The Best Family Firms of the Baltic States Announced

  • 2024-06-26

Last week, during the conference "The Role of Family Firms in Long-Term Sustainability" organized by the Baltic Family Firm Institute (BFFI) and the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) at ISM University of Management and Economics in Vilnius, the best family businesses of the region were selected. Three firms from Lithuania, three from Latvia, and three from Estonia were among the nominees.

TOP Lithuanian family firms recognized this year are: one of the country's largest bread bakeries – "Biržų duona," the construction and design company "ARCHIS," and the transport company "Motiejausko transportas". The optics company "Optic GURU", "Gemoss" which provides goods and services to bars and restaurants, and the food waste processor "L. J. Linen Ltd." were the top family firms in Latvia. In Estonia, the wooden house builder "Palmatin Wooden Houses", the optics company "OptiPRO OÜ" and the construction company "SA.MET AS" were declared the best.

TOP family firms were selected based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria. But the most important criteria were their long-term resilience, next generation involvement, and dedication to the family values. More than 130 representatives of family businesses, practitioners, and academics from 15 different countries participated in the conference to examine the challenges and opportunities faced by family firms.

"In Lithuania, about 40 percent of all businesses are family owned. About 70 percent of such firms are still managed by representatives of the first generation. Statistics are similar in Latvia and Estonia. Therefore, it is extremely important to talk about family business governance and succession planning right now. If family businesses develop successfully, the economies of the Baltic countries will experience significant growth," says attorney Laimonas Skibarka, partner and co-head of Private Clients team at Sorainen, a pan-Baltic law firm and sponsor of the event.

The conference organizers, Baltic Family Firm Institute (BFFI), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI), ISM University of Management and Economics, and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga), invited participants to analyze and discuss Baltic family business issues in detail for the first time in Lithuania. The first such conference took place last year in Estonia, at Tartu University, and next year it will be held in Riga, Latvia.

"This conference provided a rare opportunity for the most important specialists in family firm research from all over the world to gather in one place. It is an excellent platform to establish partnerships and exchange knowledge with researchers, consultants, and representatives of other family firms," adds one of the organizers, Baltic Family Firm Institute board member and ISM University professor Dr. Valdonė Darškuvienė.