Family Business Forum


Attendees are given an opportunity for mutual exchange as part of the professionally guided structure of the ‘Family Business Forum’. This provides them with insights into the problems and solution strategies of other family businesses and business families, giving them a clearer understanding of how they might deal with issues in their own family and business environments. “Seek advice among your peers” – so says the proverb, and it is the central theme of our forum.

WIFU has been providing this special exchange platform for business families since 2008. The philosophy of this series of events is ‘embrace tricky subjects’, an attitude which has borne fruit more than 40 times, always based on WIFU’s academic expertise.


Common, sensitive topics are discussed in a protected dialogue space as part of this one day event, which also includes legal, business management and psychological challenges. Attendees are given the opportunity to use their own issues and case studies to investigate suitable ways of dealing with their particular challenges, and then to develop solutions together within discussion groups. There is a unique level of openness among attendees, which reflects the high level of trust between participating members of family businesses and business families and the WIFU team.

The event is designed exclusively for entrepreneurs, members of business families and top managers in family businesses. The concept is based on work in small groups, enabling a close exchange between a maximum of 25 attendees and the WIFU lecturers in a protected atmosphere. The event is held regularly at the premises of affiliated family businesses in different parts of Germany.


Event information

  • Frequency: several times a year
  • Participants: invited members of family businesses and business families
  • Venue: throughout Germany at different companies and at the Witten/Herdecke University
  • Format: talks and workshops

Detailed information about upcoming events

More information is available on our German website.


Professor Dr Tom A. Rüsen talks about developing shareholder expertise as part of the 46th Family Business Forum.

Professor Dr Thomas Zellweger provides an introduction to wealth governance at the 44th Forum.

Professor Dr Tom A. Rüsen outlines the WIFU view of succession.

Professor Dr Heiko Kleve explains how to see succession as a system.

Professor Dr Tom A. Rüsen welcomes attendees to the 41st Family Business Forum and provides a brief insight into the key topic of digitalisation.

Professor Dr Arist von Schlippe explains why every entrepreneur should have an emergency toolkit.

Professor Rainer Kirchdörfer explains the legal aspects of an emergency toolkit.

At the 38th Family Business Forum, Professor Dr Tom A. Rüsen presents WIFU’s Research findings on family strategy.

Professor Dr Markus Plate talks to attendees about ‘Seeking and finding an owner identity.’

Professor Rainer Kirchdörfer explains why an advisory body is worthwhile in family businesses.

Is a family business a brand? Answers to this question are provided by Professor Dr Andreas Hack.

Professor Dr Tom A. Rüsen explains why it is important to train shareholders competently.

Attendees at the 29th Family Business Forum.

Professor Dr Arist von Schlippe explains why value orientation is seen as a paradoxical challenge when raising successors.

Why are alternative forms of finance becoming increasingly important to family businesses? A talk by Prof Dr Rudolf Wimmer.

Professor Dr Arist von Schlippe explains how business families transform from owner-management to participative decision-making-structures.

Professor Dr Marcel Hülsbeck talks about business model innovation in family businesses.

The results of the workshop on emergency toolkits for business families and family businesses.

Other workshop results.



Dana Brucklacher

Phone:+49 2302 926-78656

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