Tanoto Foundation Endowment Enables Renaming of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Center for Family Enterprises to ‘John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises’

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Endowment Continues Tanoto Foundation’s Commitment to the Study Of Family Enterprise at Leading Universities

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES – Media OutReach – 28 May 2021 – The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the renaming of the Kellogg Center for Family Enterprises to the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterpriseswhich was made possible through an endowment from Tanoto Foundation.  Professor John Ward, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Family Enterprise, previously served as co-director of the center.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the renaming of the Kellogg Center for Family Enterprises to the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterpriseswhich was made possible through an endowment from Tanoto Foundation. Pictured from left:  Anderson Tanoto, Board of Trustees, Tanoto Foundation; Professor John L. Ward, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Family Enterprise; Professor Morton Schapiro, President Northwestern University; Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto, co-founders of Tanoto Foundation; and Professor Francesca Cornelli, Dean Kellogg School of Management.

“The vast majority of businesses around the world are family businesses, and they drive significant innovation and growth in our global economy,” said Francesca Cornelli, Dean of Kellogg. “With the generous support of the Tanoto Foundation and the Tanoto family, the Kellogg School of Management will continue to expand on the Ward Center’s innovative, world-class work, building on the extraordinary foundation laid by Professor Ward.”

Pictured above, from left:  Professor John L. Ward, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Family Enterprise; and Sukanto Tanoto, co-founder of Tanoto Foundation.

Mr. Ward has been a guiding force in developing the renowned teaching and research center, which provides cutting-edge thinking and guidance for family business strategies, governance, succession, entrepreneurship, foundations and business culture. A practical theorist, he has conducted extensive research, working with families worldwide and bringing that knowledge back to the classroom. Ward also is an accomplished writer, having co-authored many books and case studies on family business. He previously served on the Tanoto Foundation’s Board of Advisors.

Pictured from left: Professor Morton Schapiro, President Northwestern University; Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto, co-founders of Tanoto Foundation; Professor John L. Ward, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Family Enterprise; Professor Francesca Cornelli, Dean Kellogg School of Management; and Anderson Tanoto, Board of Trustees, Tanoto Foundation.

During the ceremony, Mr. Sukanto Tanoto, who co-founded Tanoto Foundation with his wife Tinah Bingei Tanoto in 1981, said: “Family businesses have a special opportunity to make a difference in the world.  A typical public company is run quarter on quarter and executives are incentivized based on ‘short-termism’. Family businesses should and must think long-term and embody the spirit of stakeholder capitalism.”

“The main purpose of our gift today to Kellogg is to capture and sustain the essence of what makes Professor John Ward a preeminent scholar in family enterprise, and to pass this spirit and wisdom to future generations.”

Tanoto Foundation’s recent endowment to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University continues its ongoing contributions to the study of family business governance and succession at large globally. Through gifts made in 2012 and 2017, Tanoto Foundation also established the Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). The center aims to bridge the knowledge gap between academics and practitioners as well as policymakers through its programs and activities, while spurring knowledge creation in Asian family businesses and entrepreneurship.

According to research conducted by HKUST, the role of family business globally is significant. Over 57% of the U.S. GDP comes from family owned businesses and an even higher rate in China at 60%. In Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation and 16th largest economy, more than 50% of local businesses are family owned.

In his address at Northwestern University, Mr. Sukanto added:  “Professor John Ward’s prolific work with family businesses has been pivotal for companies, leaders and researchers around the world.  His evidence-based work has created groundbreaking insights into the science and dynamics of thriving family businesses and philanthropies.  In this constantly changing world, we need John’s work to continue.  I’m confident that we’ll continue to build upon his teachings through the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises.”

The mission of the Ward Center is to be the thought leader in family enterprise education. Established in 1999, the center has pioneered much of what is known about the collective challenges business-owning families face and led new ways of thinking about the management and leadership of family enterprises.

The endowment will help the center expand its educational offerings to:

  • Share research insights with leading family enterprises around the world
  • Conduct groundbreaking research on the challenges facing enterprising families globally
  • Engage scholars and family enterprises to inform the discipline more fully and to enhance the scholarship and capabilities of the field
  • Augment the family enterprise case and history library — with an emphasis on older, larger, global families that have achieved generational continuity
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