The Unified Group held its 14th annual meeting and owners’ forum Nov. 7-11 in Toronto, and focused on the importance of succession planning.

Family business and professional firm expert Neil Koenig started the session by challenging members to think about their company’s plan for success.

“Seven out of 10 family businesses end after the 20- to 30-year mark,” he said. “One out of 10 businesses will survive the third generation. What plan will your company have in place to ensure you are successful for years to come?”

Unified Group officials said the topic hit home for many attendees since nearly half of the members work in a family business.

 “Whether or not you’re working with your family, it’s important to think about what the business needs and what kind of leaders will fit that need,” Koenig said.

Over the three-day meeting, Unified Group members discussed individual challenges and successes as well as their strategic plans, which was part of the homework assignment prior to the meeting.

“The opportunity to engage with the best and brightest minds in the business is inspirational on every level,” said Mike Houghton of Dowling Corp.