Family-owned businesses continue to drive commercial activities in the economies of the Middle East. According to recent statistics, in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region alone, family businesses control over 90% of commercial activity.

Today, family businesses are confronted with numerous challenges in the changing economic environment, including governance, globalisation, technology, generational change and innovation.

As family-owned businesses in this region continue to play a major role in the economy, their success going forward depends on their ability to tackle these current challenges.

The first topic in a series of roundtable discussions hosted by Latham focused on the importance of corporate governance for family businesses. Guest panellists discussed the challenges of instilling a culture of corporate governance and examined best corporate governance practices for regional family-owned businesses.

Minority shareholder rights internationally, regionally and locally in Saudi Arabia was also a topic considered at another roundtable in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The topics discussed during the roundtable included voting rights, board representation, access to information, exits, statutory protections and other important topics for minority shareholders.

Future roundtable discussion topics will include corporate and financial structuring and restructuring, changes in laws that could impact family businesses, generation planning, and overseas expansion of operations.

For further information on the  GCC Family Business Roundtable Series, please contact Salman Al-Sudairi, Kai Schneider, Chris Lester or Aaron Bielenberg.

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