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Business Families Foundation and RBC partner to keep more businesses in the family


Online education program, events, and whitepapers will help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of planning for the future


TORONTO, May 14, 2015 -  As family business owners are naturally focused on planning for the next two or three years, it can be challenging to find the time needed to plan longer-term – especially for retirement and the transition of the business to the next generation and beyond.

Take the example of Adam (not his real name), who started working in the family food distribution business after university. Now his parents, concerned about whether they have the necessary energy, savvy or even inclination to continue leading the business, are also worried about burdening their son with a business that is feeling the effects of a tough economy. The decision of whether to hang on to the business until fortunes turn, hand it down to Adam, or sell to a third party weighs on the family. Many families like Adam’s are struggling with how to make similar long-term decisions about their businesses.

It’s challenges like these that led the non-profit Business Families Foundation and RBC to form a partnership to provide family businesses with a robust suite of support tools to help with transition planning, with the ultimate goal of keeping more businesses within the family.

“Family businesses are the backbone of economies around the world, including Canada’s,” said Olivier de Richoufftz, president, Business Families Foundation. “With a large proportion of business owners set to transition their businesses in the next 10 years, it has never been more important to ensure the enduring success of family enterprises. We are thrilled to have a long-time supporter of entrepreneurs like RBC on board to help us continue our mission of empowering entrepreneurial families to ensure their sustainability and positive impact for generations to come.”

The partnership includes a $1.65 million financial commitment from RBC over five years. The partnership will help produce an extensive online education program entitled Discovering Family Ownership, with videos and courses focused on the unique challenges family business owners face, as well as a range of events and whitepapers geared towards business owners and their families.

“We understand and appreciate the critical importance of keeping a family business’ legacy alive across generations,” said Wayne Bossert, deputy chair, RBC Wealth Management and head, Canadian Private Banking. “We’re pleased to partner with the Business Families Foundation and extend the great work they have done for over 20 years to help family businesses maintain their valuable contributions as they transition their business to their children and their children’s children.”

Added David Agnew, CEO, RBC Wealth Management Canada: “Our team across Canada, including an unparalleled group of business owners specialists, work with business owners every day and reinforce planning as the cornerstone of the success of any business, so the tools delivered through the partnership are highly relevant.

Effective business transition can have profound effects on owner families, protecting the business they’ve worked so hard to build and ensuring future prosperity for themselves and their family.”

The first online course, entitled Navigating Ownership, is available at no cost by registering at

To learn more about Adam and his family, as well as get useful tips and tools, read Succeeding in Succession, an in-depth whitepaper that outlines key considerations in transitioning a family business. It has been released as part of the partnership and is accessible at

About The Business Families Foundation
Business Families Foundation (BFF) is a not-profit organization established almost 25 years ago that produces and distributes multimedia education for family companies and the professionals working with them. Our foundation was launched and is nurtured by business families helping business families, in collaboration with international institutions and universities. BFF offers a unique range of innovative, user-friendly programs, courses and tools to help business families, advisors, educators and policy makers address the unique challenges of successful businesses and strong families.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We employ approximately 78,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 39 other countries. For more information, please visit

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, we contributed more than $111 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $76 million and $35 million in sponsorships.

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For more information, please contact:
Tony Maraschiello, RBC Wealth Management, 416-974-9334