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Italian family businesses

November 1, 2004

Fresh from winning the 2004 IMD – Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Distinguished Family Business Award, Joachim Schwass reports on the Barilla family and the history behind their flourishing bread and pasta empire

Joachim Schwass is Professor of Family Business, IMD and co-director of The IMD – Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Family Business Research Center.

Fresh from winning the 2004 IMD – Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch Distinguished Family Business Award, Joachim Schwass reports on the Barilla family and the history behind their flourishing bread and pasta empire

January 1, 2002

The Zegna Group, winners of the IMD Distinguished Family Business Award 2000, have successfully redefined and adapted their textile and menswear business to the changing world—never losing sight of the legacy of its founder

The beginnings of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group as a family business can be traced back to the birth of Angelo Zegna in 1859 in the northwestern part of Italy known as Piedmont. Born the fourth child of a farmer, Angelo first worked as a watchmaker. He later became a weaver, which is not surprising, since wool-making and weaving was the most common industry in this isolated and impoverished mountainous area.

January 1, 2002

Italy is a world leader in fashion and design. However, increased global competition of the Italian fashion and design industry poses a potential threat to family dominance

The Italian fashion and design industry has overtaken France as a world leader, with an estimated 30% of the global market in luxury goods, estimated to be worth more than US$80 billion each year.

Italian fashion exports were valued at US$26 billion during 2000, an increase of nearly 15% over the previous year. Other significant export markets include Germany, France and the UK, with East European nations such as Romania emerging as new customers for the fashion giants of Rome and Milan.

January 1, 2002

Dr Alberto Falck talks to Families in Business about his involvement with the Italian family business organisation, AIdAF

Family businesses are at the heart of the Italian economy, and one of the sector's leading lights, Dr Alberto Falck, will have a prominent role at this year's Family Business Network conference in Rome.

January 1, 2002

The Merloni family business, with its roots in traditional family values, is at the leading edge of technology – providing the next generation of high-tech appliances to European consumers

Millions of European consumers know the top brands of Ariston and Indesit, but fewer realise that behind those household names is a family business whose history epitomises the sector and its most traditional values.

Vittorio Merloni, head of Merloni Elettrodomestici, harks back to the simple philosophy of his father Aristide, who founded the original company back in the 1930s. "My father loved to say that in every business venture, success has no value if it lacks involvement in social progress, "he recalls.

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