Major coup for family business forum

FORMER British Prime Minister John Major is to be the keynote speaker at the first national forum on family business issues.

Organised by the John C Kelleher Family Business Centre at the Department of Management and Marketing at University College Cork, the Irish Family Business Conference 2005 will take place in UCC on Friday, April 15.

The director of the Family Business Centre, Dr Joan Buckley, said the conference is aimed at all those working in family businesses, both family and non-family members, and at advisors to family businesses.

“The most important aspect of family business is preserving the family. The business should come second,” explained Dr Buckley.

The conference with the theme ‘Sustaining the Family Business’ is the first national forum for the discussion of family business issues.

“We hope to allow those involved in the management and ownership of family businesses an opportunity to air and discuss family business issues, as well as learning from the experiences of the speakers,” Dr Buckley said.

The Family Business Centre is the only independent centre of its kind in Ireland.

“Our key objective is to help families manage their businesses and business issues while maintaining positive family relationships,” she explained.

At the conference, keynote speaker John Major will focus on the general business and commercial environment and the ever-increasing need for family businesses to anticipate and manage change.

Campbell Bewley Group executive chairman Patrick Campbell and Century Homes chief executive Gerry McCaughey will discuss their experiences in building, managing and marketing their family businesses.

BDO Stoy Hayward partner Peter Leach will give an overview of the succession process from the perspective of a consultant supporting the family as it negotiates itself through the succession maze.

The April 15 conference will be chaired by Alan Crosbie, the chairman of chief sponsor Thomas Crosbie Holdings Ltd (TCH). The conference is also being supported by BDO Simpson Xavier, Davy Stockbrokers and Enterprise Ireland.

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