BMO Supports Family Business and Dairy Research Education

Family-run businesses will benefit from a generous gift from BMO Financial Group.

The University of British Columbia welcomed a $2.2 million donation from BMO Financial Group to support education and outreach for successful family businesses as well as innovative research and education to benefit dairy farm operations – most of them family-run.

Family enterprise forms the backbone of the Canadian economy, with families owning or controlling an estimated 80 per cent of all businesses and representing the largest form of enterprise worldwide. Yet in today’s economic landscape, only 30 per cent of family businesses survive into the second generation.

With BMO’s gift, the Business Families Centre (BFC) at UBC’s Sauder School of Business will establish a new Family Enterprise Program. The program will further academic research and innovation in areas that include succession planning, family dynamics and governance. The BFC will also set up a new national database – the first in Canada – to advance research in this field while giving entrepreneurial families the necessary tools and information to flourish.

As well, BMO’s donation will be used to develop new classroom space at UBC’s Dairy Education and Research Centre located in the Fraser Valley at Agassiz. As part of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, the Centre is renowned for pioneering research that considers sustainable food production along with animal health and welfare. The Centre hosts many international students and researchers, and offers frequent seminars for industry and the public.

“We are delighted that BMO Financial Group sees strong value in the vital work that the Sauder School of Business is doing to ensure the continued health of family businesses,” says UBC President Prof. Stephen Toope. “We are also very grateful for BMO’s investment at our Dairy Education and Research Centre, which is known globally for research that produces evidence-based recommendations for the dairy industry in Canada and around the world.”

“Many Canadian industries, including the dairy industry, succeed because of the shared talents, energy and knowledge among family members,” says Senior Vice President Joanne Gassman, B.C. and Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal.

“Given such outstanding research and education initiatives, BMO is very pleased to have a long and proud tradition of support for UBC, through scholarships, fellowships, research grants and capital building campaigns.”

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