EDHEC partners KPMG on a new training programme for family businesses, Family Shift

Written on 25 October 2021.


On 14 October, Benoît Arnaud, Director of Programmes at EDHEC Business School and Axel Rebaudières, Managing Partner and member of the Managing Board, KPMG, signed a partnership agreement geared to developing a new training programme – Family Shift – devoted to the needs of family businesses. The agreement crowned several months of work between EDHEC’s Family Business Centre and KPMG’s teams. It also reflects the belief that a combination of practical expertise and academic research is the way to get closest to the real needs of this highly distinctive category of company.

Family businesses are an essential component of the economy and have highly particular needs, especially when it comes to the issue of transmitting the company from one generation to another, a process that sometimes brings forces into play that go beyond the traditional scope of business. In response to these issues, the Family Business Centre – the EDHEC research centre wholly devoted to family businesses - and KPMG decided to combine their expertise to set up Family Shift, an expert training programme customised to the specifics characteristics and issues of these companies. The objective is to assist new generations of family-business managers, through an awareness-raising and development programme that helps them find their feet in an informed way in an enduringly complex environment. As Alpha Niang, partner in charge of family businesses at KPMG, explains :

“We’ve been working with family businesses for many years and have also been publishing an annual family business survey for eight years now. And in today’s tricky context, with its sizeable social, societal and environmental challenges, we can see that these companies need to be supported in a highly specific way in the task of transmitting their businesses from one generation to another”.

The programme is due to begin in January 2022 and comprise two days of in-person sessions, based on seven modules delivered by EDHEC and KPMG personnel and focusing on specific subjects for family businesses.

Innovative and varied teaching methodologies

These sessions are designed to transmit knowledge on a certain number of sensitive subjects for family businesses (inter-generational transmission and its factors of risk, psychology, entrepreneurship, governance, etc.). But the new programme stands out particularly for its customised focus on family business needs and the combination of the audit firm’s practical skills and the knowledge acquired through the research work undertaken for many years by the EDHEC Family Business Research Centre. As underlined by Rania Labaki, Director of the EDHEC Family Business Research Centre :

“ Family-business leaders’ traditional skills are necessary, but not sufficient on their own to ensure the continuity of their companies. This programme gives participants an in-depth and documented understanding of how family businesses operate, including  their social, environmental and emotional considerations, enabling them to develop an action plan well-suited to the current challenges”.

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