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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Family Business Leaders Discuss ‘Soul of Wealth’

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November 26, 2017. Shanghai – A ‘family DNA’ of mutual support and constant pursuit of innovation is how Managing Partner of Creadev China Investments Consulting defines the ‘Soul of Wealth’. Alexis Grolin is a representative of the fifth generation of France’s Mulliez family that owns a number of renowned companies such as Auchan Group and Décathlon and it is among those who have benefited from China’s growing economic pie. He was one of the many family business leaders who attended the Fourth China Family Business Succession Forum and CEIBS Sixth China Family Heritage Forum 2017 today at the Shanghai Campus.

“In China, Décathlon is doing pretty well, but when we meet for family meetings the company continues to be challenged by family members to help it find new room for improvement; while some other branches of our family business are facing challenges – we together help them get through,” said Mr. Grolin in his keynote speech. “Innovation is also an important value of our family – retail is not something new, but in China, we are innovating our operations here in an effort to take the ‘new retail’ ride happening in the country.”

In his keynote speech “Outlook for the Chinese and Global Economy in the New Era” Professor of Economics and Finance and Wu Jinglian Chair in Economics Xu Bin reviewed some of the big events that have recently impacted the world’s major economies such as the Eurozone’s recovery, the US’ strong growth after Trump’s election, and the unwinding of Japan’s long period of deflation. “Behind this rosy picture is a whole set of easy monetary policies that kept driving the economy to grow,” said Prof. Xu. “But we have already arrived at a point where the monetary stimulation has gotten excessively lax.” According to Prof. Xu, we should be looking at the supply side. “Despite his lack of political experience, Trump is right about the direction the US economy should follow – focusing on domestic issues, and domestic infrastructure construction; India’s Modi has implemented some reforms that are quite radical, but we still see India’s efforts on the supply side,” he said.

As for China, he said that after so many years of double-digit growth, the Chinese economy is now growing more slowly but the growth is more stable. The focus is “more on the quality rather than on the quantity”, which is also the central idea of the country’s economic development strategy – dubbed ‘Xiconomics’, which advocates an ‘Innovative’, ‘Invigorated’, ‘Interconnected’ and ‘Inclusive’ growth and cooperation pattern for the global economy. Prof. Xu noted that the four ‘I’s’ were also the theme of last year’s G20 Summit held in Hangzhou. “In China, opportunities are everywhere,” he said. “I encourage all family business successors to seize YOUR opportunities here.”

Many of the family business leaders attending today’s event offered their insights on family business succession. Co-Director of CEIBS Centre for Family Heritage and Michelin Chair Professor in Leadership and HR Jean Lee shared some case studies to help the attendees better understand some of the key challenges facing family businesses. The 2017 White Paper on the 2nd Survey of Young Chinese Entrepreneurs’ Organizations & the Status Quo of Chinese Entrepreneurs was also released during the event.