Belfast Telegraph

Course geared to keep successful Northern Ireland businesses in the family

By Clare Weir

Only 3.2% of family-run businesses in Northern Ireland survive past the third generation, it has emerged.

Queen's University Belfast has said that 74% of businesses in Northern Ireland are family-owned, while that figure rises to 77% in the Republic.

The institution is now preparing to launch a course designed specifically for family businesses next month. Successful family businesses in Northern Ireland include Lisburn baking firm Andrew Ingredients, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, as well as animal feed company behemoth W&R Barnett, now in its fourth generation.

Eugene McKeever of the McKeever Group hotel chain, which has operations in Northern Ireland and the Republic including the Adair Arms hotel in Ballymena, said that preparing the next generation for business was at the core of the company's succession and growth plans.

"We recognise the heightened responsibilities and complexities that leading the McKeever family business will present as it prepares for the business's and the family's next generation," he said.

The company will be taking part in the family business programme, entitled Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders which has been developed by accountancy firm BDO and the William J Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen's.

The programme will be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland or the Republic.

Belfast Telegraph