Focus on entrepreneurs

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This report is about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. This unique group of business leaders employs millions of people and generates a substantial proportion of the world’s wealth. Entrepreneurs create successful companies that continue to grow and get passed down through the generations, often then becoming family-owned businesses. While having distinct advantages over public corporations, they are not without their own concerns. How do you make sure the transition from entrepreneurial structure to family-owned business is smooth? What does the future hold for these organisations? With the time and energy demanded by the business, how do you take care of your personal wealth? In this report, we asked three groups of people to contribute their expertise in helping to answer these questions.

First, we organised a round-table of professors at INSEAD, the leading international business school. They brought the latest thinking about the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses. They tackled key questions like succession, offering fascinating observations on Asia and the growth of social entrepreneurship.

Behind the theory are some remarkable and inspiring stories. We talked to four leading entrepreneurs about their motivations, ambitions and concerns and how they have resolved problems inherent in running their business, even sharing the secrets of their own success. These include a media entrepreneur who set up three businesses, an internet entrepreneur who took a simple idea and turned it into one of France’s most successful companies, an industrial entrepreneur who oversaw the international expansion of a Swiss company, and a family entrepreneur who took over the running of a 130-year-old bakery at the age of just 31.

Finally, we contributed our own intelligence, assimilated over 200 years of running a business. Pictet has been run by a small group of families for two centuries and has dealt with many of the issues that these types of businesses face. Our specialist knowledge places Pictet in an ideal position to offer independent advice to entrepreneurs in areas such as financial planning, tax counselling and investment. This allows them to separate their private wealth from the success of their company, protect it for future generations and devote their own time and energy to their businesses.
We hope you find this report both stimulating and valuable in tackling the issues that confront every successful independent business.