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New beginnings

Bruce Love is editor-in-chief

When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the fortunes of vacuum cleaner manufacturer Oreck Corporation changed dramatically. Like many local businessmen, second-generation chairman Tom Oreck thought he had lost everything. But with determination and a fighting spirit, Oreck was one of the first firms to return to the area and help clean up, slowly rebuilding operations. Recently, Oreck has caught flack for incrementally moving the business further north to Tennessee. In our cover story this issue, Tom Oreck talks exclusively to Families in Business editor Marc Smith about his decision to relocate and what it has meant to his family, the business, and his employees.
 
We also talk to Fernando Guedes, chairman of Portuguese wine company Sogrape about his experiences expanding the family-owned company's operations globally, and Prashant Jhawar, vice chairman of truly diverse Indian business Usha Martin Group. Jhawar was central to the steel company branching out into areas as diverse as IT, financial services, transportation and newspapers. These three interviews paint a remarkable picture of the ability for family-owned businesses to survive and adapt in a constantly changing world.

An extended interview with Jhawar is also available on our newly-launched website – www.familiesinbusiness.net. The site contains a wealth of resources and articles on key issues such as succession, governance, family matters, as well as extra analysis and extended features on topics covered in the magazine. You can also sign up for our weekly email bulletin, which brings you the latest news affecting business-owning families.

Also in this issue of Families in Business we take a closer look at where hedge funds can be utilised within your family's investment portfolio. Hedge funds are desperate to claim a slice of family money. But more critically than with other asset classes, it's important to make sure you find the right fit. In this issue we look at how to find the most exclusive hedge funds and get your money invested. When the right match can't be found, many families are finding it more worthwhile to set up their own hedge funds within their family office, and we talk to Loeb Partners' Fred Fruitman about how this can be accomplished and what are the pitfalls.

Our expanded lifestyle section is continuing to highlight some of the most innovative family-owned businesses in a broad range of consumer markets. This issue we speak to Martin Guitars' Chris Martin IV about what it's like running one of the most critically acclaimed guitar brands in the world, as well as his experiences producing exclusive custom-made models for collectors and big name music stars. Finally, we head to St. Moritz to catch the last snow of the season at the resort where ski vacations were created. Hansjürg Badrutt, great-grandson of the modern ski resort inventor, guides us through the exclusive Badrutt's Palace Hotel, giving us a personal account of its history and the elite service it provides for its regular high profile guests.

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