the Institute of Economics and Finance


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by: Enrique Soriano

AS life expectancy rises, an increasing number of business leaders are in their 80s and demographic trends will ensure this rises further in the future. But does it make good business sense?

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According to Joseph Fan, co-director of the Institute of Economics and Finance at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, family succession issue in Asia is “extremely challenging” as many dominant family-run firms are in transition period with the founders being very elderly.

Wisdom and relevance in family businesses

Ingvar Kamprad, although 85 years old, remains heavily involved in IKEA – the company he founded. He retired in 1986, but insiders say the flat-pack retailer’s “senior advisor” continues to direct strategic decision-making.

In the US, Si Newhouse, Jr., 83, and his 81-year-old brother Donald own and run Advance Publications, which includes Condé Nast. But a number of Condé Nast’s publications, including “Modern Bride”, “Elegant Bride”, “Gourmet” and “Cookie”, have folded in recent years, which might lead to questions over the Newhouse brothers’ leadership abilities, or at least whether they are capable of taking the business forward. #OpinYon #business

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