By Claire West

Bristol Business School, part of the University of the West of England, is to launch a programme dedicated to business education for advisers to family businesses.
The School has created a joint venture with the International Centre for Families in Business (ICFIB) to develop an 18 month part time programme, the Postgraduate Certificate in Family Business Advice. It is designed to give professional intermediaries — from lawyers and management consultants to accountants, bankers and IFAs — the opportunity to enhance their learning about the nature and dynamics of the family business.
Approximately 60% of all UK registered companies are family owned and run, with around 40 of the Times top 100 companies in family ownership. Research by the ICFIB has showed further that many professional advisers, whose experience has been with non-family run companies, are often uncomfortable when confronted with the family business and rarely fully understand the very nature of the business model.
The programme, which starts this October, will also provide an opportunity for advisers to enhance their experience of dealing with family business issues by getting involved in a live consultancy project.
The programme will be headed up by Nicholas O’Regan, Professor of Enterprise & Innovation at Bristol Business School, whose research interests cover the family business sector.
He said: “The introduction of this programme forms part of the Business School’s strategy to establish itself as the leading provider of business education in the region and specifically to families in business and their advisers across the UK.
“The learning environment we are looking
to create with the programme is one that encourages the exchange of knowledge between academics, family businesses and the advisers, which will not only be of mutual benefit to all those involved but also enable us to continuously enhance the programme in the future.”
John Tucker, Director of the ICFIB: “This partnership with Bristol Business School demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the most up-to-date and relevant professional support and services for both existing and potential family business clients. By offering this programme for professional intermediaries, it will help them develop greater understanding of the unique issues facing the family in business.”
The programme consists of three modules: a strategic introduction to the family business context, providing a foundation in understanding of the family business and issues such as ownership, succession, governance and finance; an exploration of family business organisational dynamics; and, lastly, a live project in which advisers are mentored through a consultancy project for a family business client.
For further information on the Postgraduate Certificate in Family Business Advice programme at Bristol Business School, please contact Professor Nicholas O’Regan on 0117 3283735 or email nicholas.o'regan@uwe.ac.uk. or John Tucker on 07968 429313 or email johntucker@icfib.com