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Family business Roundup: Henkel, Reliance Industries, Edelman

By Nicholas Moody

Henkel names Hans Van Bylen as new CEO
Hans Van Bylen is to take over at German consumer goods maker Henkel after its incumbent chief executive Kasper Rorsted left to become the new CEO of Adidas.

Van Bylen, Henkel's former head of the beauty care business, joined the family-controlled firm in 1984 and has been a member of the management board since 2005.

Led by the Henkel family since 1876, the family-controlled publicly listed company saw its share price drop more than 5% after the announcement on 18 January. Its share price has yet to recover.

Henkel, currently chaired by fifth-gen Simone Bagel-Trah, reported revenues of €16.4 billion ($17.9 billion) in 2015.

“With the appointment of Hans Van Bylen as new CEO we have named a strong successor to the CEO position at an early time – as it is common practice at Henkel,” said Bagel-Trah.

Henkel is known for its Persil washing powder and Schwarzkopf hair products.

Reliance Industries issues shares to finance wireless unit expansion
The wireless unit of second generation Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is to issue 15 billion new shares as it looks to expand its business in its battle with family-controlled competitor, Bharti Airtel.

The division, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, has not outlined how it will invest the 150 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) raised in the share offer to existing shareholders. It also indicated that it would not start commercial activities until April, four months later than expected.

Telecom giant Bharti Airtel, owned by Indian tycoon Sunil Mittal, launched a nationwide fourth-generation mobile service in August, ahead of Reliance Industries.

Reliance Industries is controlled by second-generation chief executive Mukesh Ambani and had revenues of $62 billion in the last financial year.

Family businesses remain most trusted businesses
Family-owned companies (66%) held their top spot as the most trusted businesses globally, trailed by public (52%) and state-owned (46%) businesses, the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer found.

However family-owned businesses saw their lead over publicly-listed companies narrow from 27 percentage points in the 2015 study to 14 percentage points this year.

Family-owned businesses received the highest trust rating in North America (80%) and the lowest rating in Asia-Pacific (54%). Latin America polled at 75% and Europe at 72%.

Edelman, a communications company, surveyed more than 33,000 respondents in 28 countries. 

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