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Family Business Roundup: Faber-Castell, Walmart, and Hanwha Group

By Michael Finnigan

Mary von Faber-Castell appointed to Faber-Castell board

Countess Mary von Faber-Castell, the wife of Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, CEO of the eponymous stationary manufacturer, will be appointed to the firm's management board early next year, according to a company statement.

The countess is set to become the fifth member of the board but will continue to head up the cosmetics division, where she previously held the role of managing director.

“Thanks to her great commitment, the cosmetics division has successfully evolved and gained strategic importance within the Faber-Castell Group, alongside the brand division of writing and drawing implements,” the company said in a statement.

It added: “In view of the growing strategic role, the supervisory board considers it crucial for the cosmetic division to be represented in the management board of Faber-Castell AG.”

Faber-Castell is one of the best-known German brands and employs 7,500 people across 120 countries. The 250-year-old firm had revenues of approximately €600 million ($658 million) last year.

Walmart Launches mobile payment system for smartphones

The Walton family-controlled US retail giant Walmart has launched its own mobile payment system, dubbed Walmart Pay, allowing customers to purchase items using their smartphones.

The Arkansas-based retailer said in a statement that customers are able to add a card to their account and, when they reach the checkout, scan a QR code that appears on the terminal with their phone's camera.

In lieu of touch-to-pay near field communication systems, as seen in Apple and Samsung phones, Walmart argues that the QR codes system works with a wider range of devices.

The second-generation family business said in October that it earnings per share at the world's largest retailer to increase by 5% by 2019. Walmart had revenues of $482.2 billion in 2014.

Hanwha promotes chairman's eldest son

Kim Dong-kwan, the scion of South Korean chaebol Hanwha Group, has been promoted to senior managing director at Hanwha Q Cells, the conglomerate's solar power unit.

According to a company statement, third-gen Dong-kwan was promoted for leading a number of major deals with international clients, including the world's largest single solar order to date.

“Kim was promoted to senior managing director for his contribution to creating the world's largest solar cell manufacturer,” according to a company statement. “He has been playing a crucial role in transforming Hanwha Q Cells into an efficiently-run entity.”

The company posted $40.3 million in operating profit for the third quarter, its first in four years. Hanwha Group had revenues of $35 billion last year.