Relating the Family and the Business in Brazil

by Stephanie Brun de Pontet &
John L. Ward

At a recent seminar we led in Brazil, hosted by HSM, and attended by 250 individuals from family firms based across that country, we found the following results in an anonymous electronic polling of our audience.  As families in business around the world often wonder how to optimally handle these issues in their own family enterprises, we thought it would be of interest to share s few results here:

Do you require outside work experience of family members before they can join the family firm?

  • 33% ─ “NO”
  • 29% ─ 1 to 2 years
  • 28% ─ 3 to 4 years
  • 10% ─ 5+ years

Are family members paid for family governance roles?

  • 29% ─ “Yes”, meaningfully
  • 14% ─ “Yes,” symbolically
  • 47% ─ “NO”

At what age does the next generation begin to receive stock shares?

  • Under 21 years:        12%
  • 21-25 years:              16%
  • 26-35 years:              25%
  • 35+ years:                  22%
  • At parents’ death:     25%

How does the family do philanthropy?

  • 35% don’t
  • 25% mostly through the company
  • 24% mostly individual family members
  • 16% have a Family Foundation

If you hired a consultant to help, for what role?

  • 59% for family governance and constitution
  • 25% for business strategy
  • 10% for psychological help.

We are grateful to HSM Brazil for making this survey research possible.

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