In the Press
John A. Davis is a sought after expert by the media. His commentary and research regularly appear in the business press in print, on radio, and on television.
Below is a collection of the most recent interviews and press appearances by Professor John Davis. View an archive of John Davis' historical media interviews.
29 Dec 2017
The New York Times
Keeping the Family Tree Alive
What keeps venerable old families together? They are, after all, only as strong as the roots that bind them. Most of us know our relatives back to our grandparents. Counting our own children, we might have to contend with four generations.
9 Nov 2017
How to Speed Up Business in Family Companies
For a long time, Harvard Business School professor John Davis, one of the world’s top family business experts, has agreed to the claim that this type of business moves more slowly but eventually proves itself better than others. (full article in Portuguese)
20 Oct 2017
Family Offices: A History of Stewardship
The term “family office” conjures up images of yachts, stately homes and imposing oak-panelled offices in places such as London’s Mayfair. But family offices’ roots date from the sixth century, according to the EY Family Office Guide, which explains that the role of managing royal wealth was first taken on by a king’s steward. The […]
30 Aug 2017
Wealth managers focus on keeping it in the family
Are you heirs prepared for the responsibility of inheriting money? Prompted by a growing demand for intergenerational planning among clients, wealth managers are moving away from offering purely financial advice to a more holistic and emotional approach to their work.
30 Aug 2017
The Impact of Adolescent Work in the Family Business on Child-Parent Relationships and Psychological Well-Being
Parents who are owners of family companies are generally intensely interested in their children’s development both as healthy, aspiring individuals and as future owners and maybe leaders of the family’s company.
22 Aug 2017
The Economic Times
How succession algorithm in India’s family-owned businesses are changing
Business successions can be come messy — both in family-controlled businesses such as Raymond, where there are multiple court battles being fought between generations of the Singhania family and in a more professional setup such as
3 Mar 2017
The New York Times
The Three Different Flavors of Family Businesses
Each family that runs its own business also has its own culture, say two psychologists who work with wealthy families. And understanding those cultures — which these psychologists break down into three groups — can make it easier to resolve intergenerational or cross-cultural conflicts that arise as the business matures and expands.
7 Mar 2017
Future trends in family business succession planning
Let’s open up a discussion about family businesses — and what the future holds for them — by digging into the fundamental marriage between our personal and professional worlds. This will create the framework through which succession planning can be viewed realistically.
24 May 2017
Viewpoint: Millennials in business families…future leaders of family enterprises?
The millennial generation is, arguably, the most researched generation in history. Hundreds of survey-based studies on millennials from all around the world have inquired about their attitudes and behaviors regarding their lifestyles, relationships and careers.
23 May 2017
Please take note Mrs May: there is nothing wrong with inherited wealth
The key mistake Theresa May and her inner circle made in their bungled social care reform – now in ragged retreat – was nothing to do with the attempt to ensure that citizens who can afford it are obliged to pay; as others have pointed out, this is a perfectly reasonable principle, underpinned by the quintessentially “conservative” […]
10 Nov 2016
Founders’ Vision Keeps Engine Running
Lasting companies preserve core values while stimulating innovation Marconi, Warner-Lambert, BellSouth, Lehman Brothers, Cadbury, Rowntree, Mannesmann, Aventis — the rate at which familiar corporate names are disappearing or losing their independence has speeded up, driven by deregulation, competition from emerging markets and technological change. Business historian Leslie Hannah, a visiting professor at London School of […]
4 Nov 2016
The Economic Times
Cyrus Mistry’s ouster: One more mess for Ratan Tata to sort out before his second exit
It was early May 2016, and David Cameron was still the prime minister of the UK. The Brexit vote was a month away and Cexit (former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry’s exit from the top job at Tatas) wasn’t even dreamt of. A six-member team, set up by the government, was paying a visit to […]
22 Sep 2016
Citi Private Bank
Business Families Learning Together
John Maynard Keynes – the great British economist – believed that family companies followed a three-generational cycle. “A man of energy and imagination creates the business,” he wrote, “the son coasts along and grandson goes bankrupt.” Modern studies suggest Keynes may have had a point. According to one study, just 10% of family-owned businesses are […]
1 Sep 2016
Explosives Saved an American Company From Chinese Competition
Bill Kirby wasn’t sure what to think at first. He’d been brought to the fourth floor of the New England Paper Tube plant in Pawtucket, R.I. It was a cold day in November 2014, and the only activity inside the block-size red-brick building was two men taking machines apart for scrap. “I knew that there […]
24 Aug 2016
Viewpoint: Succession with Chinese Characteristics
Perhaps the most challenging issue for China’s private businesses in the years ahead is how they deal with succession. Given the country’s brief 30 year experience with a market economy, China’s family businesses have yet to fully embrace succession. That, of course, is changing – as the founder generation begins to transition to the second […]
29 Jul 2016
South Koreans Bristle At Growing Dominance Of Family-Run Conglomerates
A small number of family-run conglomerates dominate South Korea’s economy. The biggest started as a village store in 1938. It’s controlled by the same family, and is now a household name: Samsung. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Now let’s talk about the family business. Family-run businesses are responsible for well over half the economic activity in the […]
13 Jul 2016
The New York Times
Lifting the Second-Generation Curse
Natalie Sexton jokes that her earliest memory is being rocked to sleep on the machinery bottling her mother’s line of all-natural juices. She was just an infant with Marygrace Sexon started Natalie’s Orchid Island Jice Company in 1990, naming it after her. “This is all I’ve Known,” Ms. Sexon said. Twenty-six years later, she is preparing to […]
22 Feb 2016
KNOWLEDGE: Why Family Businesses Must Foster Non-Family Talent
Interview with Professor John Davis, Chair of Families in Business Program at Harvard Business School and Chairman of the Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise Professor John Davis at Harvard Business School, is one of the world’s greatest authorities on family businesses. Davis embarked on a successful career as an educator and advisor to business families […]
23 Oct 2015
Succession Planning Ensures Smooth Transition Between Generations
Succession is easier if the process happens slowly With the exception of a few, such as the Rockefellers’, which dates from the 1930s, the majority of family offices have been founded in the past 20 years. In the UK, their popularity has increased over the past decade because of changes to the trust regime that […]
23 Oct 2015
Q&A with John A. Davis
John A Davis, who has taught at Harvard for 20 years and owns a respected family business consultancy, is one of the best-known voices in the world of family business. We caught up with him and quizzed him about his latest thinking. BF: What do you think are the biggest issues facing family businesses? JD: […]
Professor John Davis is available for media interviews for a variety of family enterprise, family wealth, and leadership topics and stories. He is interviewed in print, radio, and television media. Reporters and producers are invited to contact [email protected] with requests for interviews.
For an archive of John Davis' historical media coverage, please visit: