Europeans pass family business ownership to next generation

62% of Europe’s family businesses are confident about the future

Family business

Europeans increasingly pass family business ownership to next generation. Source:

Despite rising economic and geopolitical uncertainties, European families running common businesses stay positive about the future. They consider innovation, training and education, and diversification as key priorities as they try to adapt to a fast-changing world. KPMG Enterprise and European Family Business provided a survey of Europe-based family businesses with 1,613 family business executives in 27 countries across Europe.

Europe's family businesses are confronted by trade wars, geopolitical uncertainty, recession fears, rising populism, Brexit and the climate crisis. Years ago, any one of these issues could have triggered an economic slowdown and driven rampant business pessimism. Yet despite these many challenges, these family businesses remain positive about the future. Europe's entire business community can take heart from confidence that whatever comes, we'll get through it
Jonathan Lavender, Global Chairman, KPMG Enterprise & Global Co-leader, KPMG Enterprise Family Business

It is estimated that family businesses will transfer globally to $15.4 trillion by 2030. $3.2 trillion of them will be transferred to Europe.

Also worth noting that 35% of respondents intend to pass ownership of the business to the next generation, whereas 33% plan to pass on management responsibilities as well. Only 27% of surveyed answer they intend to transfer oversight responsibilities, suggesting the elder generation would like to keep an eye on the business for a while longer.

Whereas 84% of people say they currently have a family member as president or CEO, only 62% of respondents believe a family member will occupy that role in the years to come.


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