Purely a family matter
BDO has been assisting the Bolliger family and their business for 40 years. Planning for the next succession is due to start soon.
When did we start working with BDO? Marcel, Daniel and Christine Bolliger look at each other briefly as they think about the question. “It must have been in 1973, when our father decided to work with BDO – which was still called Visura back then”. Nowadays, the three siblings represent the second generation of the family to run the company.
There are two reasons why they have remained loyal to BDO over all these years. Firstly, the Bolligers have always been able to depend on the quality of services from BDO – ranging from advice on financial statements and tax matters to business management consultancy.
Secondly, the Bolliger family has had favourable experiences with BDO’s client partner principle. Christian Zumstein has performed this function since 1995, when his predecessor retired. He now knows the company as well as if it were his own. “One of the greatest challenges is to continue decisions that have been made in the company, and to implement them as well as possible without taking on the role of someone receiving orders”, Christian Zumstein comments. This requires a relationship of trust, which can only be developed over the years. “I felt that I was really accepted and integrated when the Bolliger family invited me to dinner for the first time.
As the client partner of a family business, I have to be a credible and reliable discussion partner for all members of the family, regardless of their function or generation. This is indispensable so that I can try to reestablish equilibrium when differences of opinion arise within the family”, Christian Zumstein explains with conviction. BDO has been able to contribute its specialist expertise at many different levels within the company: Examples include the planning for the first succession, the decision to invest in the new sludge treatment plant at Grenchen, and the conversion of the former limited partnership into a joint-stock company. And BDO will not be short of work in the future, because succession planning for the next generation of the Bolliger family is due to begin in the next four to five years.