Four in 10 family businesses have changed their succession plans as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report has highlighted.
According to research carried out by KPMG Private Enterprise around seven in 10 business leaders (72 per cent) now intend for their children to take on their company when they retire.
And the succession plans at four in 10 organisations have changed since the pandemic, resulting in more prominent roles for the next generation at nearly a third of family firms (31 per cent).
It is the scale of transformation and challenge since the pandemic which has triggered the sweeping changes to succession in family businesses, the report says.
KPMG Family Business Team Director Mark Essex said: “Succession in family firms has never been such a hot topic.
“Many plans have changed since the pandemic and in different directions. In many cases tech-based change has been the reason for the next gen to step up swiftly as their skills became critical to the success and survival of their businesses.
“Looking ahead a year or two, given the retirements that were postponed or reversed during the pandemic, we can expect to see another uptick in the next generation taking the reins, due to pent up demand for stepping back by the current generation of leadership.”
The research, undertaken by OnePoll on behalf of KPMG, also finds six in ten family businesses (61 per cent) consider a collapse in consumer demand as a result of the cost of living crisis to be their greatest threat.
This was followed by a fifth (22 per cent) citing concerns about input cost rises and other supply chain issues. The UK economy is critical to the sector, given the domestic market is the biggest opportunity for more than half (55 per cent).