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Family businesses looking to innovate

Steve Woodward of KPMG

A survey of family businesses in Europe by professional services firn KPMG strikes a chord in Bermuda, the company said yesterday.

The KPMG Family Business Barometer study found that small family businesses had a high level of confidence in the future and saw talent and innovation as keys to expansion.

In addition, the survey, the fifth of its kind, said that family businesses were becoming more mature and their leaders were taking steps to ensure their future.

Steve Woodward, head of KPMG Enterprise in Bermuda, said: “The findings of the 5th European Family Business Barometer have many correlations to Bermuda-based family businesses.

“Family businesses are planning for the future and place growth high on the agenda.

“Regardless of the chosen strategy — growing sales, tapping into new opportunities or preparing to transfer the reins of the business — business owners are taking steps to further strengthen their companies.”

The survey found, however, that family businesses feared that they would lose out to bigger firms in attracting and retaining top talent, while political uncertainties also caused concern.

KPMG said both areas were listed as a worry by 37 per cents of respondents in the Euro survey.

The firm added: “The war for talent has been steadily rising for the last three years.

“IN 2013 it was not even among the top five, now reaching top place. A warning sign as difficulty to compete for the best talent places pressure on family businesses and may impede their further growth.”