‘How to ensure crisis-free succession in family businesses’

Published on 2016-12-10

Source:Guardian Newspapers
By Toyin Olasinde   |   27 October 2015   

TO prevent leadership crisis, experts have advised founders of family businesses to make deliberate and systematic plan before their death.
Speaking at the inaugural public lecture in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the corporate existence of S. E. Nomuoja & Company as Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Lagos, various speakers advised founders of businesses to put adequate succession plans in place.

Former Company Secretary, UAC plc, Olusoji Majekodunmi, in his presentation titled: ‘The Entrepreneurial Succession problems in Nigeria’s family business : A threat to sustainability,’ explained that most family businesses have not been able to outlive their founders, due to  what he identified as  failure to make deliberate and systematic plans before the founder’s  death.

Majekodunmi, who is also past President, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria said: “Most businesses have failed after the original founder due to lack of deliberate and systematic plan in the transfer of the ownership of the business from one family to the next.”
He also identified lack of adequate grooming of successor(s) in the original founder’s business line, through proper vocational or professional education.

He noted that succession issues are not limited to the Nigeria’s family businesses alone, adding that it is of universal appeal. He explained that family businesses, which may either be sole trading or vocational businesses, including professional practices which are of relatively recent origin, constitute an important group of enterprises within the small to medium scale sector. 

He said: ‘‘When most business founders become successful in the businesses, out of the fear of their own backgrounds, they often educates their children in exotic disciplines unrelated to their line of business, thereby lending credence to the “qualified but not suitable syndrome, a veritable panacea for succession failure.

‘‘This kind of education fails to inculcate into the would-be successor, the dream, passion, discipline and sometimes the integrity of the founder, which are his/her personal attributes, and which are non-transferable.

Also speaking, the Managing Partner of S.E.Nomuoja & Co, Mrs . Benedicta Sadare, in her goodwill message called on entrepreneurs in the country to establish a clear and meaningful strategic development process for easy succession with a view to sustaining their business.
According to her, succession plan is required and should be carried out at the right time.

She said entrepreneurs in the country must act proactively by crafting a succession plan early enough.  

She said: “Proper values must also be instilled in their successor. I believe that this knowledge is essential to project the ethos of sustainability of businesses with good corporate governance structure entrenched in any business. ‎

Chief Executive Officer of Brilla Fm,Larry Izamoje, who coordinated the discussion session, disclosed that entrepreneurs must be committed to  impacting the ethics of family business on their children.

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