Forum for Family Business

An empire is easy to rule – compared to a family!


„Look for advice from equals“, is a saying.  Besides the speeches of our specialists, the family business forum gives the participants the opportunity to discuss with each other within a professionally lead structure. This creates the possibility to gain insights into the problems and solution strategies of other family businesses. The participating members from family businesses are introduced to the topic of tribal organisations and are given a clear understanding of how to deal with conflicts in the family circle as well as the business circle.

Upcoming Events:


  • 22nd of November 2018
    51. Forum for Family Business
    “Succession in Family Businesses and Sustainability”
    at Trox GmbH, Neukirchen-Vluyn
  • 13th of December 2018
    52. Forum for Family Business
    “Wealthy Business Family without Family Business”
    at Witten/Herdecke University


[Please note that the Forums are being held in German.]

Forum for Family Buisness

Since 2008 the WIFU has provided a special discussion platform for entrepreneur families: during an afternoon and an evening, a sensitive issue is focused on which confronts the entrepreneur family or the family enterprise. This is why the motto of the Forum for Family Businesses series is: “we grapple with tough issues”. In this way, it is possible to engage in protected dialogue on challenging topics which simultaneously involve issues relating to law, business management and in particular psychology. Based on the academic expertise of the WIFU, the forum starts with a general introduction to the issue at hand. As the event progresses, participants have the opportunity to ask their own questions and share their experience, finally forming discussion groups to jointly develop potential solutions aimed at tackling the challenges.

Following the concept of the Congress for Family Enterprises, the forum is aimed exclusively at entrepreneurs, family members and top-ranking managers of family enterprises. The event is designed to facilitate close dialogue between a maximum of 25 participants and WIFU lecturers in a private, protected atmosphere. The event is regularly held on the premises of partner family enterprises in various parts of Germany.


Participants’ Comments:

“A very good mix of lectures and discussions”

“Now I understand why many things went wrong and can do things better in this generation”

Previous Events

In the past, the following topics have been covered in the Forum for Family Business:

1. Forum for Family Business: “Between screaming kids and demands for dividends”, 14.11.2008, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten

2. Forum for Family Business: “Tribal Organisation”, 15.05.2009, Universität Witten/Herdecke, Witten

3. Forum for Family Business: “Succession Management”, 20.11.2009, Merck KGAA, Darmstadt

4. Forum for Family Business: “Family Values and Company Crises”, 22.04.2010, BJB GmbH & Co. KG, Arnsberg

5. Forum for Family Business: “Powerful advisory board, powerful family”, 01.07.2010, Albert Handtmann Holding AG, Biberach

6. Forum for Family Business: “Women in succession in family businesses ” 02.12.2010, Roeckl Handschuhe & Accessoires GmbH & Co. KG, Munich

7. Forum for Family Business: “Succession without successor “, 07.04.2011, Burg Schlitz, Mecklenburg

8. Forum for Family Business: „Women in Family Businesses – Daughters as Successors“, 16.06.2011, ACO Severin Ahlmann GmbH & Co. KG, Büdelsdorf

9. Forum for Family Business: “M & A by Family Businesses”, 07.07.2011, REMONDIS AG & Co. KG, Holzwickede

10. Forum for Family Business: “From employed manager to (co-) entrepreneur “, 24.11.2011, Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. KG, Coburg

11. Forum for Family Business: „Women in family businesses – daughters in charge“, 03.05.2012, Grillo-Gruppe, Duisburg

12. Forum for Family Business: “Tribal Organisation”, 05.07.2012, Klett AG, Stuttgart

13. Forum for Family Business: “Successor Management”, 11.10.2012, Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co. KG, Lüdenscheid

14. Forum for Family Business: “Family Strategy”, 29.11.2012, Wrede Industrieholding GmbH & Co. KG, Arnsberg

15. Forum for Family Business: “Family Business and India”, 05.12.2012, Krohne Messtechnik GmbH, Duisburg

16. Forum for Family Business: “Family Office”, 11.04.2013, Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Duisburg

17. Forum for Family Business: “Corporate Governance and Family Governance”, 03.06.2013, E. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt

18. Forum for Family Business: “Growing Shareholder Family”, 18.07.2013, Wuppermann AG, Leverkusen

19. Forum for Family Business: “Dialogue for Successors”, 12.09.2013, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten

20. Forum for Family Business: “Family external Management”, 14.11.2013, FIEGE Logistik Holding Stiftung & Co. KG, Greven

21. Forum for Family Business: “Mental Models”, Her. G. Dethleffsen AG & Co. KG, Flensburg

22. Forum for Family Business: “Women in Family Businesses”, 05.06.2014, Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Esterer GmbH & Co. Fahrzeugaufbauten und Anlagen KG, Helsa

23. Forum for Family Business: “Dialogue for Successors”, 23.10.2014, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten

24. Forum for Family Business: “Family Strategy”, 13.11.2014, J.D. Neuhaus GmbH & Co. KG, Witten

25. Forum for Family Business: “Succession without successor: Selling to another family business”, 22.01.2015, Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Duisburg

26. Forum for Family Business: “Alternative Financing Options for Family Businesses”, 26.03.2015, WEPA Industrieholding SE, Arnsberg

27. Forum for Family Business: “Women in Family Businesses”, 28.05.2015, Helger Breuninger Stiftung, Paretz

28. Forum for Family Business: “Value orientation in the education of successors”, 18.06.2015, RECARO Holding GmbH, Stuttgart

29. Forum for Family Business: “Shareholder Competence Development”, 17.09.2015, Johannes Reifenhäuser Holding GmbH & Co. KG, Troisdorf

30. Forum for Family Business: “Dialogue for Successors”, 22.10.2015, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten

31. Forum for Family Business: “Selling the multi-generational family business – and then?”, 12.11.2015, Serafin Unternehmensgruppe GmbH, München

32. Forum for Family Business: “Family businesses as a brand”, 21.02.2016, Kirchhoff Holding GmbH & Co. KG, Iserlohn

33. Forum for Family Business: “Advisory boards in family businesses”, 10.03.2016, Vorwerk & Co. KG, Wuppertal

34. Forum for Family Business: “Women in Family Businesses”, 14.04.2016, Sieper Lüdenscheid GmbH & Co. KG, Lüdenscheid

35. Forum for Family Business: “Family Foundation for Family Businesses”, 16.06.2016, Wrede Stiftung, Sundern

36. Forum for Family Business: “Shareholder Competence Development”, 29.09.2016, E. Merck KG, Darmstadt

37. Forum for Family Business: “Dialogue for Successors”, 06.10.25016, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten

38. Forum for Family Business: “Family Strategy”, 01.12.2016, Krohne Messtechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Duisburg

39. Forum for Family Business: “The Emergency Kit for Family Businesses”, 26.01.2017, BEKO Holding GmbH, Neuss

40. Forum for Family Business: “Women in Family Businesses – Daughters in Succession”, 16.03.2017,  Coroplast Fritz Müller GmbH & Co. KG, Wuppertal

41. Forum for Family Business: “Digitalisation in Family Businesses”, 18.05.2017, BEUMER Group GmbH & Co. KG, Beckum

42. Forum for Family Business: “Dialogue for Successors”, 28.09.2017, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten

43. Forum for Family Business: “Conversion into SE”, 19.10.2017, Freudenberg SE, Weinheim

44. Forum for Family Business: “Transgenerational Asset Management”, 16.11.2017, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten

46. Forum for Family Business: “Shareholder Competence Development”, 08.03.2018, Schäfer Gruppe, Betzdorf

47. Forum for Family Business: “Digitalisation in Family Businesses”, 17.05.2018, BPW Bergische Achsen KG, Siegburg

48. Forum for Family Business: “Family Strategy”, 21.06.2018, Progroup AG, Landau

49. Forum for Family Business: “Social Engagement of Family Businesses”, 20.09.2018, Dr. Ausbüttel GmbH & Co. KG, Essen

50. Forum for Family Business: “Dialogue for Successors”, 27.09.2018, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten