Family Fortunes

26th April 2021
Family Fortunes - Family Fortunes

Tom Matthews


We have helped many family businesses to address succession, ensure their people will be looked after and set up for the future, support international expansion and acquisitive growth, and implement technological enhancement.

Succession planning

Some businesses can benefit from assistance with succession planning, to ensure family businesses remain happily and successfully in the family. Succession planning is not necessarily about helping business owners to retire but rather about freeing up their time from the tasks they don’t enjoy doing to enable them to focus on what they’re passionate about – whether that’s customer experience, product, sales or moving away from the day-to-day operations altogether into a more strategic role.

At Pemba, we work closely with business owners to help them plan ahead and achieve their desired exit outcomes. We spend a lot of time working with business owners to design the best strategy to maximise the company’s value and achieve a successful exit for all shareholders.

For us, exit and succession planning is about working with the owner of a family business to determine how best we meet their specific personal objectives. Whether it’s transitioning away from the day-to-day operations to a more strategic role or full retirement, we can help business owners maintain control over how and when they leave the business and ensure this is always on their terms. This link to a previous article provides more detail on how we help with succession.

People – the most important element in a high-performing organisation

Capital is an important part of successful businesses but the most crucial element is the talent and people driving them. Family-run businesses are often acutely attuned to the importance of people. The people in family-run businesses are the lifeblood of the organisations. They are not just names in a spreadsheet but rather friends, colleagues and individuals that the founder has invested in (financially and personally), nurtured and developed over many years. In fact, many staff members in family businesses are often close friends or family members of the founder.

At Pemba, we look to retain and incentivise the key people at the heart of the businesses that we invest in. This is often through equity participation to ensure interests are aligned. This involves bringing these key people into the equity and supporting their transition from employee to equity owner. By bringing in the right investment partner, owners of family businesses can be sure that their key staff (many of whom are friends and family members) will be looked after.

Accelerated growth

Family-run businesses can go on to become market leaders with the right support. For some owners, they realise that in order for the business to become a market leader, they will have to look beyond organic growth of their original business.

Partnering with an experienced growth investor who can provide more than just funding can be transformational for the growth trajectory of a family business.

  • Acquisitive growth – Acquisitions are one route that can provide families with the opportunity to build their portfolio, their reach, and fulfil their ambition to secure their long-term success. At Pemba, we have completed over 160 partnership investments over the last c.20 years.  This link to a previous article provides further guidance on the art of a successful buy and build.
  •  International expansion – Expanding and replicating their business in international markets can be another route for families to accelerate the growth of their organisation. At Pemba, we have helped many businesses expand internationally into new jurisdictions. These companies have expanded into new international markets via both organic and inorganic means. Taking on board an experienced growth partner who can bring expertise in these areas can be truly invaluable in maximising success and avoiding any pitfalls.

Technological enhancement

Technology has had a major impact in the modern workplace, revolutionising the way businesses conduct their daily activities. Whatever industry family businesses operate in, technology helps their customers access all the information they need to successfully interact with their company. It can also help staff perform their jobs more efficiently.

At Pemba, we have a deep understanding of how technology can help accelerate the growth of family businesses. In fact, we have cemented a leadership position as the leading tech investor in Australia, having completed 22 tech investments over the last 3 years.

What next?

If you are an owner of a family business and want to understand how an experienced growth partner could help achieve your objectives around succession, growth, liquidity and legacy, while ensuring your people will be well looked after, then please Inmail me to find out more.

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