The foundation stone for a continuing education program for company successors that is unique in Germany was laid today (October 6th) in Münster. The rectors of the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL), Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner, and the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster (WWU), Prof. Dr. Johannes Wessels, signed a cooperation contract for the certificate program "Corporate Succession" with the subtitle: "Targeted Succession Management in Times of Digital Transformation" in the training center of the IHK North Westphalia. The aim of the new offer, which was initiated by the IHK North Westphalia, is to prepare successors for the upcoming change in the company and at the same time to provide them with the tools for the digital transformation of their companies.
In the IHK district of North Westphalia alone, which includes the Münsterland and the Emscher-Lippe region, around 35.000 companies are due to be handed over over the next ten years. "It is important for the economic development of the region that it is possible to bring enough young people to the top of these companies," said IHK Managing Director Dr. Fritz Jaeckel. He is therefore pleased that the new further training offer is celebrating its premiere in the IHK district of North Westphalia: "Good preparation is crucial for the success of the successor process." The aim is to qualify and network successors in order to address challenges such as digital transformation to manage something.
The certificate program is offered in cooperation between the Department of Economics at WWU and the Faculty of Economics at HHL and is designed and implemented jointly by recognized scientists and practitioners. "We are pleased to be part of the new program and, above all, to contribute to imparting skills in the field of digital transformation in medium-sized companies," said WWU Rector Johannes Wessels.
HHL Rector Stephan Stubner is also pleased about the cooperation: “Handing over a company that is often a person's life's work is a special challenge. We are pleased that HHL can provide targeted support to entrepreneurs in this process with its management expertise. We prepare potential followers for their new role, enable senior entrepreneurs to plan and control the process at an early stage and help to determine the intrinsic value of the company. We are very happy to make this contribution so that companies will be preserved for the future. "
The IHK has been supporting the succession process in the Münsterland and the Emscher-Lippe region for many years with early information about expert individual advice and the confidential mediation of potential successors through the IHK successor club.
Almost 40 percent of the 89.000 family entrepreneurs in the district of the IHK North Westphalia are older than 55 years, "the age at which the current company leaders should grapple with the question of how the company will continue", says Jaeckel. According to an IHK study, the environment for successful corporate succession has deteriorated. The classic founding age groups of 25 to 45-year-olds are shrinking, while at the same time the automatism that often prevailed in the past, internal family takeover by daughter or son is declining. "To make matters worse, due to the advancing digitization of the economy, business models that are currently still functioning well may no longer be marketable in the future," continues Jaeckel. This increases the pressure when there is a generation change to come to a solution earlier than planned.
From the point of view of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the cooperation between the two universities, “which complement each other perfectly in the areas of succession and digital transformation”, is therefore “just right”. The content on the topic of "Management" is implemented by HHL, everything about digitization by the WWU. The program starts in June 2021 in the IHK training center.
Certificate program for company successors: The rectors of the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL), Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner, and the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster (WWU), Prof. Dr. Johannes Wessels, signed the contract for the cooperation, which was led by IHK managing director Dr. Fritz Jaeckel was initiated (from left). <>
Photo: Tronquet-MuensterView / IHK North Westphalia