Multi-family governance

Friday, October 11th
14:00 - 15:15
Rio de Janeiro II room

Grupo Simões, Brazil
Renato de Paula Simões, Chairman (2nd generation)
Petrônio Pinheiro Filho, Board Member (2nd generation)
Vanessa Simões, President, Grupo Simões Family Council (3rd generation)

Growth is often a challenge for family businesses given their owners’ desire to retain control and preserve their values, particularly when scale is required to stay competitive. One response can be to partner with other families with similar values, or even merge their businesses. However, sharing control can be challenging. A well-structured multi-family governance system can help.

Grupo Simões is a business conglomerate in the North of Brazil, with enterprises including the production and distribution of beverages, franchises of full auto dealerships, and the production and distribution of industrial gases. It all started in 1940, when Antonio Simões started his business. In 1968, he invited Petronio Pinheiro to be his partner and they joined up to start the first Coca-Cola franchise in northern Brazil. In the ’70s they bought the Coca-Cola factory in Belém, in the state of Pará, and a new partner joined the partnership – Osmar Pacífico. The families have been working together ever since. In this session, members of the second generation of the Simões and Pinheiro families will cover themes such as:

- How does a multi-family governance system differ from that of a single-family business or enterprise?
- What structures and mechanisms can be used to avoid gridlock and overcome potential conflicts across families?
- How important is prior partnering experience and how long does it take to build it?
- How can families brought into common business ownership learn from each other?
- How far should a multi-governance system go in attempting to integrate different family businesses, cultures, rules of behavior, etc.?