Ownership Transition — Survey Results

Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company provided the following survey results based on family-owned businesses. Although the survey was conducted several years ago, the results are still quite revealing, and still applicable.

• Four out of five companies are still controlled by the founders.
• 30% of family-owned companies will change leadership within the next five years.
• 55% of companies fail to conduct regular valuations of the company.
• 55% of CEOs who are 61 or older have not chosen a successor.
• 13% of CEOs will never retire.
• 90% of businesses will continue as family owned.
• 85% of successor CEOs will be a family member.
• 20% of family owners have not completed any estate planning.
• 55% of family owners do not have a formal company valuation for estate tax estimates.
• 60% of businesses do not have a written strategic plan.
• 48% of companies rely on life insurance to cover estate taxes.

The above survey indicates that many family businesses are not optimizing their opportunities. Their insular approach to succession, leadership, planning, etc., indicates their vulnerability for the long term. These vulnerabilities suggest that many business owners should work with professional advisors to resolve these issues. A professional intermediary is an essential member of this advisor group.