General Information

·         Family firms comprise 80% to 90% of all business enterprises in North America1

·         35% of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled2

·         Family businesses account for 50% of U.S. gross domestic product2

·         Family businesses generate 60% of the country’s employment and 78% of all new job creation2

·         Family businesses are optimistic about future growth3

·         Family businesses hold themselves and their employees to a higher ethical standard3

·         Family businesses place their trust with family members and key financial advisors3

·         IFOBs contribute 64% of the GDP of $5,907 billion ($5+ trillion) and employ 62% of the U.S. workforce1



·           More optimistic about future growth

·           Lack a sense of urgency around retirement and succession planning

·           Select women leaders

·           Hold themselves and their employees to a higher ethical standard

·           Expand their use of the traditional management toolkit

·           More unified behind common family values

·           Place their trust with family members and key financial advisors



·         More than 30% of all family- owned businesses survive into the second generation5

·  12% will still be viable into the third generation

·  3% of all family businesses operating at the fourth-generation level and beyond

·         85% of family-owned firms that have identified a successor say it will be a family member1

·         The leadership of 39% of family-owned businesses will have changed hands in the next five years5

·         Of CEOs due to retire within five years aged 61 or older, 55% have not yet chosen their replacement5

·         Over 60% of family businesses are very positive about their company’s future5



·         There has been an almost five-fold increase in the number of women leaders in the family business since 19973

·  34% of family firms expect the next CEO to be a woman5

·  52% of participants hire at least one female family member full time5

·  10% employ two female family members of the same status5

·  57.2% of all firms have women in top management team positions3


Estate Planning

·         19% of family business participants have not completed any estate planning other than writing will5

·         Only 37% of family businesses have written a strategic plan5

·         Lack a sense of urgency around retirement and succession planning3




·         In a study of S&P 500 firms2

·  33.6% are family businesses in which the founding family has, on average, 18% of firm equity

·  Family firm capital structure is the same

·  Family firm performance is greater and EVA is 5.5% greater ($118.6 million on average) when founding families maintain an ownership stake

·  Young family firms and old family firms (50-year-old threshold) outperform non-family firms

·  ROA is greater in family businesses, with a 6.65% greater return than non-family firms

·  Families own for an average of 78 years

·  Family firm CEOs earn on average nearly 10% less than their non-family counterparts

·         37.4% have buy-sell agreements or other arrangements defining who can own stock and how it is transferred3

·         64% have regular formal valuations of the worth of the business3


1 J.H. Astrachan and M.C. Shanker, “Family Businesses’ Contribution to the U.S. Economy: A Closer Look,” Family Business Review, September 2003)

2 Stacy Perman, “Taking the Pulse of Family Business”, Newsweek, 2006, quoting University of Southern Maine's Institute for Family-Owned Business,

3 Kennesaw State University/MassMutual Financial Group, American Family Business Survey, 2007

4 American Family Business Survey, interpreted by Kennesaw State University and underwritten by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and the Family Firm Institute, 2007,


5 Joseph Astrachan, Ph.D., editor, Family Business Review

6 Raymond Institute/MassMutual, American Family Business Survey, 2003

7 Anderson and Reeb, 2003