From the Chair - May 2020

Back to Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee publications

Marco Rizzi
Chair, IBA Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee


Dear fellow members,

What a change since our first e-Bulletin of this year at the beginning of March. We all stand in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and wonder how long this shadow is. However, the initial shock and paralysis is gradually giving way to reaction and initiatives.

It has been thrilling to see how vigorous the reaction of the 'Closely Held Community' has been. While we were organising the inevitable postponement of our Global Entrepreneurship Conference towards the end of March, ideas for activities and initiatives were pouring in from a number of members. So, as the world was going into shutdown, we started thinking about keeping active and organising something totally new for us: a virtual conference.

Within less than three weeks, with the support and participation of many friends – both from our Committee and from IBA sister Committees and Fora – we managed to float the Virtual Entrepreneurship Conference, a novel experience, consisting of six different webinars. Currently, there are probably close to a hundred people working to make this new Conference an unforgettable experience. As you read these lines, not only panels are being prepared, but also Q&A’s, comparative overviews and many more are being put together. At the heart of all these efforts stands the challenge to turn this virtual initiative into something that bears the 'closely held' spirit. So, in a little gesture of rebellion, we will kick-off the Conference on Monday 18 May, which is exactly the date when our Global Entrepreneurship Conference would have taken place in Amsterdam.

Read more about the Virtual Entrepreneurship webinars and how we intend to turn them into an unforgettable experience in this e-Bulletin. And, above all, register and participate!

In this e-Bulletin we will also start introducing to you the officers of our Committee and begin with some of those who are new in office (although you probably have known them as active members for quite some time):

• Giuseppe Coco, Young Lawyers' Committee Liaison Officer

• Oluwabukola Iji, Diversity & Inclusion Officer and African Regional Forum Liaison Officer

• Dinka Kovacevic, Scholarship Officer and Women Interest Group Liaison Officer

• Dinesh Melwani, North American Regional Forum Liaison Officer

Let me conclude with a big thank you, from the bottom of the heart, on behalf of all officers of the Committee, to:

• our members, Christian Becker, Alexis Poinsard, Andreas Kloyer, Paul Josephus Jitta and Sven von Mensenkampff, for their ideas and initiatives; and

• the leadership of the Corporate and M&A Committee, the European Regional Forum, the Latin American Regional Forum, the Law Firm Management Committee and the Young Lawyers Committee, for their enthusiastic support and contribution to the Virtual Entrepreneurship Conference.

Stay close!

Kind regards,

Marco Rizzi,