Frequently Asked Questions

What is a family business?
What is the purpose of a family business institute?
Who is eligible to join?
Who would benefit from membership?
What are the benefits of membership?
Why should I join?
How much does it cost to join?
How often do you meet?
What types of events does the Institute sponsor?
How do I become a member?

What is a family business?

It is very hard to arrive at a definitive definition of a family business. Generally, it is a company where the family has controlling interest in the firm, where one or more family members work in the company, and where the family expects to continue its management/control of the business into the next generation.

What is the purpose of a family business institute?

Family business centers exist in many universities across the United States and around the world. While family business only recently became recognized as a distinct area of academic study in the early 1980s and it has long been recognized as an important and historical form of business ownership.

Family business centers were created to help improve the transfer of the family businesses from one generation to another. Statistics show that less than 30% of family businesses are successfully transferred to the second generation and the transfer to the third generation is even worse, 15 out of 100 companies.

There are specific areas that have been identified through research as strategically important in making the transition to the next generation successful. Family business centers offer support to business owners in these areas and provide educational programs to make family business owners aware of these strategic topics and offer suggestions on how to navigate the difficult waters associated with these trouble spots.

Who is eligible to join?

Membership in the Institute is open to established family businesses provided that:

  • The family has controlling interest in the firm;
  • One or more family members work in the company;
  • The family expects to continue its management and/or control of the business.

Who would benefit from membership?

  • First, second or third generation owners of a family firm
  • Member of the next generation who is planning to one day take over the family firm
  • Advisors to one or more family firms
  • Management team members who are not members of the owning family

What are the benefits of membership?

  • An electronic newsletter containing information directly related to family business issues
  • Access to a range of educational and training programs
  • Participation in regional workshops and meetings designed to provide local information and support to family businesses
  • Membership in a regional network of family business owners which provides opportunities for strategic alliances and the exchange of ideas and solutions
  • Ability to participate in national family business research studies
  • Members receive invitations to attend other University of Tulsa events, sometimes at a discount.

Why should I join?

The Family-Owned Business Institute at The University of Tulsa provides a forum for the development and dissemination of information relevant to the succession and stability of the family business. The Institute offers educational programs to promote effective family business management, to strengthen the health of family relationships, to disseminate relevant information and to create a network for family business members.

The goal of the Institute is to promote the recognition of the economic significance of the family business sector and to provide a voice in society for family-owned businesses. If you are a family business owner who cares about the long-term success of your business as well as the role that family businesses play in preserving particular family and business values, then you need to participate in this dynamic learning community.

In addition, if you would like to participate in the learning process of the next generation, you may be called upon to be a guest speaker in the family business management or the family business law classes. You will have the opportunity to tell the upcoming generation about your business in relationship to a particular topic of exploration.

How much does it cost to join?

  • The annual cost of membership is $360 per year for two individuals associated with the company to attend all of the events, at no additional costs for meals or registration.
  • Additional annual memberships are available for $140 each.
  • Renewal is on an anniversary date basis.
  • The same two people do not have to attend all of the events.  A family business owner may attend with a family member or a member of the company who would benefit from the topic being discussed.

How often do you meet?

The Insitute hosts between eight and ten events each year.

What types of events does the Institute sponsor?

Each year, the Institute hosts two nationally recognized speakers, one in the spring and one in the fall. These events are luncheons and are open to the general Tulsa business community.

Members learn from one another during roundtable discussions which take place several times each year. These events are open to FOBI members only so that members can discuss more sensitive topics in greater detail; topics such as estate planning, succession planning, family compensation, stock ownership, sibling rivalry, family policy guides, family governance, etc.

In addition, each summer we visit a member company and we host a holiday networking social every December.

How do I become a member?

Anyone interest in joining FOBI is encouraged to attend an event to experience, first hand, what the Institute has to offer. We are so certain that you will benefit from the experience that you will choose to immediately join. To find out about upcoming events or to register for an event, call Claire Cornell at 918-631-2684 or email her at: claire-cornell@utulsa.edu.  Click here to apply for membership online.

If your question was not answered above, please click here to request additional information or contact Claire Cornell at 918-631-2684 or email her at: claire-cornell@utulsa.edu.