A new report highlighting the critical issues, challenges and opportunities confronting the emerging leaders of family businesses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been launched by Jersey Finance at a series of events held in the country last week. 

In a statement, Jersey Finance said the "groundbreaking" report, titled 'Charting the Future: Mapping Next Generation Preparedness, Involvement, and Aspirations in Saudi Arabian Family Businesses', formed the focus of events in Riyadh (13 November) and Jeddah (15 November), which shone a spotlight on the crucial role of the next generation in Saudi Arabia's vibrant family business and family office landscape.

Developed in collaboration with Pearl Initiative, Alfaisal Corporate Governance Center, and the National Center for Family Businesses (NCFB) in Saudi Arabia, the study revealed that 65% of actively engaged family members view the next generation as well-prepared, showcasing a remarkable level of confidence in their capacity to assume leadership roles.

However, the report revealed a divergence in perception, with other key findings including:

·        Only 30% of non-actively involved family members share an optimistic view. This divergence in perception may stem from a lack of direct involvement or awareness of the next generation's capabilities.

·        20% of non-active family members also express concerns about the next generation's preparedness - but only 7% of actively involved family members share these concerns.

·        A consensus of 30% believes the next generation is only marginally prepared, suggesting that there is room for improvement in preparing the next generation for leadership roles within the family business.

·        Recognising and addressing diverse viewpoints, coupled with the implementation of standardised practices, can effectively enhance family businesses' preparedness for leadership transitions

Faizal Bhana, director - Middle East, Africa, and India at Jersey Finance, said: "The future dynamics of these family businesses are pivotal to the continued prosperity of the Kingdom, making substantial contributions to both GDP and job creation. These insights provide a strategic foundation for addressing concerns and promoting collaborative solutions to ensure the sustained success of family businesses."

Dr. Sohale Altamimi, Deputy CEO, National Centre for Family Business, stated: "This research sheds light on the complexities of their operations and the particular roles played by both family and non-family members within these enterprises. Family businesses are unique in their vision to build a legacy that can be passed down through generations. Consequently, it becomes imperative to invest in preparing the next generation with a transparent and objective methodology that helps identify their strengths, interests, and capabilities."


The launch of the report follows a busy period of activity for Jersey Finance in the Middle East region, following its annual conference in Dubai earlier in the month (8th November), entitled ‘Regulation, Risk and Reward: A Balancing Act'. The event explored the themes of risk and compliance and looked at generative AI and the potential impact on the international finance industry.


The full new research report 'Charting the Future: Mapping Next Generation Preparedness, Involvement, and Aspirations in Saudi Arabian Family Businesses', can be accessed here.