So begins a recent special report on family businesses published by The Economist.
The introduction to this report recalls the “starring role” family companies have played in the development of capitalism, citing the inherent advantage of the “two most important ingredients of growth, trust and loyalty,” and instrumental families we all recognize: the Rothschilds, Fords, and Versaces to name a few.
Recognizing that this kind of historic and economic impact of major family companies has been well documented, the report makes the case that the influence and impact of family companies is still one of the most important forces for economic growth around the world today. The Economist seems to agree with a concept David Landes first laid out in his book, Dynasties, asserting: “You could write a respectable history of capitalism through the lens of family histories. You could write an equally respectable survey of the state of modern capitalism by telling the story of a dozen family firms.”
Further, the Economist writes:
“This special report will argue that family companies are likely to remain a significant feature of global capitalism for the foreseeable future, thanks to a combination of two factors. Family companies in general are getting better at managing themselves: they are learning how to minimise their weaknesses while capitalising on their strengths. At the same time the centre of the modern economy is shifting to parts of the world—most notably Asia—where family companies remain dominant.”
Why is this significant for the families and businesses we serve here at Family Business Matters?
We want to help your family business continue to grow and succeed in the modern economy. We want […]