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USC Marshall takes on the family business

A new Executive Education program will examine generational transitions encountered by family-owned operations

As part of its Executive Education program, the USC Marshall School of Business is launching a new initiative to focus on the issues faced by family-owned businesses.

Drawing on the resources of the school and recognized subject matter experts to address both the quantitative and qualitative issues facing this sector, the Family Business Program will address challenges, such as why fewer than 40 percent of these businesses transition successfully to the second generation, and fewer than 13 percent to the third.

One of the program’s key figures will be Lee Hausner, an author, speaker and a recognized authority in this area. With a mission to “create sustainable value by increasing the professionalism of the business and the effectiveness of the family,” Hausner and members of the USC Marshall faculty will lead lectures and workshops focused on transforming knowledge and practice across the family business sector.

Program topics will include the founder and family’s transition as a business grows and generations prepare to transfer the reins of ownership. The program will also explore management of the business, estate planning and wealth management. Ultimately, the initiative’s goal is to help families create a legacy using the resources generated by the family-owned business.

“This is an important initiative that directly supports several components of the USC Marshall strategic plan,” said Ken Ude MBA ’80, the program’s director. “We will provide services to all family-owned businesses in Southern California.”

The Family Business Program will launch at a symposium co-sponsored with the National Association for Corporate Directors on Oct. 8, with events sponsored on a monthly basis beginning later that month. The program will have chapters in Los Angeles and Orange County and will include a special group for USC students from family-owned businesses.

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