Generation change

Key situation: succession

Owner-managed medium-sized companies have shaped Germany. According to estimates, over 350,000 family-owned companies will face succession challenges within the next five years.

  • Of these, 85% aspire to succession within the family
  • Only approximately 50% of family-owned companies survive the transition from the first to the second generation.
  • Fewer than 10% manage to hand over to a third generation

The generational handover is therefore a key point in company development. However, the readiness to withdraw decreases with age, in spite of this insight.

Emotional ties

Emotional ties ("I have built up this company. It is a part of me that I now have to give up.") inhibit planned succession. The decision as to who will lead the company after retirement is postponed. A potential power and goal conflict between the generations can lead to difficult situations within the company and irritation among its customers.

The generational change requires an open and constructive debate between the generations that resolves emotional tensions, facilitates a new view of things and leads to further conciliation.


Successful development of the next leadership generation in family-owned companies involves long-term planning, advanced communication skills and the ability to take on many roles within the family and the company.

Each of the three systems - family, management, owner - has specific problems and specific development trends, but all of these depend on each other. Effective development of these systems is often rendered more difficult by a complex and emotional relationship structure.



Planning exactly how the company is handed over at family and management level is therefore an essential precondition for the success of a change process in family-owned companies.

In order to achieve effective management of conflicts and decision-making in transition phases, the projects

  • strategic business planning,
  • leadership development and
  • asset and financial planning

are therefore performed in parallel.