The Challenge

To build a successful multi-generational family business or family office is to beat the odds; few businesses survive in family hands to the second generation and of these, under one-in-ten reach the third generation.

Any family business or family office faces unique issues, not least because the family itself may be a source both of strength and of additional complexity. How can your family avoid these pitfalls?

The Solution

The Family Business Forum is designed exclusively for family members with major family firms or family offices. At it, you will discover the solutions to your unresolved issues, by hearing from and working with business families from every continent.

What makes the Forum different is its emphasis on live family cases in table-sized groups. Firstly, you hear from a family about a real-life challenge they faced; next, in groups, you discuss what you might have done in their place; finally, you learn directly from the family about what they actually did.

World-class family business teachers, writers and consultants help facilitate discussions, draw broader lessons and contribute their own presentations.

The Family Business Forum
This intensive, dynamic and highly-enjoyable conference is led by top family business expert Peter Leach of Imperial College London. It is built around in-depth, live cases during which leading business families agree to share their hard earned experience in live family cases.

The final part of the Forum is devoted exclusively to a peer-to-peer advice workshop. This is the opportunity for you to seek advice on whatever questions are on your mind, by learning from the other families in a table-sized discussion group, together with practical advice from the facilitator.

Maintaining Family-to-Family connections
After the Forum, families are encouraged to stay in contact to share experiences and so make their different family business journeys all the easier.

25th Loedstar Anniversary - Family Business Forum title=
25th Loedstar Anniversary - Family Business Forum

The next Family Business Forum will be in 2024, the 25th Anniversary year since the founding of Loedstar.  It will take place over two full days on Tuesday-Wednesday, May 14-15, 2024, in London (provisionally in the George V Hall at The Bloomsbury Hotel).

The full programme is being finalised, however we already know that it will be centred around live family case discussions, presentations by family business experts and peer-to-peer advice workshops.  Please see below for an example of an earlier Forum to show the range of topics and formats that will typically be covered during a day.

Programme for the day
Family and Business Success
Mr. Peter Leach
Addressing Tomorrow’s Predictable Family Business Problems, Today
Mr. Peter Leach
Adjunct Professor in Family Business, Imperial College London
Founder and Chairman, Peter Leach Associates Ltd.
Author “Family Enterprises, The Essentials”
One of the world’s leading teachers, writers and consultants on family business, Peter Leach has worked with hundreds of business families across the world. Peter will facilitate discussions, draw broader lessons and share his own ideas. His opening session will introduce key family business concepts that will be addressed in more detail by the speakers
Live Case in Table-Sized Groups – C. Hoare & Co . Part I
Sir Richard Hoare*

Sir Richard Hoare*

Bella Hoare
Lessons Learned over Eleven Generations
Miss Bella Hoare
11th Generation Family Member and Managing Partner, C. Hoare & Co.
C. Hoare & Co. was founded by Sir Richard Hoare in 1672. Well over 300 years later, it remains 100% owned by the Hoare family and is still led by direct descendants of the bank's founder.

During its long history, C. Hoare & Co. has enjoyed successes and survived many crises. 11th generation family member and owner-director Bella Hoare will begin the case by speaking about this history. In particular, she’ll mention significant early mistakes and the crucial decisions that enabled the company to recover from them.

*Reproduced with thanks to the National Trust

Group Discussions and Broader Conclusions
Group Discussion
Overcoming Setbacks and Building Resilience
For many Forum participants, the most highly-valued aspect is the opportunity to work with and learn from other family businesses in small groups.
In this session, you will work with other participants in table-sized groups to discuss your own experiences of family and business setbacks; whether they were overcome and how they may have improved resilience. These group discussions will take advantage of the diversity of the family businesses present (including different business stages, industries and geographies).

Peter Leach will then bring the whole room together, hearing what the different tables came up with and Group Discussion drawing broader conclusions.
Learning from the Case – C. Hoare & Co. Part II
Implicit Rules and Necessary Compromises
Bella Hoare will build upon the group discussions to consider how lessons have been drawn from challenges faced by previous generations and adjusted to match more recent circumstances. One example is the creation of a strong business culture based on family values and implicit rules. Another is a willingness to accept certain compromises, such as readiness to limit the complexity of the business to reduce risk.

Delving into Family Culture and Resilience; Introducing Family Governance Concepts
After a question-and-answer discussion with Bella Hoare, Peter Leach will expand upon how to improve family business culture (including a culture of resilience). Finally, in advance of the afternoon case, he will introduce key concepts concerning the family business system, family governance and family constitutions.
Networking Luncheon
There will be plenty of time, during breaks and luncheon, to meet with the other participants, renew contacts and build new friendships.
Live Family Case Discussion – J Leon Part I
Mr. Paddy Walker
Defining Family Guidelines During a Business Reorientation
Mr. Paddy Walker
Over four generations, the Slowe family developed J Leon from a chain of tobacco outlets into a significant portfolio of high street property, then created a broadly-diversified family investment office incorporating hedge funds, private equity and long-only equity investments.

Bringing the perspective of a fourth generation “family in-law” and CEO, Paddy will discuss why, at the time of this reorientation, the family also decided to simplify its shareholder structure and create greater clarity in family policies.

Working in groups, participants will explore some of the most common, yet difficult areas of family policy, where each family has to decide its own “right” answer to controversial questions such as: when family members may work in the business; in-law policy; dividend policy and family retirement age.
Co-Creation of a Family Constitution – J Leon Part II
Early Days at J Leon
The Result of Each Family’s Unique Process, Culture and History
Mr. Paddy Walker

In the second part of the case, Peter Leach will ask each table to share its findings and will add his own comments. Next, Paddy will use the “co-creation” of the Slowe family’s constitution to illustrate how the end result is inevitably unique, reflecting an individual family’s own process, culture and history. He will explain some of the key policies that his family decided upon, the rationale behind them and how family engagement has increased since.

In the closing discussion with Peter Leach, Paddy will be joined by his son, Harry Walker, bringing the viewpoint of a fifth generation family member who does not work in the business.

Peer-To-Peer Advice Workshop and Discussions
Peer-to-Peer Advice: Drawing Conclusions
Exploring Your Own Challenges and Opportunities
Mr. Peter Leach
The final session is devoted exclusively to peer-to-peer advice and discussion. In feedback year-after-year, this workshop is rated by participants as the most valuable part of the Forum.
In advance of the event, you will be asked to suggest or select topics that are on your mind. At the workshop, you will be allocated to a table-sized discussion group, along with others who are interested in the same topic (members of the same family will be on different tables).
The workshop is the opportunity for you to seek advice by drawing on the hard-earned experience of the other families as well as from the facilitator, Peter Leach. He will answer outstanding questions and draw broader lessons, so that you return home with clear next steps for whatever challenges you may face.
End-Of-Forum Reception
Participants are invited to an End-of-Forum Reception in the Coral Room. It will include refreshments, drinks and canapés served standing so that participants can circulate freely.
The Reception is the opportunity to relax at the end of a fairly intensive day. It’s also the chance to share what you have learned, exchange business cards and plan to stay in contact.
After The Forum
Participants are encouraged to stay in touch to continue to share challenges and learn from each other. If you wish, after the Forum, we can help you continue with peer-to-peer connections and discussion groups.
How to register or find out more
The Family Business Forum is sponsored by (in alphabetical order):

Case Studies

Helping all the
family members better understand
family business dynamics and potential initiatives to reinvigorate an emotional  connection with the family business

After attending the Forum,
decided to create family constitution
to help minimise future disagreements

Non-executive and next generation family members are
properly involved and represented
in key decisions

Discussions with other elders helped
him come up with a brand new "business ambassador" role, which was very successful
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