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Family Business Forum - Middle East 2016
The Forum is designed to be a friendly and safe environment for you to find the answers to your toughest family business questions. It will address issues that apply to any family firm or family office, while drawing from the particular experiences of families from Asia and the Middle East.

Our next Family Business Forum - Middle East will take place at the Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 15-17, 2016. The Al Faisaliah is one of Riyadh's most prominent landmarks and is a "Leading Hotel of the World". It is situated at the heart of the Olaya central business district. The Forum will be held in the prestigious Al Omsiat Ballroom (one of Riyadh's pre-eminent meeting venues) and its adjacent Najid and Yannbu Rooms.

Please simply click here to hold your places on option at the lowest rate.

Live family cases discussed in table-sized groups

What makes the Forum really special is the range of live family cases. In many sessions, participants hear about a challenge faced by a family speaker, discuss the case in table-sized groups, then learn about what the family actually did. In others, they engage in an interactive dialogue with the speaker. The main facilitator will be one of the world's leading teachers, writers and consultants on family business Mr Peter Leach of Imperial College, London, author of "Family Enterprises, The Essentials".

We are in the process of finalising the programme and will post it here as soon as it is ready. Meanwhile, you might like to read below about the previous Family Business Forum - Middle East from November 2015. It will give you an idea of the quality of typical speakers and the sorts of topics we cover at the Forum.

Please see the previous Forum as an example below:
Monday
16 November, 2015
The Family Business Forum is designed exclusively for family members with major family firms or family offices. You will discover the solutions to your unresolved issues by hearing from and working with business families from every continent.
Prof. Ludo van der Heyden
Tensions and Challenges – An Introduction
Prof. Ludo van der Heyden
(France and Singapore)
Mubadala Professor in Corporate Governance and Strategy, First Holder of the Wendel Chair for the Large Family Firm, INSEAD Business School

Prof. Ludo Van der Heyden initiated INSEAD’s activities in family business and governance. He has been Co-Dean of the Business School and is currently Director of the INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative. Ludo will facilitate discussions on the first two days of the Forum, draw lessons from other speakers’ experiences and contribute his own presentations, including on fair process and governance.
Mr. Abdullah Ali Almajdouie
Lessons from One Family’s Governance Journey
Mr. Abdullah Ali Almajdouie
(Saudi Arabia)
Group President, Almajdouie Holding Co. LLC.
Since it was founded by Sheikh Ali Almajdouie 50 years ago, the Group has diversified into a regional leader in activities ranging from Logistics, Automotive, Manufacturing, Real Estate & Investment, Training and Education.
Abdullah will outline how the family created a comprehensive governance system, including a family office. With 5 family members in the business, but over 30 in the third generation, he will explain the training for this younger group, whether or not they will eventually join the business. He will stress the critical importance of company culture, illustrated by their award-winning “SPARK” employee innovation programme.
Ms. Noor Sweid
Potential Solutions and their Implications
Ms. Noor Sweid
(United Arab Emirates)
Former Head of Strategy, Depa Limited; Managing Partner, Leap Ventures
Depa Limited was started by Noor Sweid’s father, Mohannad, in 1996, as a one-stop interior contractor for luxury buildings. With success on landmark projects such as Burj Al Arab, global leadership appeared achievable, but only if significant external capital was introduced.
Noor Sweid joined her father to lead business strategy from 2005-13. She will draw on her experience of the family’s changing role with the introduction of new strategic shareholders, private placements and an IPO. Noor will particularly focus on the importance of transparent governance in supporting strategic flexibility.
Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood
Learning from Difficulties
Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood
(Pakistan)
Chairman, Descon Engineering Limited
After Razak joined the family textile and chemical companies, tensions between shareholders led to a break-up in a business started in the 1920’s in India. In 1983, Razak founded Descon, today an international engineering firm with over 27,000 employees.
What could Razak and his family do differently at Descon, to avoid similar problems in the future? Participants will work in table-sized groups to suggest potential approaches to family governance.
Ms. Mehreen Dawood
Creating a Family Constitution
Ms. Mehreen Dawood
(Pakistan)
Family Council Member
After hearing ideas from the groups, Razak will be joined by his daughter Mehreen, who, unlike her siblings, is not in the business day-to-day. They will explain how the family developed a new constitution.
Next, Forum participants will discuss how a constitution needs to be created and updated with everyone’s participation, so that each generation considers it as its own. Finally, Ludo will summarise how best to ensure a fair process in family decision-making.
Participants are invited to cocktails followed by dinner
Tuesday
17 November, 2015
Today’s sessions answer your toughest questions on family cohesion, next generation choices and business governance. You will also learn about how to manage the challenges of multiple ownership, such as by creating an ownership board.
Mr. Alexander Scott
What Happens When a Family Sells its Main Business?
Mr. Alexander Scott
(United Kingdom)
Former Chairman, Provincial Insurance Company; Chairman, Sandaire Investment Office
In 1994, Alex Scott took over as 5th generation Chairman of Provincial, then the UK’s largest private insurer. Very quickly, he was confronted with significant strategic challenges which implied a troubled future for the 90-year old firm. Non-family directors advised the owners to realise their inherited business; would this previously coherent G3/G4 shareholder group survive such a dramatic change?
This case will explore the fundamental question of what holds a family together, besides the business, and asks what families can do to increase cohesion. Participants will learn from the Scott family’s difficult decision to sell their company and their subsequent initiatives to promote family unity, including investing together in a new financial business.
Ms. Barbara Hauser
Barbara Hauser
Ms. Nouf Al-Saedan
Nouf Al-Saedan
To Join or Not to Join the Business?
Ms. Barbara Hauser
(United States)
Barbara R. Hauser LLC and
Author of “International Family Governance: A Guide for Families & Their Advisors”
Ms. Nouf Al-Saedan
(Saudi Arabia)
Director of Women Section and
Ms. Luluwal Al-Saedan
(Saudi Arabia),
Third Generation Family Member
Al-Saedan Real Estate Company
From its origins over 75 years ago, Al-Saedan Real Estate Company has become one of the leading real estate companies in Saudi Arabia and the region.
This session will consider the important choices that family members, particularly women, face on whether to join the family firm and, if so, when and in what role. Family business expert and author Barbara Hauser will discuss this question with two sisters from the Al-Saedan family who have made contrasting career choices. Nouf directs the Women Section within the family firm while Luluwal has trained as an architect, with a focus on making buildings that are both functional and serving their context.
Mr. Roland Sfeir
Roles and Responsibilities with Multiple Ownership
Mr. Roland Sfeir
(United Arab Emirates)
Former Chief Financial Officer
Many family businesses are themselves co-owners in new companies or joint ventures, with other family branches or strategic partners. This raises specific governance and management challenges, particularly for minority partners.
In this interactive case, based on real-life situations in the region, Roland Sfeir will set Forum participants the task of suggesting a better way for a joint venture that has worked out badly, despite good initial backing and intentions, because of poorly-defined governance.
Working in table-sized groups, participants will look into the board’s roles and responsibilities in a multiple-ownership venture, including in key decisions such as CEO selection.
New Governance Approaches: The Case for a Family Ownership Board
After drawing broader learning points from the case, Ludo van der Heyden will consider the roots of tensions within family business governance. He will explain the differences between a business strategy and an ownership strategy, including how to govern them differently. Finally, he will suggest that, in some situations, there is a strong case for a separate family ownership board, in addition to the usual family council and business board.
Participants are invited to cocktails followed by dinner
Wednesday
18 November, 2015
The final morning is devoted exclusively to peer-to-peer advice and discussion. In feedback each year, this workshop is rated as the most valuable part of the Forum.
Ms. Barbara Hauser
Ms. Barbara Hauser
(United States)
Barbara R. Hauser LLC and
Author of “International Family Governance: A Guide for Families & Their Advisors”s
The final morning is devoted exclusively to peer-to-peer advice and discussion. In feedback each year, this workshop is rated as the most valuable part of the Forum.
Workshop facilitator Barbara Hauser is a leading advisor, teacher and writer, helping family owners around the world. Her work includes creating governance systems, building succession strategies and promoting effective approaches to wealth.
It is the opportunity for participants to seek advice on whatever questions are on their minds by drawing on the hard-earned experience of the other families. The discussion topics are chosen together on the day.
Throughout the morning, participants work in table-sized groups to explore their own challenges or opportunities. Barbara Hauser facilitates discussions and answers any outstanding questions so that participants return home with clear action steps.
The Family Business Forum is sponsored by (in alphabetical order):
To download and print out a copy of a PREVIOUS (2015) Family Business Forum Colour Programme, just to give you an idea of what a programme looks like, please click here: Download the programme
Testimonials
Joining the Loedstar conferences means for me a valuable enrichment of my network.
Chris Brenninkmeyer, Germany
The Family Business Forums are a unique insight for Families at every stage in their evolution, from founding members all the way to some who we met which span over 8 generations.
Fouad M. Makhzoumi, Chairman, Future Group, UAE
To me, the Family Business Forum is an annual ritual that I look forward to attending.
Abdullah Adib AlZamil, Zamil Group, Saudi Arabia
The services of Loedstar, the calibre of speakers and the real case studies are of the highest order.
Izzat A Sajdi, Consulting Engineering Center, Jordan