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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, January 28, 1999

  • Family business crisis forecast
  • Seminar: solutions for web sites
  • Co-op events today
  • On a slippery Thursday...
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Family business crisis forecast --from the UW News Bureau

Canada's economy may soon inherit a succession of failed family businesses, says a Deloitte & Touche survey involving a UW faculty member.

The First Success Readiness Survey of Canadian Family-Owned Business, has found that a majority of Canada's family businesses are unprepared for the dramatic change in leadership they will soon face.

"Faced with a 78-per-cent change in leadership over the next 15 years, Canada's family businesses need to focus heavily on planning for the future," says Jim Barnett, director of the Deloitte & Touche Centre for Tax Education and Research and the Master of Taxation program at UW, who helped produce the survey.

"Yet, business plans, strategic plans, contingency plans, and succession plans all appear to be in short supply."

Based on the employment and sales figures reported in the survey, Canada's family businesses have a combined employment as high as 4.7-million full-time and 1.3-million part-time, and total annual sales of approximately $1.3 trillion, making the continued success of these businesses an important concern for Canadians.

Over the next few years, Canada's family business leaders are poised to retire in significant numbers: 27 per cent within five years; another 29 per cent in six to 10 years; and a further 22 per cent in 11 to 15 years. Yet, three-quarters of today's family business leaders believe the continued success of their business depends on them and 44 per cent believe that their business may not survive without them.

Despite the fact that more than half of family business leaders plan to retire in the next 10 years, 70 per cent of respondents indicated they have not yet selected a successor and 66 per cent indicated that they have not established a process for selecting a successor.

The survey says this lack of planning is compounded by the fact that few family businesses share their management responsibilities with other family members.

"Unfortunately, this style of management has led to a dangerous dependence on the current business leader," Barnett said. "This makes family businesses extremely vulnerable to shifts in leadership, such as that expected to affect a majority of family businesses when their leaders retire."

He pointed out that Canadian family businesses have overcome adversities in the past. They also have a positive outlook that should provide support as they position themselves for success in the 21st century.

"Provided that they increase their planning efforts and produce well-thought-out plans in a timely manner, they should do well," Barnett concluded.

Business centre offers help

Addressing those ongoing needs is the Centre for Family Business at Conrad Grebel College. As part of the centre's series of lectures and workshops, Barnett will speak Friday morning at a breakfast meeting on "Estate Planning for Family Owned Businesses". The event, open to both members ($25) and non-members ($30) will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Club Willowells in Waterloo.

Looking ahead, the centre is planning a conference on February 26 on "Making the Family Partnership Work". The focus will be on "clarifying responsibilities and tracking performance, developing your succession goals and action plans". David Gallagher, who "leads the successful Family Business Management program at the University of Toronto and a pioneer in working with family business clients," is the speaker. Held at the Waterloo Inn from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the conference costs $125 for members and $165 for non-members.

Future Family Business Centre programs this spring will explore the function of non-family members in family firms (March 26), offer a seminar aimed at young adults ages 17 to 30 on managing intergenerational conflict and working in sibling/cousin teams (March 27), and a conference on May 7 dealing with psychological issues between generations around money.

Seminar: solutions for web sites

"Practical Solutions for Web Site Content Management and Personalization" is the subject of an infraNET Project distinguished speaker seminar today from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1302.

David Boswell, president and CEO of LivePage Corporation, will explore the challenges of storage, and management and retrieval of the site content as web sites grow in size and complexity. One solution is an enterprise developed by LivePage to store the content in a relational database "using a set of techniques referred to as the Content Relational storage model." Not only does the LivePage Content Relational storage model provide security, data integrity, replication, scalability, and concurrency control, but work indexing and link cataloguing, as well. The seminar will discuss the "architecture of LivePage Enterprise and how it is applied to address practical problems in the implementation of web sites."

Boswell began his career at UW, receiving B.Math and M.Math degrees (computer science) before pursuing software research and development with the Computer Systems Group. Prior to joining LivePage, he was vice president and general manager of development tools at Sybase Inc. (Boston), and was instrumental in building sales and marketing at Watcom. He has also been an adjunct faculty member in UW's computer science department.

Pre-registering to reserve a seat for the free seminar is recommended, and can be done via the infraNET web site or by phoning ext. 5611.

Co-op events today

Career development seminars (Co-op 101) on critical incident and workplace safety will be held in Hagey Hall room 159 today from 9:30 to 11:30, and from 11:30 to 1:30.

Workshops on resume writing (1:30 to 2:30 p.m.) and letter writing (2:30 to 3:30 p.m.) will be held in Needles Hall room 1020.

Nortel representatives will be on hand for an employer information session today from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Ground Zero. The event is aimed at engineering and mathematics (computer science) students.

On a slippery Thursday...

This just in: the Waterloo Warriors rebounded on the basketball courts last night to defeat the Guelph Gryphons 70 to 58, using "a combination of good defense and patient determined half-court offence," according to fan, Martin Timmerman. Mano Watsa was back in action leading the offense, he adds, and timely points were contributed by Mike Zavershnik and Derek Maat. In the OUA West division, Waterloo now stands at 2-4, with the next game on Saturday in Windsor against the Lancers.

Wondering why your take-home pay decreased in January compared to December? According to Carol Wooten, payroll specialist in human resources, this issue arises each year because required contributions to the Canada Pension and Employment Insurance plans begin to be deducted in the new year. When the maximum contributions to these plans are reached later in the year, take-home pays will increase.

A registration and information meeting for the Weight Watchers At Work Program will be held today from noon to 1 p.m. in Math and Computer room 5136. "Over 320 lbs. lost in last series" notes organizers, although they don't say how many people were losing it. This series runs for 14 weeks and offers a student discount. For more information contact Lynn Tucker at ext. 6407.

Offering "a critical look at current legislation surrounding refugee status in Canada" today at 1 p.m. will be speaker Jane Rebley of the Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support. Her experience working with "survivors of torture and trauma" will inform her talk at the Conrad Grebel College cafeteria Blue Room. The event is sponsored by the peace and conflict studies program.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Metropolitan Area Survey, 1998, will be the subject of a seminar by UW sociology professor John Goyder today at 3:30 p.m. in PAS room 2030. The event is part of the UW survey research centre seminar series.

At 4 p.m., earth sciences professor Thomas Edwards will speak on "a new perspective on C-isotope signals in trees" and its impact on surface mapping techniques. The event, in Chemistry 2 room 170, is sponsored by the UW quaternary discussion group, as part of its winter 1999 series.

The UW staff association is seeking applications for a staff representative on the works of art and gallery committee. A policy board comprised of seven members, the committee oversees the operation of the university galleries and usually meets twice a year to review donations to the permanent collection. "In the near future, the committee will be providing input to a proposal to realign the galleries operations and resources." The term starts immediately and runs for four years. Interested staff should apply by February 10 to Karen LeDrew, SISP/IST, MC 4019 (or by email to ledrewbk@nh1adm) with the following information: name, department, extension, email address, years of service at UW, any relevant information, and the reason for interest in representing staff on this committee. This information is a key factor in the selection process. Staff who wish to apply who are not staff association members can join by contacting Barb Yantha at ext. 3566.

And a final warning: the winter term registration deadline is tomorrow, January 29. "Students attending classes who have not registered by January 29 will not be permitted to write examinations or receive creidt for those courses," advises the registrar's office.

Barbara Elve

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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