The family business sector is poised for upheaval with 40% of family-owned firms expected to transfer their wealth over the next five years as the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation retires, according to business advisers BDO.
BDO is partnering with The Australian Centre for Family Business at Bond University to undertake a survey to identify and understand key trends and issues of intergenerational wealth transfer in family businesses.
The survey will provide an insight into issues such as family-first versus business-first orientation and succession strategies.
BDO Family Business Consultant, Marina Skinner says intergenerational change will pose significant challenges for family businesses over the coming five years.
“The family business sector represents two-thirds of all businesses in Australia and has a huge impact on our economy from an employment and wealth perspective,” Marina says.
“With the Baby Boomers fast approaching retirement age, this issue will come to a head over the next five years.
“The effect of wealth transfer will be far reaching throughout the Australian economy, yet little or no research has been conducted on the impacts of this change.
“The survey is designed to understand the issues facing family businesses in terms of both wealth and knowledge transfer – and hopefully develop new effective strategies for these businesses moving forward.”
BDO and ACFB are calling on all businesses, not just family-owned businesses, to take part in the survey.
“The study has been designed to be completed by both family and non-family businesses. All responses will be strictly confidential,” Marina says.
“The report that will be developed as a result of the research will help to better inform key decision makers and advisers of family owned businesses on the impacts of this important issue.
“By participating you will be notified when the summary report is available and will receive exclusive access prior to the release of the full report.”
Businesses can complete the survey by visiting The Australian Centre for Family Business’ website at www.bond.edu.au/acfb and clicking the link to the BDO Business Wealth and Knowledge Transfer Survey 2012.
Updated 5 June 2012