The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a massive toll on many companies, affecting the growth and sustainability of different types of businesses worldwide, most especially that of traditional businesses.
At the recent NextGen Academy Online, a multi-awarded program presented by CHiNOYTV and UnionBank Private Banking, a roster of local and global industry professionals from UnionBank Global Private Bank Lombard Odier discussed and imparted insights about setting the entrepreneurial foundation for the next generation of family business leaders amidst the global pandemic.
The first part of the online webinar consisted mainly of topics revolving around wealth planning, family business succession, the importance of planning for the future amidst the global pandemic, and local and global investment strategies. The speakers present were Atty. Arlene Joan T. Agustin, CWA, Caesar Antonino “Sonny” Ordonez, Jr., Aina So, Vanessa Raymundo, with fellow guest speakers, Vincent Magnenat, Lee Wong, and Jean-Louis Nakamura.
The second part consisted of topics regarding the digitalization of family businesses to be future ready, and the struggles and advantages of being NextGen amidst the global pandemic. Pierre-Yves Lombard himself shared the history of Lombard Odier throughout seven generations. Other speakers present were Henry R. Aguda, Ana Maria Aboitiz Delgado, guest panelists, Jessica Tiu Laurel, Lorenzo Miguel Villalon, and panel moderator Lee Wong.
Digitalization of the Family Business to be Future Ready
Digitalization is one of the greatest investments that a business owner could make. After all, it helped sustain the growth of many businesses when COVID-19 hit. For most companies, digitalization contributed more to the growth than its traditional model, considering that their customers prefer the business accessibility of the click of a button anytime, anywhere.
“The business model has to evolve to protect the people, and so that your business won’t also fail, because the people are your stakeholders,” shared Henry Aguda, Senior Executive Vice President of UnionBank of the Philippines.
However, technology is accelerating at a very past pace. Thus, being forced to transition into digitalization may have its own pitfalls and challenges for any business owner, but it is considered widely natural. The speakers also stressed the value of determination and the willingness to learn. With this, the program discussed different ways in which everything found in a traditional business store would have a digital counterpart.
For example, UnionBank released their app back in 2016, which made them more accessible to people. The platform not only made it easier for their customers, but due to the innovative decision of its automation of their business processes, they continued to grow.
“Adapt to everything that is available. Get what you have from the previous generation and apply and utilize it to the current generation,” advised Jessica Tiu Laurel, Vice President and Financial Manager of Pixcel Transglobal Foods Corp.
Family Wealth Planning
The Family Wealth Planning program focused on the sustainability and growth of family businesses, offering tips for the next generation of family business leaders — the future of their family businesses.
With family health planning, one must consider its present capital — consisting of human capital, intellectual capital, social capital, and financial capital. This will contribute to the preservation of family wealth as the years go by. However, it doesn’t just stop there since capital is not permanent.
“With technology and innovation, you have to reinvent yourself. Your business has to always be flexible,” said Pierre-Yves Lombard, Deputy Head of Private Banking (Lombard Odier).
With wealth comes responsibility, most especially towards spending it in the best way possible. A good way to do that is through investing.
“Investing is the act of allocating funds to an asset or committing capital to an endeavor with the expectation of generating an income or profit,” stated Caesar Antonino “Sonny” Ordonez, Jr., Chief Investment Officer of UnionBank of the Philippines.
Furthermore, investing will help contribute to the growth and sustainability of one’s family business.
Family Business Succession
The Family Business Succession program surely proved advantageous to the you they continue to aspire to carry out their family businesses, similar to the way Lombard Odier carried itself for centuries since 1796.
The youth of today is becoming even more concerned about the future of their businesses, which is a great thing, according to the speakers. Their mindset is focused on protecting their family businesses and their future goals, to the extent that they tend to respectfully debate with their elders to educate them about today’s changes. Each generation will have a gap, considering that each generation is different from one another, and it is an entrepreneur’s job to fill in those gaps by learning, and making the right mistakes.
It’s natural for families to face challenges during the transition of business succession, like personal disagreements or emotional issues that cause tension and problems to arise. But family businesses still have an equal set of advantages as they carry unique dynamics like permanent relationships and its primary goal to make peace at the end of the day.
“Working through transitions is a journey. There is no one size fits all solution. Every family has to go through its own process to find a set of protocols that best reflects their DNA,” stated Lee Wong, Lombard Odier Head of Wealth Planning in Asia.
Families must be inclined to unite and work together in order to provide good governance and balance for the business succession. Incorporated values and fair ownership amongst the family member strengthens the commitment to the family business and its legacy as it moves forward, building from the founding generation.