The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Legal Services Department in association with leading law firm, Hadef & Partners, and professional trustee and corporate management services firm, Opus Private Group organised a workshop, “Growing and Protecting Family Businesses” at Dubai Chamber premises on Monday.
Conducted by Samer Huda of Hadef & Partners and Andrew Young and Brian Carey of Opus Private Group, the workshop was attended by Dubai Chamber members, family business executives, family members, managers and in-house lawyers and legal consultants.
The workshop, with its topics of organisation of family companies for growth and continuity and family governance and dynastic planning, dealt with establishing a sound business structure that ensures optimum growth and implementation of family governance principles to avoid disputes and to enhance the status of a family business.
Ms Jehad Kazim, Director, Legal Services, Dubai Chamber, said: “In a city like Dubai where family businesses are aplenty, managing family businesses for growth and continuity whilst avoiding risk and disputes are key challenges. Hence, Dubai Chamber, under its strategic objectives of creating a favourable business environment and supporting the development of business, organised this workshop which identified how the right structure and appropriate governance models can help prepare family businesses for a sustainable future.”
Kazim added that Family businesses comprise most of the enterprises in the Gulf region, as they account for over 90% of all commercial activities in the Gulf region.
She further added that the workshop concentrated on the specific needs of everyone involved in the running of a family business and offered guidelines on how family owners and managers when exposed to external and internal pressures have to re-focus their efforts and turn their attention to issues of governance and succession and make a bigger success of their family business.
On his part, Sameer Huda, Head of Corporate, Dubai, Hadef & Partners pointed out that “The Middle East is no different from the rest of the world in that dynamic and capable business people establish businesses, some of which have grown to be quite substantial. There is a significant amount of evidence to indicate that a very low percentage of family businesses successfully transition to the second generation, and far fewer manage to survive to the third generation. Those that do survive and thrive tend to have addressed family governance, succession planning, corporate structuring and corporate governance in some meaningful manner. “
“Clearly, the UAE is a young country that has witnessed rapid economic development in just 40 years with the development of Dubai and Abu Dhabi into key regional business hubs. Many family and closely held businesses are currently planning or implementing succession plans and undergoing corporate restructuring that will enable them to survive for future generations or attract investment where appropriate. Hadef & Partners is playing a key role in this process and offers a fairly specialized service in this area”, he added.