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Eye of Dubai
Business & Money | Thursday 14 December, 2023 1:10 pm |

Family Business Council Gulf Marks a Decade of Empowering GCC Family Businesses.

The Family Business Council-Gulf (FBCG), a preeminent organization dedicated to supporting GCC family businesses, commemorated its 10th anniversary by hosting the landmark 10th edition of its Annual Summit. Themed 'A Brave New World', the Summit in Riyadh was a convergence of leading family business figures from the GCC and beyond, fostering a platform for insightful exchanges and forward-thinking discussions.


This milestone event, exclusive to family business members, witnessed the participation of illustrious family businesses, including Al Muhaidib Group and SEDCO Holding from Saudi Arabia, ALSAYER Holding from Kuwait, Alzayani Investments from Bahrain, and Alfardan Group from Qatar. The Summit's unique format is tailored to facilitate candid and effective dialogue among participants, nurturing a culture of collaboration and shared wisdom.


Reflecting on a decade of impact, Omar K. Alghanim, Chairman of FBCG, remarked, "FBCG was founded as a response to the systemic risks in the GCC's private sector, heavily reliant on family businesses. The foresight and leadership of H.E. Abdulaziz Al Ghurair and Omar Al Futtaim has led to building a community of collaboration and mutual learning. The experience and wisdom shared among these business families have been fundamental in navigating generational transitions and evolving market dynamics.


Over the years, FBCG has evolved into a hub for best practices and global excellence in family business management. The collective efforts of its members, especially during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic, have been exemplary. The shared experiences and advice have not only made the journey less perilous but have also reinforced the strength of the community. The organization's commitment to facilitating generational transitions and advocating for legal reforms to support family businesses has been a testament to its mission.


Looking ahead, the FBCG envisions a future where family businesses play a crucial role in addressing global challenges, particularly in sustainability and long-term shareholder value. The upcoming decade promises to be defined not by urgency or systemic risks but by harnessing the immense possibilities that lie within the innovative and resilient spirit of family businesses.”


The Summit featured global thought leaders like Tom Pritzker, Executive Chairman of Hyatt, discussing family business transformation, and Christian Erfurt, Chief Evangelist & Co-founder of Be My Eyes, examining the role of AI in catalysing change. Additionally, a panel moderated by Alaa Alshaikh of Gallup, with contributions from Mr. Jim Clifton, Chairman of Gallup, Mr. Omar Alghanim, and Dr Ibrahim Alrajhi, Board Member of Alrajhi Holding, unveiled new insights into family businesses from Gallup's latest research into the transformative potential of governance practices that promote transparency, inclusivity, purpose, accountability, integrity and trust in family enterprises.


Focused sessions tackled specific GCC family business challenges, including succession planning, professionalization, next-generation development, and cross-generational communication. These sessions, led by world-renowned experts, sparked significant dialogues among attendees.


This year's Summit was also the stage for the third Family Business Awards, recognizing excellence across generations in the GCC. Categories and winners included the SME Family Business Award (The Date Room) and the Non-Family Executive Award (Christophe Nicaise, Seddiqi Holding). Additionally, the Succession Award, a special peer-recognition honor, acknowledged family businesses in each GCC country for seamless generational transitions and the maintenance of business and family harmony. This year’s winners were from Bahrain – Alzayani Investments, from Kuwait – Mezzan Holding, from Oman – WJ Towell Group, from Qatar – Darwish Holding, from Saudi Arabia – Zamil Group, from U.A.E – Al Fahim Group.


Dr Basma Alzamil, representing Zamil Group from Saudi Arabia, expressed gratitude upon receiving the Succession Award: "This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our preceding generation. Their exemplary transition planning sets a standard for future generations, ensuring our legacy's endurance. The journey towards strong governance may initially seem daunting, but it is an investment that offers significant rewards. It will create a legacy that will transcend time and positively influence the lives of future generations.”


FBCG remains committed to addressing critical continuity issues for family businesses in the GCC through networking, educational initiatives, and its knowledge platform, themajlis.me. Furthermore, FBCG collaborates with leaders and stakeholders to identify and address sustainability challenges, propelling family businesses in the GCC towards a thriving future.



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