Family businesses are the ‘unsung heroes’ of global economy – PwC

GUEST - Esiri Agbeyi, PwC Africa Family Business Leader, says: “Family businesses must stay nimble to leverage evolving tax and trade frameworks. With sound guidance, family enterprises can adapt to policy shifts while sustaining growth and job creation. Coordination between African governments is also essential for harmonising tax policies and reducing red tape, so family businesses can optimise opportunities, comply with disparate rules, and focus on building prosperity.

Family governance

What is encouraging is that more than half (52%) of respondents say that families are starting to involve younger generations (between the ages of 26 and 35) in decisions about managing wealth. A similar proportion (56%) introduce them to advisors at the same age, however families wait longer before involving NextGen in important decisions or giving them voting rights: more than half (56%) of respondents said their families wait until their children are over 35 for this. That said, younger generations do not always have to wait so long, as four in 10 respondents say their families give children a say between 26 and 35.

Political stability

Political stability ranked as the fourth highest topic for discussion this year on a global basis — one position lower than 2022. The majority of wealthy families said they were concerned about political instability within countries, typified by political polarisation and rising nationalism. These families are taking political stability and geopolitics into account far more than before, not just in their investment decisions but also in how they structure their overall wealth. For many families, this means refraining from investing in places where they believe the geopolitical situation might lead to added complexity or, at worst, a loss of assets.


Philanthropy retained its place as the fifth most discussed topic by family businesses. Many families view philanthropy as an important way to give back to society, creating a positive impact and providing family members with a purpose that binds them and brings their values to life. “Discussing how philanthropy aligns with family values can foster cohesion between an extended international family’s different branches and generations,” Agbeyi says. “Involving the NextGen at a young age can also instil pride, responsibility, identification with family values, and foster a long-term commitment to specific philanthropic activities.”

The 2023 survey affirms that global family businesses are once again facing a less predictable world, and one in which black swan events have a habit of materialising on a regular basis. It’s a more difficult world for preserving legacies and the family business’ wealth and purpose. That makes careful long-term planning and structuring more important than ever. More importantly, achieving this is not simply a once-off exercise but an ongoing journey involving the whole family.
22 Feb 3PM English South Africa Business News · Investing

Other recent episodes

PIVOT POINT – Schalk Malan, CEO of BrightRock

Schalk is a qualified actuary and the main architect behind our BrightRock insurance. He has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years. He’s regularly invited to speak internationally about BrightRock’s unique, human-centric product design.
18 Apr 2PM 37 min

Why Cinema has struggled to recover post Covid-19

GUEST – Onke Dumeko, NFVF Head of Operation The SA Film industry contributed R7.2 Billion in 2019, this dropped to R2.9 billion in 2020 due to Covid-19. KAYABiz host, Gugulethu Mfuphi investigates whether the sector recovered.
18 Apr 2PM 17 min

Canal+ increases its stake in MultiChoice to 40.8%.

GUEST – Mudiwa Gavaza - business writer for the Business Day and Financial Mail Canal+ has disclosed that it has bought even more shares in South Africa’s MultiChoice Group in recent days, taking its shareholding closer to the 50% mark. In a regulatory filing with the JSE on Thursday, Canal+…
18 Apr 2PM 20 min

How do you reward a multi-generational workforce?

GUEST – Deon Smit, ExCo Member at the South African Reward Association (SARA) and Master Reward Specialist. Managing expectations in the workplace is challenging, even more so when faced with the career aspirations of four different generations in one organisation or even one team. Employees are living longer and want…
17 Apr 2PM 16 min