Zurich takeaways for DBA class

20 December 2018

In December 2018, DBA class 2018 went to Zurich for their international module. The module is an integral part of the AMIS (Advanced Management International Studies), the first step of the DBA program.

This year module focused on three main topics:

-    Family business, its governance and life cycle;

-    Sustainable investment strategies;

-    Startups funding.

H.S.H. Prince Hubertus von und zu Liechtenstein opened the family business block. Prince Hubertus has been sitting on the supervisory board of the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation since 2016.

He defined governance of a family business as the system of rights, structures and obligations families establish to organize themselves and their business. He illustrated each constituent of governance, namely family governance, ownership governance, corporate governance and wealth governance by the examples of its own family and business cases he worked with during his career. During the visit and discussion at the LGT bank owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein, the latest trends in wealth governance were discussed.

Generation change is arguably the most difficult time for family businesses. Many believe that it is a “make or break” period. The phenomenon is absolutely new for Ukraine with its only 28 years of business experience. The first generation of family businesses is still active but they need to have their “exit plans” ready. Otherwise, the generation transition may kill businesses.

Representatives of two generations of Kündig Gruppe, food ingredients supplier and Cottonfields Family Offices delivered presentations on how to avoid doomsday scenarios. In fact, they represented two major approaches to generations change.

When Mr. Beat Kündig, the CEO had decided on smooth generation transition, he first took a course in family business at IMD. The resulting decision was to sell the company to his children at the par face value. It was a win-win solution because money paid by children provided for a good retirement. The second approach represented by the Cottonfields Family Offices. They provide family wealth management services. Based on their experience, they explained how companies like theirs could help design and implement “next generation” programs for family businesses.

Sustainable investments are one of the newest mainstream themes. Dr. Rene Nicolodi, the head of the Equities & Themes in Asset Management at Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank presented this new type of investments.  Sustainable investments are aimed at achieving triple bottom line results. Many successful companies proved that such investments are very viable in the long-term perspective.

Ms. Svenja Spanuch, investment analyst of the Verve Capital Partner and Maxim Pechersky, co-founder and CBDO of the PromoRepublic discussed startups funding. Svenja represented investors’ perspective whereas Maxim shared his experience of successful raise of international capital.  PromoRepublic is a company started in Ukrainian which currently operates globally.

Zurich is one of the global financial hubs. Therefore, it is the place to go for learning about the latest global trends and their reflecting in all the financial dimensions of doing business.