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).