From this 22nd to 24th of October, Bilbao will host the XXVI National Conference of Family Business, organized by the Family Business Institute (IEF, acronym in Spanish) in collaboration with the Euskadi Association of Family Business (Aefame) and sponsored by Banco Santander and KPMG. It is expected that 500 family businessmen from all over Spain will attend the event.

The family business’ annual reunion will be attended by His Majesty the King, and other outstanding domestic and international speakers, as announced today by IEF’s CEO José Luis Blanco, and the President of Aefame, José Miguel Lanzagorta.The Family Business Conference has become the most important business forum in Spain. The slogan chosen for this year is “The force of the people”, and it intends to convey the idea that it is people with their work, talent and illusion who push this country forward, and that family companies are one of the places where these people are and develop.

During his speech Lanzagorta mentioned that “Euskadi is rich in family businesses. 84% of the Basque business fabric is comprised of family companies, which illustrates the backbone role of our business model. We are, without a doubt, the foundation of the Basque economy”.
“We are also, she stressed, a key competitive agent for the economy and have a great potential to keep contributing to the Basque economic and social development. But for Euskadi to continue being an attractive region to establish and maintain family companies, we need to create a competitive ecosystem providing stability and growth potential to the Basque family companies”.

Meanwhile, José Luis Blanco asserted that “the main asset of family companies are their people, and it is among them that company projects are developed”. In this regard, the goal of the Conference to be held in Bilbao is “to transmit to the public opinion all the things that companies do to further the development of people and to elicit a reflection about the companies’ role in the integration of people into the society”.

The company as a venue
Family businesses are the foundation of the European business fabric. They account for 70% of employment and 60% of GDP in Spain, figures that hint at their importance in the support and development of the well-fare state. This represents an ongoing contribution over time, given that family businesses are older than non-family companies. Some of IEF’s partners are centennial companies and have been contributing for centuries to our country’s prosperity.
On Sunday the 22nd of October a welcoming ceremony for the Conference attendees will take place at Deusto University’s auditorium, where Bilbao’s Mayor, Juan Mari Aburto and the President of the Euskadi Family Business Association, José Miguel Lanzagorta are scheduled to speak.
The official inauguration will be on Monday the 23rd of October, presided by His Majesty the King, and with the participation of competent protocol authorities and the President of IEF, Andrés Sendagorta.

Conference papers and speeches

The program of conference papers and speeches begins on Monday with a round table entitled: “Family Business and Talent: Strategies, Strengths and Challenges”, featuring Manuel Domínguez ( CEOMayoral), Pedro Ruiz (CEO of Alma de Carraovejas), Salvador Palmada (Spencer Stuart’s Office Manager) and Pablo Sagnier (Associate of Egon Zehnder); it will be moderated by Javier Ormazábal (President of Velatia). The President of KPMG in Spain will also take part with the paper “Talent as a leverage for growth”.
The morning session will include a dialog between Ana Botín, President of Banco Santander, and Sabina Fluxá, Vicepresident, and CEO of Grupo Iberostar.

The afternoon segment will include papers by the presidents of four companies that are members of the Family Business Institute: Corporación Empresarial Pascual (Tomás Pascual), Grupo CALVO (Mané Calvo), SAICA (Ramón Alejandro Balet) and Acciona (José Manuel Entrecanales).This will be followed by a discussion at a round table “The Business Perspective”, With the participation of Antonio Garamendi (President of CEOE), Manuel Pérez-Sala (Presidente of Círculo de Empresarios), Jaume Guardiola (President of Cercle d’Economía), and Andrés Arizkorreta (President of the Basque Businessmen Circle). Ángel Riviera, Santander España’s CEO, will be in charge of the moderation, while Andrés Sendagorta, President of IEF, will introduce the speakers.
On Tuesday, the day will start with a round table entitled “Reconciliation in the Family Business: All Time and Current Challenges”, featuring Patricia Riberas (Director of Operational Excellence for Gestamp), Rocío Osborne (Osborne’s Communication Director) and Salvador Bautista (General Secretaryof Bergé y Cía.’s Board).
Afterwards, a demographic study of the family business will be presented.

Morocco as the guest country
As last year, the Family Business Conference is now featuring a guest country. Morocco will be part of the next round table, entitled “The Family Business: Morocco’s Engine”, with the participation of Simón Pedro Barceló (Co-chairman of Grupo Barceló), Alfonso Líbano (businessman), Kacem Bennani Smires (President and CEO of Delassus Groupe and President of Institut de l’Entreprise Familiale Maroc), and Jali Benabbés-Taarji (General Director-Administrator of Holding Dar Taarji and General Vice-president of Institut de l’Entreprise Familiale Maroc), moderated by Houda Benghazi (Director of Institut de l’Entreprise Familiale Maroc).

The following speech entitled “Uriach: 180 years of History”, will be delivered by Joaquín Uriach, President of Grupo Uriach’s Family Council, who will also have a conversation with Juan Roure, Professor Emeritus from the Entrepreneurship Initiative of IESE.

The Conference will be wrapped up with a speech by Andrés Sendagorta, IEF’s President.

The Conference will be hosted by Esther Vaquero, a journalist from Antena 3.

About the IEF
Founded in Barcelona in 1992, the Family Business Institute is a non-profit, not state-subsidized independent business organization. It is made up of the country’s top one-hundred family companies, industry leaders with a presence in the major international markets. It is currently presided by President, Andrés Sendagorta, President of Sener. Together, the companies that constitute the IEF employ 1.1 million people. Their aggregate annual turnover is 14% of the Spanish GDP, a percentage that exceeds 24% if we include the Territorial Associations of Family Business, which comprise another 1.500 companies.
All the IEF partners are presidents, CEOs, or board of director members of the companies they own. In its 30 years of existence the Institute has become a strong referenced interlocutor committed to protecting the interests of the family business, identifying the best corporate governance and management practices, and supervising the education and networking of future generations.

Aefame, the Euskadi Family Business Association (linked to IEF) was created in 2015. It is made up of 72 Basque companies that are leaders in their respective industry activities. The association is composed of the main family companies and entrepreneur families from the three regions, which are leaders in their respective industry activities. Together they reached an aggregate turnover exceeding 15.242 million dollars and employ more than 148.000 people. For all this, the family business projects itself as an ally of the Basque economy and as its “backbone”, as it represents 84% of the Basque economy’s productive fabric. It is also a clear job creation driver as it accounts for 55,45% of employment in the Basque Country, having an essential role is essential for economic reactivation.

ConferencePrevious editions of the Family Business
Alicante (1997): Barcelona (1999); Logroño (2000); Santiago de Compostela (2001); Salamanca (2002); Córdoba (2003); Oviedo (2004); Tenerife (2005); Valencia (2006); Palma de Mallorca (2007); Madrid (2008); Zaragoza (2009); Santander (2010); Valladolid (2011); Barcelona (2012); Jerez de la Frontera (2013); Alicante (2014); Bilbao (2015); A Coruña (2016); Toledo (2017); Valencia (2018); Murcia (2019); Sede Virtual (2020); Pamplona (2021); Cáceres (2022).

MoraWealth opens the doors of Casa Vicens for the Catalonian Family Business Association (ASCEF)

Barcelona, May 5th, 2023.- Last Thursday, MoraWealth, Grupo MoraBanc’s brokerage firm in Barcelona, invited the Catalonian Family Business Association to hold a joint event at Casa Vicens, Antoni Gaudí’s first major project.

This encounter comes as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Catolonian family entrepreneurs’ organization, whose members, headed by its President, Jaume Alsina, had the opportunity to enjoy a visit to the interiors of this modernist building located on Carolines Street and owned by Grupo MoraBanc since 2014.

After a tour, which showed the value of Gaudí’s architectonic expertise manifested in the building, constructed between 1882 and 1885 and declared as UNESCO World Heritage in 2005, the CEO for Grupo MoraBanc, and a fourth-generation member of the Mora family, Lluís Alsina, delivered a lectured called “MoraBanc: keys to family management at a reference group”.

The organization’s CEO highlighted the important bond of MoraBanc with the city of Barcelona, not only for being a natural venue or for its proximity to Andorra, but also for the presence of the Group through its brokerage firm, MoraWealth, founded in 2020. A cultural relationship with Ciudad Condal (Barcelona) had been established previously with the acquisition of Casa Vicens by MoraBanc, which took on an ambitious and thorough restoration project to transform it into a museum.

Renown personalities of the business world attended the event that concluded with champagne and appetizers. The outcome of the visit to the property was positive and showed MoraBanc i MoraWealth’s commitment to the Catalonian businessmen and its will to safeguard the historic and cultural heritage of the city of Barcelona.
About MoraWealth
We are a brokerage firm headquartered in Barcelona as a branch of the Andorran banking group, MoraBanc. Thanks to a professional, qualified, and expert team, we are able to offer financial counseling services, and individualized and discretionary portfolio management with an adjusted customized strategy based on our clients’ needs. A valuable and differentiated offer that leverages on synergies with Grupo MoraBanc, an entity with over 65 years of experience in private banking.
The Catalonian Family Business Association (ASCEF, acronym in Spanish) is an organization founded in 1998 by a group of companies representing the Catalonian business structure. Its constituent entities play an important role in the country’s economy for its commitment to wealth and employment creation, territoriality, and sustainability.

The family business forum discusses values, succession and future in Zaragoza

Values, succession, and future are the three axes on which pivoted the 19th National Meeting of the Family Forum, which gathered, in Zaragoza, 350 young members of entrepreneur families from all over Spain; an event organized by the Family Business Institute and the Aragón Family Business Association, with the collaboration of Deloitte and Banco Santander.

The motto chosen for this year, “The Spain Beat”, seeks to convey the idea that, aside from the debates we are attending to, the country is moving and advancing thanks to the contribution of the civil society and the family companies, which day after day open their doors with the hope of doing something for their communities.

The Family Forum is the venue for future generations of stockholders, board members and executives of the companies that make up the Family Business Institute (IEF, acronym in Spanish) and affiliated Regional Associations (AATT, acronym is Spanish).  It is the space created for the youngest family members who represent their companies’ generational continuity, a forum for discussion and exchange of experiences and concerns.

On Friday afternoon, the meeting’s attendees visited facilities of outstanding Aragonese companies like La Zaragozana, Pikolin, Fersa, IQE, and Cefa.

The academic session, chaied by the Aragonese journalist, Ana Aínsa, took off on Saturday with a welcoming speech by the IEF’s CEO, José Luis Blanco, who reminded the audience that what really makes a company a family business is the commitment of the next generation, and pointed out that in these so special times we are living in, reality must be built with facts and commitments, just like the family business do each day.

Staying away from the noise generated by uncertainty

Jorge Blanchard, President of the Aragón Family Business Association, encouraged the meeting attendees to “stay away from the noise generated by uncertainty”, be prepared to address the challenges the future may hold, cherish human capital, and always maintain the innovation spirit that characterizes the family businesses.

Asier González, Managing Director of Santander España, reminded that his bank was founded 176 years ago, as an entity intended for supporting companies, and that ever since, its mission has been to contribute to the progress of these companies, communities, and society.

Lastly, David Álvarez, Active Partner of Deloitte in Aragón, listed five transforming challenges that, in his opinion, all companies, whether family business or not, must address: namely, sustainability, digitalization, data input, talent, and inorganic growth.

A psychiatric diagnosis of society

The first morning session called “Making Good Things Happen to You”, was led by Marian Rojas Estapé, Psychiatrist from the Spain Institute of Psychiatry Research, and was presented by Enrique Sendagorta, a member of the family company, Sener. Rojas made a complete psychiatric diagnosis of the current society, bringing into focus how people are intoxicated by two major hormones like cortisol (stress) and dopamine, (pleasure, addiction), and mentioned the existence of a profound crisis of attention.

Grupo Pikolin set up the next round table with the title “When the Family Takes Care of Business”, featuring its President, Alfonso Solans; the Group’s Vice-President and President of Dunlopillo Holdings, Borja Solans, and his brother, Álvarez, Grupo Pikolin’s Vice-President. The table’s moderation ran on Jorge Esteban, Director of the Aragón Family Business Association.

In his speech, Alfonso Solans noted that the job of any good entrepreneur is to pave the way so that the next generations get access to the realm of management, while also stating that at eventually the most difficult decision is always “who will steer the ship”.

On the other hand, Álvaro Solans acknowledged that the surname carries a weight for the company’s new generations, and that having great role models such as his grandfather and father constitutes a challenge that, in his words, he faces with hope and responsibility. Meanwhile, Borja Solans, asserted that a long-term perspective and a personal commitment have been key in integrating the family culture into the Group’s Asian branches.

Are we ready to live within the Internet?

 Later, a discussion group called “Metaverse and Extended Reality, the Future is Here” was held with the participation of Pedro Lozano, Cofounder of Imascono; Víctor Pérez, Digital Marketing & Growth Manager of ISDI, and Patricia M. Val, Cofounder and CEO of Future Space. The group was moderated by Isabel Puig, Institutional Coordination Manager of Santander España, who questioned if we were prepared to live within the Internet, where many things from the real world will be found.

In this respect, Patricia M. Val asserted that Metaverse is the new structure that will support the Internet within 10 years. “It is being built, but it still needs to be developed in many ways. What is clear is that those who come late will find rules already implemented”, she said.

In Víctor Pérez’s view, Metaverse is an opportunity. “On which side of history do you want to be?”, he wondered.  “On the side of those who believe it will be a failure or on that of those who seek how to help their businesses?” Pedro Lozano, on the other hand, claimed that the future will assume a hybrid model, “where we will have the best of the physical world and the best of the virtual world”.

The first afternoon session was led by Professor Alfonso Chiner, Scientific Collaborator of the Strategic Management for IESE, who presented the audience with a case study under the motto “Succession, An Open-End Movie or Series”. During a spirited debate with the group of new generation members from the family business, Chiner wrapped up a series of key ideas: “We are family; we need to talk; communication can be fixed, trust cannot”.

The following round table entitled “ESG, All Time Values” summoned Javier Pérez de Mezquía, Saica’s Board Member; Beatriz Molins, Cementos Molins’ Board Member and FIBAC’s Couselor, and Clara Arpa, ARPA’s CEO; it was chaired by Salvador Bautista, General Secretary of Bergé y Cia.’s Board.

avier Pérez de Mezquía elaborated on the idea that served as the session’s title, “Today we called it circular economy, but we started doing it in our business back in the 70s. According to Saica, each business decision must fit into the SDGs.”

What good can we do for our society?

On her turn, Clara Arpa noted that her company is 55 years old, “and on each fiscal year, we wonder what good are we going to do for society”. Finally, Beatriz Molins emphasized the need to preserve the environment by creating value and placing sustainability at the core of each business strategy.

The last session of the academic day was called “Family Offices”, How Do Family Businesses Invest? featuring Alberto Folch-Rusiñol, Vice-President of Fábricas Folch; Albert Botet, Managing Director at Inderhabs Investments, and Armando Fandos, Wealth Manager Director of Zubi Wealth Management. This last event was moderated by Fernando Vázquez Castro, Partner of Deloitte Legal, who mentioned that, in his opinion, the family offices are an instrument, but not an end for the family business.

Despite that, for Alberto Botet, the vision, goal and managing bodies of a family office must act just as those of the family business. In a similar key, Armando Fandos stated that sustainability, profitableness, and impact should lead the way of investment for the family business. On his turn, Alberto Fosch reminded that companies do not always go well, therefore diversification is important.

Finding strength in unity

The meeting concluded with a summary of conclusions by Salvador Bautista and an address by Patricia Riberas, President of the Forum’s Executive Board, who sent a message to the members of the family business new generation. “In the current times, we need to find our strength in unity.”

Then, Esther Aguirre, President of the Family Forum for the Murcia Association, announced that the next National Meeting of the Family Forum, in its 20th edition, would be held in Cartagena, in 2024.




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