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US family businesses

July 23, 2014

Family businesses are more nimble and better able to respond to crises than non-family businesses, according to a new academic paper, which uses as a case study the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Family businesses are more nimble and better able to respond to crises than non-family businesses, according to a new academic paper, which uses as a case study the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

July 9, 2014

Peter Wege, a significant donor to environmental causes and the former second-gen vice chairman of furniture family business Steelcase, has died in Michigan, US, aged 94.

Peter Wege, a significant donor to environmental causes and the former second-gen vice chairman of furniture family business Steelcase, has died in Michigan, US, aged 94.

Founded in 1912 by Wege’s father, Peter Martin Wege, Steelcase is the world’s largest office furniture manufacturer, reporting revenues of $2.9 billion last year.

June 17, 2014

The building blocks of success hold a cult-like fascination among the American public. It’s little surprise then that the publication of a controversial new book extolling the virtues of certain cultural upbringings has re-ignited debate here about what exactly this recipe is in the world’s largest economy. 

The building blocks of success hold a cult-like fascination among the American public. It’s little surprise then that the publication of a controversial new book extolling the virtues of certain cultural upbringings has re-ignited debate here about what exactly this recipe is in the world’s largest economy.

June 9, 2014

Walmart second-gen Rob Walton has appointed son-in-law Greg Penner to vice chairman of the family business, putting him in line to gain control of the multinational corporation. 

Walmart second-gen Rob Walton has appointed son-in-law Greg Penner to vice chairman of the family business, putting him in line to gain control of the multinational corporation.

Speaking at the annual shareholders meeting in Arkansas on Friday, Walton revealed Penner, a board member since 2008, would act as chairman during periods of absence and use his expertise in technology and e-commerce to develop a range of smaller stores.

March 3, 2014

Third-gen Market Basket chief executive Arthur T DeMoulas has suffered a blow in the latest round of the longstanding feud with his cousin Arthur S over the running of the multi-billion-dollar family business – a supermarket chain based in Massachusetts, US.

Third-gen Market Basket chief executive Arthur T DeMoulas has suffered a blow in the latest round of the longstanding feud with his cousin Arthur S over the running of the multi-billion-dollar family business – a supermarket chain based in Massachusetts, US.

Arthur T had argued that a board member, who had voted in favour of a large dividend pay out, was not independent and his votes should be nullified.

Market Basket, founded initially as a small grocery store in 1917, has annual revenues of more than $4 billion and employs 18,000.

February 5, 2014

Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest family businesses in the US, is to appoint its first non-family chief executive and president, after fourth-geneneration Riley Bechtel announced he was stepping down due to health problems.

Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest family businesses in the US, is to appoint its first non-family chief executive and president, after fourth-geneneration Riley Bechtel announced he was stepping down due to health problems.

November 25, 2013

Peter Lewis, the second-gen US businessman who transformed Progressive Corporation into a multi-billion dollar company has died at his home in Florida over the weekend.

Peter Lewis, the second-gen US businessman who transformed Progressive Corporation into a multi-billion dollar company has died at his home in Florida over the weekend.

The eccentric billionaire became chief executive of the car insurer in 1965 and held the post for 35 years. He remained chairman until his death.

Lewis’s father, Joseph Lewis, co-founded the company in 1937 with Jack Green. Joseph had been grooming his son to take over, but died suddenly while Lewis was still a junior at Princeton University.

November 18, 2013

Forbes is set to become the latest high-profile publication to leave family ownership, with its parent company, Forbes Media, confirming the business is up for sale.

Forbes is set to become the latest high-profile publication to leave family ownership, with its parent company, Forbes Media, confirming the business is up for sale.

In an email to staff on Friday, chief executive Mike Perlis – the first non-family member to run the company in its 96-year history – said it had hired bankers to “test the waters regarding a sale”.

According to the Wall St Journal, the company hopes the sale will yield more than $400 million.

September 26, 2013

The Koffler Group, a US-based family office, has traditionally travelled light when it comes to debt, but Campden talks to the third-gen who has been fearless in making sure it now has a mixed bag of investments.

The family fortune may have been made by an inherently conservative investor with a flair for designing suitcases, but when it comes to investment strategy subsequent generations of the Koffler family have been determined not to carry any baggage.

Sol Koffler is a poster child for the American dream. Arriving in the US from eastern Europe in 1920 at the age of 13, he started selling $1 suitcases as the Great Depression reached its peak. Over the next 46 years he built American Tourister into the second largest luggage company in the country.

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