Peter Vogel

Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship, Director of the Global Family Business Center, and Debiopharm Chair of Family Philanthropy

Peter Vogel is Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship. An expert on family enterprises, he leads IMD’s work in this field as Director of the IMD Global Family Business Center and Debiopharm Chair of Family Philanthropy. He was named by Poets&Quants as one of the world’s best business school professors under the age of 40 in 2022 and included in Family Capital’s Top 100 Family Business Influencers list in both 2020 and 2022.

He works with families, owners, boards, and executives of family enterprises and family offices around the world focusing on transformations, governance, ownership and leadership succession, wealth management, fostering entrepreneurialism and innovation within the system, and on establishing professional boards and leadership teams. He does so through major transformation journeys that include custom programs, advisory work, and open programs, as well as tailored diagnostics and workshops.

Family firms comprise two-thirds of the world’s businesses. Through the work we are privileged to do with the owners, board members, and top management teams of these businesses, we believe that we can make a difference in the world by helping enterprising families and business owners make better decisions – both for themselves and their stakeholders.

The IMD Global Family Business Center aims to be the world’s leading center of excellence in the domain, and to act as a trusted learning partner for global enterprising families and a safe space where they can go for neutral advice and support. Its mission is to help enterprising families ensure family unity and business success across generations while also having a positive impact on society.

Vogel says long-term success and unity depend on having a healthy family enterprise ecosystem, so this requires a holistic approach covering the legacy family business, any new businesses, the family office and investment activities, and all aspects of what he calls “total family wealth” ­– human, social, financial, and reputational capital.

He is director of a suite of programs offered by the Center – Leading the Family Business (LFB), which was launched in 1988 as the world’s first family business program, Navigating your Family Enterprise into the future (NFE), and Leading the Family Office (LFO).

Helping with the establishment of family offices accounts for a growing share of the Center’s work, with many families now looking to transition from being a family in business to managing their private wealth through a family office structure. It is therefore working on the development of an advanced LFO program, which will act as a certification program for aspiring family officers.

Vogel is also Director of the IMD Global Family Business Award, which recognizes excellence in the art of building and managing a successful, sustainable and well-governed family-owned enterprise. The award was established in 1996 and is now seen as the most sought-after prize in the field of family business.

In addition, he is co-author of the award-winning book Family Philanthropy Navigator, the first in a planned trilogy on family businesses. The book will be followed by Family Office Navigator in 2022 and Family Enterprise Navigator in 2024.

Family Philanthropy Navigator, which offers a step-by-step guide that philanthropic families can use as they seek to make a real difference through their giving, earned praise from Beatrice Fihn, winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and Executive Director of ICAN, and won an Axiom Business Book Awards Silver Medal in 2021.

Vogel has published articles in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and has written several books and book chapters as well as scientific and practitioner-oriented reports. His work is frequently referenced by leading newspapers and other media outlets such as Harvard Business Review, CNN, Huffington Post, Forbes, the Financial Times, and TechCrunch.

He is a regular conference speaker and has appeared at TEDx Lausanne, the Global Economic Symposium, the Family Matters Forum, the Family Business Network Global Summit, the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit, and the St. Gallen Symposium, among others.

He is also an Associate Partner of the Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, and an alumnus of the Forum’s Global Shapers Community.

Before joining IMD in 2017, he served as Director of Custom Programs and Business Development at the Executive School of University of St. Gallen. He was previously Assistant Professor of Technology Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Gallen, as well as Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Director of the Swiss Start-up Monitor Foundation.

Before embarking on his academic career, Vogel was an entrepreneur. He launched several ventures in the software segment and remains Chairman of the investment firm Delta Venture Partners.

Selected publications
Case Study
The Sika takeover battle
The longest corporate takeover battle in the history of Switzerland – and possibly the world – pitted Sika, a Swiss chemicals manufacturer, against Saint-Gobain, a French conglomerate. At the heart...
Published 12 April 2021
Family philanthropy navigator
Book
Family philanthropy navigator
Philanthropy is an important and highly rewarding way for individuals and families to make a difference in a rapidly changing world. Like the world around us, philanthropy is changing and transform...
Published 1 December 2020
Article
From venture idea to venture opportunity
Opportunities are a core construct in the field of entrepreneurship. Despite recent advances suggesting the separation of ideas from opportunities, the field still suffers from conceptual deficienc...
Published 1 November 2017
Academic publications
Family philanthropy navigator
Book
Family philanthropy navigator
Philanthropy is an important and highly rewarding way for individuals and families to make a difference in a rapidly changing world. Like the world around us, philanthropy is changing and transform...
Published 1 December 2020
Article
Family firms and CSR : The importance of the affective aspirations
Empirical research on family firms is inconclusive about the effect of family control on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Some scholars argue that this inconclusiveness stems from the fact th...
Published 1 December 2018
Article
From venture idea to venture opportunity
Opportunities are a core construct in the field of entrepreneurship. Despite recent advances suggesting the separation of ideas from opportunities, the field still suffers from conceptual deficienc...
Published 1 November 2017
Article
In vitro assessments of reverse glenoid stability using displacement gages are misleading - recommendations for accurate measurements of interface micromotion
BACKGROUND: Baseplate micromotion of the reverse shoulder glenoid component can lead to implant loosening. We hypothesized that a remotely positioned displacement gage measures elastic deformation ...
Published 1 January 2011
Insight for Executives
Report
Navigating your family's philanthropic future across generations
We live in a world of unprecedented change and transformation, in which world leaders are increasingly uncertain about how to tackle the many new challenges confronting humanity. Amid the global he...
Published 19 December 2022
How working for the collective good helped bring a family closer together
Article
How working for the collective good helped bring a family closer together
The Ahlström family in Finland recognizes that commercial success depends not only on generating profit but also on making a positive global impact on the lives of others, write Malgorzata Smulowit...
Published 15 December 2022
The silent but powerful investor: The evolution of the family office
Article
The silent but powerful investor: The evolution of the family office
As family offices grow in popularity and expand into riskier investments, families should take a holistic view of their whole ecosystem to build a healthy future for themselves and society, argues ...
Published 14 December 2022
Article
Enterprising families should take time to reflect on their purpose
Enterprising families need to take time to reflect on their greater purpose before setting up a family office and above all should avoid being rushed into decisions by financial institutions lookin...
Published 7 October 2022
Report
Future wealth management
Creating the double-digit growth that family businesses need in order to ensure that the generations maintain the wealth of the business is a tall order in a world gripped by crisis. And it’s a big...
Published 29 March 2022
China’s succession panic is a wake-up call for families everywhere
Article
China’s succession panic is a wake-up call for families everywhere
Many Chinese entrepreneurs who set up businesses during the economic liberalization of the late 1970s and 1980s are nearing retirement age without a willing or well-prepared family heir. It’s a tim...
Published 22 November 2021
Can Rockefeller, Bezos and IKEA turn the developing world green?
Article
Can Rockefeller, Bezos and IKEA turn the developing world green?
The welcome announcement of a multi-stakeholder philanthropic partnership to accelerate the adoption of green energy in Africa, Asia and Latin America is a bold move. But, like all philanthropy, it...
Published 4 November 2021
Article
Impactful giving demands engaged families
How engaged is your family with your foundation? Are they passionate about giving or do they see it as something distant or inherited, like antique furniture? Let’s take it a step further. How alig...
Published 17 April 2021
The lost generation?
Article
The lost generation?
Family businesses traditionally pull together to survive a crisis, but the dramatic impact of the pandemic has brought even the strongest to their knees. They will have to develop new skills to ada...
Published 10 March 2021
Article
Esprit de Noël, esprit de famille
In recent weeks, we have been able to feel how the intergenerational bond has been abused, by stigmatizing either the young or the old, for different reasons. Exacerbated by this crisis, this link ...
Published 23 December 2020
Article
The nine trends of modern philanthropy
Families gave on average $6.4 million via their family office to philanthropy over 12 months, according to The Global Family Office Report 2019 by Campden Wealth. Driven by next-gens, 26% of famili...
Published 11 December 2020
Article
There are as many ways of doing philanthropy as philanthropists
Over 80% of enterprising families are philanthropically active. When you think about philanthropy in the public sphere, some individuals and families are more prominent and come naturally to your m...
Published 29 September 2020
Ensure your family business is fit for purpose in a post-COVID world
Article
Ensure your family business is fit for purpose in a post-COVID world
There are various factors that contribute to the multi-generational success of family businesses, with six being particularly relevant: long-term perspective, financial prudence, emotional connecti...
Published 21 July 2020
The rise of family philanthropy in times of crisis
Video
The rise of family philanthropy in times of crisis
In an era of unprecedented transformation, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published 16 June 2020
Daughters in Charge: A Lesson for Enterprising Families
Article
Daughters in Charge: A Lesson for Enterprising Families
Succession in the modern era is complicated, but women may well hold the key in the family business environment!
Published 15 June 2020
Leading in turbulent times webinar series: family businesses
Video
Leading in turbulent times webinar series: family businesses
Resilience and adaptation, paired with an agile, holistic approach to leadership, strategy and governance, will help family businesses weather the storm.
Published 27 April 2020
A healthy family enterprise is a balancing act
Article
A healthy family enterprise is a balancing act
Long-lasting family businesses focus on five areas of health and well-being
Published 7 April 2020
Article
Coronavirus has sparked an unprecedented level of philanthropy
Coronavirus took most of us – governments, businesses and individuals – by surprise. Feelings of anxiety and fear have spread across parliaments, board rooms and our homes. But many philanthropists...
Published 3 April 2020
Nationalism: the even greater risk of the COVID-19 crisis?
Article
Nationalism: the even greater risk of the COVID-19 crisis?
In times where many of us feel like the world is coming to an end, Professor Peter Vogel makes a call for more philanthropic action.
Published 17 March 2020
Report
Toyota Financial Services and IMD: Developing innovation skills for the future of mobility
In 2017 Toyota Financial Services (TFS) realized that it would soon face disruption: analysts warned that a more flexible approach to transportation would soon replace private car ownership. The n...
Published 2 March 2020
Article
Blockchain and philanthropy: Innovative giving and innovative taking
Blockchain is one of the most hyped technologies of the 21st century. Blockchain enthusiasts predict that, within the next couple of years, this technology will entirely disrupt the world we liv...
Published 20 March 2019
Article
Wewnętrzna przedsiębiorczość napędza innowacje
One of the methods of triggering company innovation, which has been gaining importance in recent years, is internal entrepreneurship. Still, many myths and false beliefs stand in the way. Peter Vog...
Published 1 March 2019
Trends in family philanthropy
Article
Trends in family philanthropy
We live in an era of unprecedented change and transformation. Technological, demographic, environmental and social uncertainty is causing leaders around the world to worry about the future of socie...
Published 21 February 2018
Article
Business for good
To be sure, the debates over the best models and the measurement of private sector impact are unlikely to be resolved soon, but it is clear there is a shift in expectations of private sector contri...
Published 14 February 2018
Article
Business for good
In the shadow of an increasingly polarized world, corporate, government, and philanthropic leaders tackled the globe’s biggest challenges at the World Economic Forum in Davos under the theme “Creat...
Published 14 February 2018
Why business ideas are not the same as business opportunities
Article
Why business ideas are not the same as business opportunities
“Venture ideas take inspiration. Venture opportunities need perspiration.”Ideas are not the same as opportunities. Starting a new venture requires time and effort. But this seemingly obvious statem...
Published 2 February 2018
Why family philanthropy will gain importance in resolving today’s challenges
Article
Why family philanthropy will gain importance in resolving today’s challenges
Leaders around the world are confronted with major challenges, many of which seem too big to be resolved by one single stakeholder alone. The fourth industrial revolution is disrupting the way we l...
Published 10 November 2017
Article
The next generation of wealth owners is looking to change the world for the better
Irrespective of whether self-made or inherited, the next generation of wealth owners is looking to change the world for the better, as philanthropists, social entrepreneursor impact investors. Inde...
Published 26 October 2017
Report
The Swiss entrepreneurial ecosystem report: 2015-2016
Switzerland is one of the most competitive and innovative¦countries in the world. However, there is some work¦to be done to increase the commercialization of technological innovation, to build glob...
Published 1 January 2016
Generation Jobless?
Book
Generation Jobless?
Generation Jobless? uniquely explores the characteristics of both today's and tomorrow's youth and the causes of the youth unemployment crisis. The book takes a global, multi-stakeholder perspectiv...
Published 1 January 0001
The inspirational guide for philanthropic families on their giving journey