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Anyone who visits Spain these days will find it hard to believe it was ruled by dictatorship until just under 30 years ago.

As a young researcher over 10 years ago, I remember feeling a little perplexed when family business leaders and family business successors I interviewed described life in the business as “lonely”.

In the last three months, my travels in the family business world have taken me to events in Trier, Paris and Chicago, so I have covered a lot of ground in the pursuit of learning and sharing new family business knowledge.

It’s a good idea, every now and again, to look back in time and reflect on how far things have come or to pause and think about where things appear to be heading.

The evening of Friday, 5th October 2001 in Rome was warm and sultry, reminiscent of long summer evenings in the capital.

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