Deal-makers across Asia are busy fielding calls from company founders who are mulling letting go of their life’s work after the COVID-19 pandemic upended how global business is done.

After riding the region’s rise over the past decades, family firms that dominate the economic landscape are now looking for bigger partners, and help to modernize management teams and in succession planning, according to consultants, bankers and private equity firms.

"We’ve seen founders, particularly the older entrepreneurs, saying there are more challenges in the world now and that they’re thinking about succession issues and management issues,” said Ed Huang, co-head of Asia acquisitions in private equity at Blackstone Group Inc. "Private equity is better understood now as either a potential strategic partner or as an exit path.”