Emeritus Professor Joachim Schwass

Emeritus Professor Joachim Schwass

Schwass teaches family business and entrepreneurship with a focus on generational and owner-related issues. He has lectured and conducted family business programs around the globe and has advised many leading global family businesses.


Prior to joining IMD, he was managing director of several companies which were part of his own family’s business. He has led the startup of several international businesses as well as managing a number of industrial manufacturing businesses in Australia and the US. He has also managed in international trading business in Switzerland.


Educated in Germany, France, and Switzerland, Schwass attended graduate studies at Technische Universität Berlin and Université de Fribourg where he obtained a Lic rer pol and a Dr rer pol.


His 2005 book, Wise Growth Strategies in Leading Family Businesses, has been translated into German, Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese. He is the lead author of the 2010 book Wise Wealth, which was published in Mandarin three years later, and of the 2016 book Wise Family Business, Family Identity Steering Brand Success.


Schwass directed the Annual Distinguished Family Business Award for 10 years. He also spent 10 years as Executive Director of the Family Business Network (FBN) and served on their board until 2010.

Leading the Family Office
Helps families of wealth set up and sustainably govern their own Single Family Office
Orchestrating Winning Performance
IMD's signature program, OWP, brings you the latest business trends, thought leadership and insights to revitalize your business, drive innovation and lead you forward. Fully customizable schedule. For executives and teams.
All IMD programs
Joachim Schwass's Publications
Wise Family Business
Bringing the family back into the business
Royal Selangor: The evolution of a brand over four family generations
Case study