Family Owned Businesses

Executive search & leadership advisory

The business of family

While family businesses are impacted by the same industry, social and economic trends as non-family business, their cultural footprint, approach and mindset differs considerably. A sense of longevity, stewardship and responsibility underpins these organisation and the consequent mindset of its senior leaders.

Specialist leadership advisors to:

  • Consumer & retail
  • Media, digital & creative agencies
  • Healthcare & community services
  • Hospitality & leisure
  • Industrial, engineering & construction
  • Professional & financial services

Our approach

Championing diversity, equity and inclusion

Our experience

Over the past thirty years our team has developed a partnership and commitment with many family businesses – some going back centuries. We work with clients to understand their individual requirements, particularly as they relate to talent and succession planning. Our own history and transition to an employee-owned business gives us a genuine and personal insight into the creation and stewardship of a legacy business, and an understanding of the challenges and opportunities when transitioning between generations. Our Family Business practice is therefore well-placed to advise organisations on the importance of identifying candidates who embrace the values and approach to operate successfully in a family-owned context.

We are proud to have supported many businesses with the appointment of key executive and non-executive leaders. Our approach is always to combine our expertise in different ownership structures with a complementary sector experience, from retail, leisure and hospitality, financial services to manufacturing or construction, and everything else in between.

Tomorrow’s Legacy: Succeeding in Family Business

Our report explores broad perspective across the family business world, about future leadership, succession planning, how leadership roles are evolving and the skills and attitudes required as they move forward. We were delighted to talk to executive and non-executive leaders from family businesses across many different sectors and geographies who all shared their thoughts and insights to feed into this report. Through these conversations we have looked at the different approaches to leadership and succession planning, particularly the way in which the integration of non-family leaders has been undertaken and look at the challenges and opportunities leaders and their businesses face as they look to future generations.

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Through the employee ownership lens: how to prime the Non-Executive partnership

As the employee ownership sector gains traction and expands, the importance of having strong independent NED input to guide and support employee-owned businesses is arguably more imperative than ever, particularly in the hugely competitive and changing business, social and political environment we are faced with. We decided to explore this topic in more detail and were delighted to have the chance to talk to over 20 Executives, NEDs and independent advisors across the employee-owned sector in the UK.

Our report combines the reflections and advice of those we have spoken to, our own experience as an EO business, and our experience having advised clients for close to four decades on such appointments. We want to help employee-owned organisations navigate the requirement, identification and appointment of NEDs and Chairs – be it the first or fifth time that this is being undertaken. Whilst also offering meaningful advice and support to those who are considering their suitability and appetite for these roles.

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Bringing forward passionate and diverse Board Leaders

Senior board appointments require a highly targeted, personalised search to identify appropriately qualified senior leaders, and it is essential that each of them is then approached by an articulate and well-informed advisor. Through our dedicated board practice, we appoint over 250 chair and non-executive roles every year: our networks give us extensive reach across sectors, and deep insights into the challenges – and opportunities – faced by boards today.

Our Board practice

Developing high-performing boards

Saxton Bampfylde has the expertise and experience to provide chairs with the comprehensive insight they need to run an effective board, having led governance reviews at both executive and non-executive level. Our review process is designed to be relatively light-touch, allowing boards to comply fully with governance recommended practice and providing data and practical recommendations that can be used to improve board/team effectiveness, maximise strengths, and tackle weaknesses. Our view is structured around a tried and tested model, but can be adapted to specific organisational needs.

Find out more about our Board Review

Meet our team

Let’s take it from here


+44(0)20 7227 0800

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