Family Business Image Campaign

October 3rd 2014


The Hamburg Institute of Family Owned Business (HIF) together with impulse and Francis Drake Agenturnavigator asked agencies to participate in an image campaign contest. 27 agencies from all over Germany participated and sent us their proposals. On November 3rd 2014 the award ceremony took place at Haus Rissen in Hamburg and the outstanding submissions were honored. Approximately 100 guests followed the invitation to the exhibition. The award winners were honored by the speakers Professor Dr. Günther Strunk (HIF), Prof. Dr. Goetz Greve (Hamburg School of Business Administration) and Cord Wöhlke (IWAN BUDNIKOWSKY GmbH & Co. KG). "SCHIPPER COMPANY GmbH" ranked third. "ad.quarter GmbH" ranked second. The winner of the award is "endlichsommer – creativgesellschaft mbH". The judging team consisted of Kornelia Peters (ARAG SE), Godo Röben (Rügenwalder Mühle), Prof. Dr. Goetz Greve (Hamburg School of Business Administration), Dr. Nikolaus Förster (Impulse Medien GmbH) and Prof. Dr. Günther Strunk (HIF). HIF is pleased with the numerous submissions and the active participation of all agencies.


Past Events


IFERA 2015

June 30th to July 3rd, 2015


HIF hosted the IFERA Annual conference 2015 in Hamburg. From June 30th to July 3rd more than 200 renowned researchers from all over the world attended the academic conference with the theme "Tradition and Innovation in Family Business". Recent findings and current research projects were presented and new ideas exchanged. The conference was enriched by the two Keynote Speakers Richard L. Priem from Texas Christian University and Michael Frese from National University of Singapore and Leuphana University Lüneburg. The festive highlight of the conference was the award ceremony during the Gala Dinner at the Grand Elysee Hotel in Hamburg. Numerous researchers and practitioners attended the ceremony.

On Friday the conference ended with the Family Business Day. World-class family business entrepreneurs amongst them families from Brazil, Ecuador and Columbia, shared their experiences on various aspects of leading and managing a family firm.

We want to thank all participants, initiators, sponsors and members of the HIF friends association for supporting us during the preparations for the IFERA 2015 conference in Hamburg.

More pictures can be found on our HIF facebook page.





March 02nd to March 03rd, 2015


HIF attended the 5th conference of German-speaking centers for family business research at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen. The conference was hosted by Friedrichshafener Institut für Familienunternehmen | FIF in cooperation with the University of St.Gallen. Around 80 researchers from the DACH region came together to discuss recent findings and network with each other.




HIF Summer School 2014

November 7th to November 8th 2014


The third HIF Summer School 2014 evolved around the topic "Family Business Succession". The HIF Summer School took place from November 7th to 8th, 2014 at the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA). The HIF Summer School attracted around 30 participants interested in shedding light on the different aspects of successions. Renowned speakers from family businesses (such as HGDF Familienholding Ltd. & Co. KG, Klein & More AG + Co. KG, Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. AG & Co. KGaA, Sauer Spezialwerkzeug GmbH und Helm AG) as well as researchers from the Hamburg School of Business Administration and Leuphana University Lüneburg and consultants from KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfgungsgesellschaft and Esche Schümann Commichau provided the audience with a detailed overview of the different considerations in regard to succession.



Lecture series "Opportunity or threat: Succession in family businesses"

October 30th 2014 to January 22nd 2015


With the presentation titled “Family Business Successions- A review” Prof. Dr. Günther Strunk, Head of the Hamburg Institute of Family Owned Business (HIF) and Fabian Bähr, Junior Researcher at the HIF, provided the audience with interesting insights into the succession research field. Besides the high practical relevance and topicality of the subject, the potential opportunities and threats to family businesses were highlighted. 13 speakers with different backgrounds such as economics, law and history are providing the audience with a deeper understanding of succession. The topics range from family businesses to royalty. All lectures take place in Hörsaal M, Main building Universität Hamburg, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, and are free and open to the public.


Academic conference

2nd IFERA Research Development Workshop

September 24th to September 26th, 2014


With the theme "Involvement, Essence and Identity: Developing Core Constructs in Family Business Research" the second IFERA Research Development Workshop chaired by Prof. Dr. Hermann Frank took place at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Prof. Prigge (HIF) and numerous international researchers presented their current research activities in Vienna. The RDWs are intended to complement IFERA’s Annual Conferences. In 2015 the IFERA Annual Conference will take place in Hamburg hosted by the HIF.

The pictures are provided by the Research Institute for Family Business at the WU Vienna.





September 2nd to September 4th, 2014


With the theme "Family Business Succession" the fourth International Academic Symposium took place at the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg. Around 20 international researchers came together to exchange ideas and discuss their current research projects. The academic program was complemented by social activities inviting the participants to mingle.




Academic conference

IFERA 2014

June 23rd to June 27th, 2014


HIF participated in the annual conference of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA). The annual conference took place in Lappeenranta, Finland, from June 23rd to 27th, 2014. Numerous researchers and practitioners came together to further develop the Family Business research field. The academic program focusing on "Co-operation Within and Amongst Family Businesses" was complemented by several social activities.

Henrik Harms delivered a presentation on his research titeled "The Decision on how to Organize Cooperation in the Light of Transaction Cost Theory: Could the Traditional Approach be Applied to Family-Owned Businesses?". Moreover, he received the "Best Reviewer Award".

Next year the HIF will host the IFERA annual conference from June 30th to July 3rd 2015 in Hamburg.

For more informatuion please visit www.ifera2015.ifera.org.



Academic conference

Family Businesses as employers of the future? Opportunities and challenges of employee recruitment and retention

May 9th, 2014


On Friday, May 9th, 2014, the scientific conference focusing on HR in family businesses took place at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI). The event, funded by the Körber Foundation, attracted around 30 guests from science and practice. In addition to the organiser Henrik Harms renowned speakers provided the guests with valuable insights questioning whether or not family businesses are the employers of the future. Dr. Christina Boll (HWWI), Prof. Dr. Peter Klein (HSBA), Christoph Kahlert (FIF), Dr. Detlef Keese (IFM Mannheim), Prof. Dr. Marcel Hülsbeck (WIFU) and Michael Eisenhauer (DB Regio AG) participated in the conference.



Academic conference

4. conference of German-speaking centers for family business research

March 17th to March 18th, 2014


The HIF attended the 4th conference of German-speaking centers for family business research. From March 17th to March 18th the conference took place at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business in Vienna. Numerous researchers came together to discuss and exchange state-of-the-art research results. The following pictures are provided by Jürgen Angel / WU Wien.




Annual HIF-Reception 2014

February 17th, 2014


On Monday, February 17th, 2014, the annual HIF-Reception took place at the Anglo-German Club in Hamburg. The head of Institute Prof. Dr. Günther Strunk welcomed around 150 invited guests, including numerous family business practitioners and scientists.

Current and recent projects were presented and an outlook to future activities of the HIF was given. Highlight was the presentation of the latest research work “Family Business Benchmark 2013”.




Entrepreneurship - Mainstream or change of mentality?

October 30th, 2013


On October 30th, 2013 the HIF organized together with the "Verein zur Förderung von Entrepreneurship e.V" and House Rissen an event "Entrepreneurship - Mainstream or change of mentality". Approximately 100 interested parties followed the invitation. Dr. Philipp-Christian Wachs (Chairman House Rissen) presented a paned discussion. Participating were Ian Karan (Entrepreneur and former Senator of Hamburg ), Cord Wöhlke (Managing Director and Shareholder Budnikowsky), Hans-Christoph Klaiber (Managing Director Nord Event GmbH), Rita Mirliauntas (Managing Director VFE and GKZ Hamburg) as well as Prof. Dr. Günther Strunk (HIF).

Are you interested in looking at more pictures of the event, please check  the homepage of the photographer. Please contact Uwe Ernst uwe.ernst(at)image-point.de to get access to the gallery.




Zukunftswerkstatt Familienunternehmen

October 28th to October 29th, 2013


We are happy to announce that we premiered the initial version of the event „Zukunftswerkstatt Familienunternehmen“ on October 28th and October 29th, 2013. Family Business practitioners had the opportunity to gain new insights and impulses presented by Prof. Dr. Thomas Straubhaar (HWWI) and Prof. Dr. Günther Strunk (HIF). Enriched with provocative hypotheses the workshops covered topics such as HR, Innovation, Finance and Corporate Responsibility focusing on family businesses. The "Zukunftswerkstatt Familienunternehmen" will be a regular yearly event of the HIF.

The following pictures are provided by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce/Maack.




Outlook on the financial market

October 18th, 2013


On October 18th, 2013 the HIF and the UBS AG hosted a speech of Professor Axel Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors of USB AG. The speech was followed by a panel discussion with the involvement of Prof. Dr. Strunk. Around 300 guests followed the joint invitation of UBS, the business associations IVH and UVNord and the HIF. Professor Weber delivered a speech providing the audience with an outlook on the European financial markets.




HIF Summer School 2013

September 5th to September 7th, 2013


The second annual HIF Summer School elvoved around the topic "Family Firms And Cooperations". The Summer School took place from September 5th to 7th, 2013.

Here you find the official Summer School 2013 program (unfortunately only available in German)


3. International Academic Symposium

September 3rd to September 5th, 2013

The topic of the 3rd International Academic Syposium was "International Cooperation and Family Firms". Participants from several nations contributed to numerous fruitful discussions and had the opportunity to present their ongoing research projects.



Lecture Series at the University of Hamburg

Hamburg's Family Businesses

April 9th to July 2nd, 2013


Family firms make up a majority of Germany's company landscape. Historically, Hamburg has been a hot spot for successfull family businesses in particular. This lecture series tries to shed light on these companies from various angles. 

» For more information, please connect to Historikergenossenschaft


HIF Summer School 2012

August 26th to August 30th, 2012


The Summer School 2012 of the Hamburg Institute of Family Owned Business (HIF) took place from August 26th to August 30th 2012 in the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA). The topics were as follows: What are the drivers behind the increase of M&A transactions?, strategic orientation, company evaluation, finance, the M&A process, post-acquisition-integration and international aspects of M&A. Sessions were held by scholars, consultants and family entrepreneurs such as Prof. Dr. Thomas Zellweger (St. Gallen University), Prof. Dr. Sanjay Goel (University of Minnesota, Duluth; International Family Enterprise Research Academy – IFERA) and Thomas Etzel (BHF Private Equity Management).


1. International Academic Symposium

November 17th to November 19th, 2011

Scientists from the U.S., Great Britain, Italy, Germany and other countries gathered from November 17th - 19th 2011 in the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce to discuss and explore several important family business related topics. Prof. Dr. Sanjay Goel (President of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy, IFERA, the world‘s largest organisation for family business research), Dr. Kathyann Kessler Overbeke and Dr. John Neff (Case Western Reserve University, U.S.), Dr. Allan Discua-Cruz (University of Lancaster, UK), Prof. Dr. Alessandro Minichilli (Bocconi University, Italy), Dr. Ursula Koners (Friedrichshafener Institut für Familienunternehmen, Germany), Sebastian Benkhofer (Witten Institute for Family Business, Germany) and other scholars presented their work and research to the symposium. In addition, there were stimulus speeches by representatives from the business world and the academic community by Dr. Ingo Bäcker (Partner, Risk Management, KPMG), Guido M. Sollors (Partner, Business and Financial Advisor, Strunk Kolaschnik Sollors) as well as the Hamburg Institute of Family Owned Business itself, Professor Dr. Günther Strunk (Head of the Hamburg Institute of Family Owned Business), Professor Dr. Stefan Prigge (Hamburg School of Business Administration and Hamburg Institute of Family Owned Business).