ESMT Faculty

Sabine B. Rau

Dr. Sabine B. Rau is the founding director of the Hidden Champions Institute at ESMT Berlin.

Rau grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, founding her own business as well as joining her family’s business before returning to academia as a research fellow at INSEAD in 2001. Two years later, in 2003, Rau assumed the presidency of IFERA, the international family research academy, which she led until 2007. Most recently, Rau was  professor of entrepreneurship and family business at King’s College London, where she also served as director of its Center for Entrepreneurship.

Rau has published in journals that include Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Family Business Review, Journal of Business Research, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Small Business Economics, and Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. She is the author of one of the first textbooks on family-led businesses,  Familienunternehmen. Theoretische und empirische Grundlagen (Family Businesses: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations), which is available in its third edition; she is the co-editor of the Handbook of Research on Family Business.

Rau serves on the board of several academic journals. Her own research focus is on the influence of family on business and vice versa, and includes topics such as succession, governance, and family-specific resources and their influences on performance.