Dr. John A. Davis

Chairman and Founder

Cambridge Family Enterprise Group

Professor John A. Davis is chairman and founder of Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, a global organization he created in 1989. It is devoted to helping families and ownership groups navigate the new economy and achieve multigenerational success for their families, enterprises, and financial wealth. It is comprised of two divisions: Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise, a highly specialized, international advisory firm serving family enterprises; and Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise, a leading education and research institute dedicated to the significant issues that family enterprises face.

Professor Davis is a globally recognized authority on family enterprise, family wealth, and family offices. Since the 1970s, he has been a pioneer and shaper of the family enterprise field as a leading researcher, academic, advisor, speaker, and creator of some the field’s most impactful conceptual frameworks and writings. His insights help to build shareholder value, grow resilient portfolios, develop leaders and owners, strengthen families, professionalize organizations, and pass sustainable enterprises to the next generation.

Trained in management, psychology, and economics, Professor Davis advises multigenerational family enterprises from more than 70 countries, including a number of the world’s leading business families. He advises on issues related to navigating this turbulent era; long-term success; family wealth; portfolio design; family office; ownership strategies; governance; developing next generation talent; succession transitions; life and career planning; conflict resolution and family unity; selling the family business; and adapting to disruptive change, among others.

A renowned academic and award-winning teacher, Professor Davis is a professor at MIT, at the Sloan School of Management, where he leads the family enterprise area. He oversees research and teaches an MBA course and executive programs on family business management, family social impact, and future-ready family enterprises. He leads the flagship executive program, Future Family Enterprise. He formerly taught at Harvard Business School for 21 years, where he founded and led Harvard’s family business management area and was founding chair of Harvard’s family business courses, prior to joining MIT in 2018.

Professor Davis speaks at conferences and seminars for enterprising families around the world, such as for the World Economic Forum and the Family Business Network, as well as for financial institutions, member organizations, and private family enterprises. He teaches in programs at the Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise, including Making Family Councils More Effective, and Compounding Your Family’s Wealth.

Professor Davis has developed significant works and conceptual models explaining family enterprise success. His most known contributions are the Family Enterprise framework and the Three-Circle Model of the Family Business System, the fundamental paradigm in the field which he created with HBS Professor Renato Tagiuri in 1978. He co-authored the preeminent book, Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business. He has authored three additional books and regularly publishes articles to guide family enterprises through today’s changing world. His extensive body of educational materials is used by graduate schools of business around the globe. He is regularly cited in the media such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Economist, and Bloomberg.

Professor Davis earned his Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, an MA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, and an AB in Economics with high honors from Kenyon College.

To learn more, follow Professor Davis on LinkedIn and explore his writings and upcoming activities at johndavis.com. Contact Professor Davis at [email protected].