Family Governance

Professionally guiding families and companies into the future

Family governance provides your family-owned enterprise with a common framework and mechanism for solving conflicts. It ensures that members of your family know how your company functions and what makes it special. Now this is more important than ever before – particularly with family enterprises. It is your company’s strongest resource and also its biggest weak point. It can serve as the driving force behind your long-term success. Or it can tear your company apart, such as when members fight or fail to agree on common goals. Professional family governance allows you to prevent this. 

Norbert Kühnis
Family Business & Middle Market Leader, PwC Switzerland

Learn more about Family Governance

Pensions are a key issue for owners of family businesses. We will be happy to discuss aspects such as family governance, succession planning and family offices with you. We can show you why an ownership strategy is so vital and what you need to do to create one.

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Foundations for strong family governance

Your family governance will be based on a jointly developed and documented ownership strategy. It will help to align your interests with those of your company and set up guide rails for a future-ready family enterprise. There are various issues and questions which your family must tackle as company owners:

  • How and when will we pass on our company to the next generation?
  • How will we manage the growing diversity and heterogeneous nature of our ownership structure?
  • What objectives do we as a family wish to achieve? And what values do we want to establish?
  • How do we decide how much each family member is to be involved?
  • How do we deal with one another within the family?
  • How do we ensure that our family remains together?
  • What is our protocol for conflicts?
  • What roles are there within the family and in the company? Who assumes them?
  • How can we involve the next generation early on and ensure that they will be ready and capable of taking over one day?

What our clients have to say

David J. Bosshard

“PwC helped us as an external third party bring all those involved to the table and create clarity regarding who wants what or does not want it. This discussion within the family was both difficult and beneficial at the same time.”

David J. BosshardCEO Clienia-Group
Marc Jacquet

“For me as an external Chairman of the Board of Directors, it is very valuable when the family owning the company intensively confronts family governance issues. The concrete example PwC assisted with was very useful.”

Marc Jaquetexternal Chairman of the Board of Directors of various family enterprises
Annette Heimlicher

“PwC assisted us with drafting our family constitution. The collaboration was a professional mixture of sensibility, expertise and passion for family companies.”

Anna Aebischer-ImfeldChairman of the Board of Directors, Westiform Holding AG

“Thank you for the competent and focused leadership of the workshops. Together over the course of six months we got the transition to the next generation at our company on track. We would never have been able to do this without your help. Before the workshop, our – particularly my – situation was very muddled as regards the individual players. Now it’s up to us to keep our company on track and help one another guide it.”


How we can help you: 

With our extensive experience as advisers, moderators and mediators, we will assist you in drawing up your family governance.

We can serve as your sparring partner to question your usual methods, ask critical questions, challenge you and consolidate differing positions. In doing so, we establish an open and respectful atmosphere which is essential for handling difficult topics. During this dialogue we include approaches from a number of other family constellations.

We rely on proven methods and our extensive experience in order to improve your understanding of governance structures and their forms. We also set up guides for taking decisions on the way to creating your ownership strategy. And finally, together with you we will define rules suitable to the roles of everyone involved and show you how to work with your family’s dynamics and resolve conflicts.

At the end of the ownership strategy process your family will have gained a clear structure and concrete content for your family constitution. We will also help you set up a realistic timetable for implementing the individual components of your governance. You can now use your ownership strategy to draft your family constitution.

Implementing your ownership strategy will create more tasks for you: reviewing existing contracts, translating the results from the ownership strategy process into legal and tax solutions, developing family education programmes for family members or setting up a family office. You can count on our full support in these matters.

It is highly likely that succession will become an issue for you. We moderate your succession strategy process, support you in developing a suitable training programme for potential successors and help flesh out a corporate structure that can be passed on. And finally, we will actively support you in setting up both the legal and tax aspects of your succession.

Learn more about 

NextGen & YoungLeaders Club

The NextGen & YoungLeaders Club brings the leaders of family businesses of today and tomorrow together.

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Read more about ownership strategy in our numerous publications.                                                                        

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Family Business Stories Podcast

Get new perspectives and insights with the Family Business Stories podcast series.                                                                        

Listen now

Pleased to assist you

We will advise and assist you with anything from strategy to succession planning to asset structuring, regardless of size, markets or ownership/management structures. Talk to us about the things that are keeping you awake at night.

Inhaberstrategie mit PwC
Norbert Kühnis

Family Business & Middle Market Leader, member of the management team 
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Inhaberstrategie mit PwC
Roman Leimer

Family Business partner and Family Governance Leader
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Inhaberstrategie mit PwC
Jürg Niederbacher

Family Business partner and Private Clients Leader 
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Inhaberstrategie mit PwC
PD Dr Alexandra Bertschi

Specialist Family Business & Succession Planning
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Inhaberstrategie mit PwC
Reto Blaser 

Corporate Development Leader for Family Business & Middle Market   
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