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Institute for Family Businesses Launched at Fordham University


The Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA) has launched an institute dedicated to serving the educational and networking needs of family owned businesses.

The Fordham Institute for Family and Private Enterprise (FIFPE), part of the University’s Bert Twaalfhoven Center for Entrepreneurship, will assist private and family owned businesses in the New York City area achieve their goals through educational seminars, networking events, resources and other activities and benefits.

Stephen McClure, Ph.D. Photo by Ken Levinson

“It will be a place where those who own family businesses can learn leading-edge thinking about effective practices, while having a place to share dilemmas in a productive environment,” said Elizabeth Ingrassia, executive director of FIFPE and the Twaalfhoven Center.

“Family business is the most prevalent form of business organization worldwide and the backbone of our society, yet these firms are more likely to face unique growth challenges and tough survival odds when transitioning from one generation to the next,” she said.

The institute held its inaugural event—a panel on governance, succession and ownership transfer— on June 23 at the New York Athletic Club. Stephen McClure, Ph.D., principal of The Family Business Consulting Group, moderated the panel. Among the experts was T.J. Maloney (LAW ’79), president of Lincolnshire Management, a private equity firm with $1.7 billion in capital that serves as a primary backer for family owned businesses.

“This institute is a great milestone for Fordham University because it offers an opportunity to reach out to Fordham families that own businesses and share expertise with them on finance, capital, law and operations,” Maloney said.

The institute will be led by Howard Tuckman, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA); entrepreneur Bert W. M. Twaalfhoven, Ph.D., (CBA ’52), founder of the European Foundation and Fordham Schools of Business advisory board member; and the GBA entrepreneurship department.

“The new institute will help the school continue its extensive outreach to a whole new group of business leaders,” Tuckman said.

Among the topics to be covered in future FIFPE seminars and forums are: leadership and continuity; estate planning; financing transitions; labor issues and how to attract non-family talent.

The Twaalfhoven Center features a dedicated faculty and a curriculum encouraging undergraduate and graduate students to develop business plans and launch actual business ventures, rather than focus solely on theory.

Twaalfhoven, a successful European entrepreneur and venture capitalist, started more than 50 firms and has acquired more than 10 others with customers in 60 countries. A Fordham advisory board member, Twaalfhoven is also an active lobbyist for entrepreneur-friendly legislation in the European Union and better business education in America and Europe.


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