The panel members were drawn from a number of countries in Europe representing a diverse range of interests but with a common commitment to recognising the contribution of middle market businesses to their respective economies and wider society.
- Rudi Plettinx, Chief Executive Officer, Academy of Business in Society (ABIS),
- Professor Dr Rene Schmidpeter, Dr Jurgen Meyer Endowed Chair for International Business, Ethics and CSR Cologne Business School,
- Darius Movaghar, Senior Policy Adviser, European Family Businesses,
- Aleksandra Palinska, Senior Policy Adviser, EuropeanIssuers,
- Joe Carr, Global Leader, Entrepreneurial Business, Mazars Group,
- Professor Benjamin Beeckmans, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Solvay Brussels School of Business and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles,
- Anthony Carey, Head of Board Practice at Mazars (moderator).
The panel covered the following topics:
- The challenges that exist at a macro level in promoting the success of middle market businesses in Europe;
- The range of critical issues that middle market businesses need to address to achieve their full potential;
- The launch of Mazars/ABIS Middle-Market Leaders Lab.
The challenges at a macro level in Europe
The challenges raised by the panellists for middle market businesses in Europe ranges from recognition, regulation, and competition. While the recognition challenge consists in considering both middle market and family businesses as business groupings per se, the regulation challenge refers to the need for regulators in Europe to pay more attention to the specificities of such businesses in their legislations. As for competition, middle market companies are far from being immune, since their markets are becoming more and more global, hence their subsequent challenge to integrate the Global Value Chains (GVCs) quickly in order to preserve their global competitiveness.
Critical issues of focus for middle-sized businesses
The panellists gave their views on how middle-market businesses could achieve their full potential.
While Mazars’ Joe Carr emphasised the importance for middle-sized businesses to focus on the business rather than just being in the business, the other panellists underlined the need for middle-sized businesses to focus on talent diversity, communication, and ambition in order to achieve sustainable long-term success.
Launch of the Mazars & ABIS’ Middle Market Leaders Lab
Closing the session, Anthony Carey invited Mazars’ Joe Carr and ABIS’ Rudi Plettinx to officially launch Mazars/ABIS “Middle Market Leaders Lab”, a thought leadership and action-orientated approach to help middle-sized companies achieve their full potential in a manner that promotes sustainably successful and responsible businesses.