Family businesses, findings of the 13th AUB Study presented
“The findings of the AUB Study clearly illustrate how important modern and structured corporate governance is for growth, particularly given the instability of the current climate. In recent years our business group has developed a new governance system that aims to combine the best practices on the market with the long-term vision of family businesses.”
This is how Sergio Marullo di Condojanni commented on the results of the 13th AUB Study on family businesses, presented during the “Italian family businesses and the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic” conference of 25 January 2022. In fact, the CEO of Angelini Industries took part in a round table moderated by Paolo Morosetti (Bocconi University), together with Aldo Fumagalli Romario, Chairman and CEO Sol, and Cristina Nonino, Managing Director Nonino Distillatori.
The AUB Study is the most comprehensive survey of Italian family-owned businesses. It is promoted by AIDAF (Italian Family Business Association), the AIDAF-EY Chair in Strategic Management in Family Business of Bocconi University, UniCredit and Cordusio, with the support, among others, of the Angelini Foundation.
This year the financial statements of the 11,803 Italian family businesses with revenues of over €20 million were analyzed.
The results showed how Italian family businesses stood up better to the 2020 pandemic than they did to the financial crisis of 2009.
“In 2020 family businesses suffered a fall in turnover similar to that of non-family businesses, while in 2009 they were impacted far more heavily in comparison”, explained Guido Corbetta, leader of the AIDAF-EY Chair and co-author of the Study with Fabio Quarato. “In addition, in the first half of 2021 listed family businesses were almost twice as successful as non-family businesses in recovering their revenues (26.6% vs. 14.1%) and were three times as profitable (ROA 5.4% vs. 1.8%)”.
Strong foundations and resilience are the keys: as well as demonstrating a better ability to react than non-family businesses, family businesses prepare for the future with a more solid capital structure.
The Study also analyzed the issue of governance: on one hand, there is a growing openness to leaders and board members from outside the family, particularly in relatively large companies. On the other, in the last ten years the number of leaders under the age of 40 has fallen considerably and the percentage of leaders over 70 grown even further. The Study draws particular attention to this final point, particularly in the present climate with the country getting ready to invest much of the funding of the national recovery and resilience plan in new technologies.