The session featured Mr. Antoine Mayaud (a 3rd generation member of the Mulliez family that owns the successful French retail company- Auchan Hypermarkets) and was moderated by Mr. Peter Leach (Founder and Chairman, Peter Leach Associates Ltd.) The speaker and moderator discussed various issues related to keeping all family members together in the business by identifying entrepreneurial opportunities for all members to participate and benefit.
On the importance of developing entrepreneurship in the family, the speaker highlighted that it not just keeps the risk-taking ability in the younger generations alive, but also helps the family build a diverse portfolio of investments in the most natural and organic way. This way, the younger generation are motivated to contribute, because their own businesses are part of the family businesses and will help them grow as Confident Active Successors instead of being Fearful Passive Heirs.
On the difficulties faced in convincing and keeping the whole family together in business, including the spouses, Mr. Mayaud believes that it is very difficult, but in the long run it is beneficial to all concerned. According to him, Spouses bring in new ideas and fresh perspective to the family business. He also shared that in Mulliez family, company-stocks are shared with in-laws instead of giving out cash and how this has helped to keep the cash in the business and helped it to grow over the period of time.
Mr. Peter Leach pointed out that culture is a very important component of managing a family business - more so than structure or strategy. On this Mr. Antoine shared that the culture of the Mulliez family is to work hard to keep the family together. Their seniors had written down “We want to stay together – all family members in all businesses, so we can all do better.” They believe that alone, they can go far and together they can go further.
About the Speaker
Mr. Antoine Mayaud:
Mr. Antoine Mayaud, 68, father of four, with 8 grandchildren is trained as an agricultural engineer.
He is a member of Mulliez family and was also appointed to the family council during the last 16 years
In Association Familiale Mulliez (AFM), a 100- year old holding company of Mulliez family- He is in-charge of family cohesion and entrepreneurship development
Mr. Antoine is also the chairman of the family Equity fund, "CreAdev", which would assist family or non- family young entrepreneurs, hence promoting the entrepreneurial spirit and helping to develop the AFM portfolio
About the Moderators
Mr. Peter Leach:
Widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of family business thinking in the UK, Peter has been a leader in his field for over 30 years, consulting with diverse families all over the world.
He is an Adjunct Professor of family business at Imperial College Business School and has written a number of books including Family Business The Essentials published in the UK by Profile Books and is co-author of Indian Family Business Mantras, published by Rupa publishing.