Prof. Dr. Tom A. Rüsen

CEO of the WIFU Foundation


Alfred-Herrhausen-Str. 48
58448 Witten
Phone: +49 2302 926 519

Prof. Dr. Tom A. Rüsen is CEO of the non-profit WIFU Foundation, which he founded in 2009. He headed the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU) at Witten/Herdecke University for nearly 16 years until 2024. He is an honorary professor at the Faculty of Economics at Witten/Herdecke University since 2015 and a visiting professor at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts since 2017. He is a member of the Board of the International Family Business Research Academy (IFERA) since 2024. His research, teaching and publications focus on analysing conflict and crisis dynamics in families and family businesses and developing practical solutions for the development of llongevity and resilience structures within business families. As part of his coaching and counselling activities, he supports succession processes, conflict and crisis situations, the development of family strategies and family-internal (self-)management systems. He also designs and teaches in open and in-house programmes for shareholder competence development in business families. He is a member of the commission of the Governance Code for Family Businesses and the editorial advisory board of the Journal for Family Business and Strategy. In 2020 and 2022, he was recognised by Family Capital as one of the world’s top 100 family influencers in the ‘Academics’ category. Professor Rüsen is the father of two children.

Main areas of work, research and interest

  • Conflict and crisis management in family businesses
  • Structural risks in family businesses
  • Mental models in business families
  • Interim management in family businesses
  • Innovation in family businesses
  • Advising family businesses
  • Dynamics in business families (particularly succession arrangements, family strategies and management systems and coaching family members)

LinkedIn profile of Tom Rüsen

Research Gate profile of Tom Rüsen

Google Scholar profile of Tom Rüsen


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