selling the company is a way to minimize the loss of assets.

The companies that think about closing have come to consider inheritance, nevertheless, their negative perception of the economic situation and their income, together with a terrible family situation, are decisive. They are mainly first or third generation companies.

Delays in inheritance

According to the data of the study, the worsening economic situation would entail an increase in two possible situations: closures or delays in the inheritance. The deterioration of the economic situation will trigger an increase in the closure of non-viable companies. In principle, the option to sell will be unappealing. Within companies that bet on continuity, they can be expected to delay the succession, even when it is already planned or underway.

"It is essential that family businesses try to incorporate the next generation in order to know and contribute to the continuity of the company. This will help to start planning the inheritance", said the author of the text and director of the 'Mare Nostrum Family Business Chair', Ángel Meroño.

"It may be a good idea to work together, at least during the initial period of the economic crisis, between the outgoing leader and the candidates for inheritance. The former will provide knowledge and respect inside and outside the company, while the latter will learn but, at the same time, can incorporate innovative approaches in the company, while assessing their suitability as a future successor,” he underlined.

Help for companies in Murcia

Carlos Aguilera, Bankia's Corporate Business Manager in Murcia and the Valencia Region, stressed that "the family business has to maintain its medium and long-term vision, with inheritance being one of the issues to keep in mind, incorporating the next generation from the point of view of management and training to become suitable shareholders if professional management is chosen".

For her part, the regional corporate manager of Bankia in Murcia and Alicante, Olga García, has highlighted "that the 'Cuadernos de Trabajo' will allow Murcian family businesses, regardless of size, to improve their levels of business competitiveness, something that is always important".

The chairman of the Cajamurcia Foundation, Carlos Egea, also highlighted that this publication is a very useful tool for analysing how family-owned companies behave and foresee their evolution in the medium term. "Based on scientific and academic criteria, the 'Cuadernos de Trabajo' will be of great help to address the problems of continuity of this type of business, which have great weight and importance in the regional economy," he said.

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