Joint Alumni Seminar on Family Business – How can Next-generation Leaders and their Families Embrace Disruptions?

On August 9, we organized our first Joint Alumni Seminar with New York University and University of Southern California. The seminar sits around an intriguing aspect of the business world – Family Business. 

The seminar featured our alumnus faculty and family business expert Professor Roger KING, Founding Director of the Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies. It started with Professor KING’s inspiring comparison of today’s young inheriting generation with the old founder generation. The young family business entrepreneurs now have more freedom, and social and financial capital to develop their own desired career versus inheriting the family businesses. Professor King also highlighted the core objectives for family businesses – 3P – wealth preservation, harmony preservation and value and legacy preservation, which together govern the way heirs act and develop the businesses.
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That led the seminar to a panel discussion with three young and promising family business leaders from the three universities – Mr Charles Law, Managing Director of Culture Technology Group (HKUST); Mr Alick KOO, Managing Director of UCP International (NYU); and Mr William SHUM, Founder and CEO of Memorigin Watch Company (USC). The panelists took turns to share their unique way of embracing disruptions while preserving their families’ wealth, harmony, value and legacy. 

Charles is a firm believer of leveraging on the latest healthcare inventions to better serve the elderly population. In the process, digital marketing plays an important role in introducing these new concepts. “Recently, we employ different technological means in marketing for Captain Softmeal – a culinary invention to help elderlies enjoy delicious food at old ages.” 

Our second panelist, Alick invests in time and patience on resolving internal disruptions while working through his three generations of family members in business. “It is very important to establish well-functioning decision making structure and communication channels within the family business. But after all, it takes time to gain trust and respect needed to stabilize these structures.” 

Last but not least, for William, while he utilizes technology in manufacturing more accurate components, key to success for his tourbillon watch business remains to be his skilled watch masters. Like others in the handicraft businesses, William believes that “not all procedures can be taken over by technology, for example the assembly part of our watches is the pivotal part which can only be done by our sophisticated masters.” Cropped Group Photo.jpg
The seminar attracted more than 100 alumni from the three universities, with majority from family businesses and family offices interested to learn about and share their experiences with contemporary technological, demographic and social, and geopolitical disruptions. 

For the speakers’ bio and the event’s photo, please click here.