PwC Survey Finds US Family Businesses More Optimistic About Growth Prospects Than Global Peers, Showing Greater Appetite for New Ventures Than Two Years Ago

According to PwC’s latest Global Family Business Survey, U.S. family businesses are more confident about their growth prospects than their global peers – 93% versus 81% – and are poised to capitalize on new opportunities.

While economic challenges top the list of near-term concerns for U.S. family businesses, with 68% citing market conditions as a main issue over the next 12 months, such concerns have waned since the prior survey two years ago (at that time, 88% flagged market conditions), suggesting that family businesses have adapted to the new normal of market volatility and economic uncertainty.

Companies are also feeling more optimistic about their future based on internal factors. Seventy-six percent of U.S. family businesses say they plan to hand the reins to the next generation, the highest percentage since 2007, when U.S. companies first participated in PwC’s Global Family Business Survey, and a significant increase from the 55% reporting the same two years ago. Still, just over half of family business leaders (52%) intend to transfer both ownership and management of the business to family members. Nearly one-quarter (24%) plan to pass on ownership but bring in outside management to run the company.

“We’ve noticed an attitudinal shift among many US family businesses in the past two years,” says Alfred Peguero, PwC’s U.S. Family Offices Services leader. “They’ve gone from warily eyeing their next big bet to actively seeking business growth opportunities. Companies recognize now more than ever the need to out-innovate their competitors and seek new avenues of growth in order to thrive in a fast-evolving business landscape. Fortunately, family businesses inherently have the entrepreneurship that is needed to keep pace in the global economy. Their challenge is fostering the same entrepreneurial spirit in future generations.”