Family Business

Board Members Role


2 min




Francois M. de Visscher discusses his experience as a family board member.


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I think that the main difference, I mean, when I entered the business I was the first, I’ve been on the board for 25 years, so I’m the longest standing board member at Beckhaert, family board member at Beckhaert, but at that time, I think that there was a very much a you know the third generation were very much involved, I was one of the first one of my generation to get on the board. So there was a decision that was made among cousins that work very closely together to get the – the business was totally different, we were not as global as we are today, business was much more old fashioned, we didn’t have an outside CEO we didn’t have an outside chairman. Now we’re moving into a generation where, when they’re coming into the picture, there is a much more professional board, so much greater ... View More challenge on the family as to the selection of board members, we have five outside board members, and you know, they have an expectation vis a vie the family board members, so you have to be at that level, I think. The selection of board members is going to be much more important in terms of their competencies and also because of the family having grown, there’s a lot more different tendencies in the family, and that kind of thing. So the role today of a board member is not just to be a business board member, it’s also to be somebody that can bring the family together around ideas, around thoughts, which is very different than it was before.