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Family Business

February 1, 2002

Despite changing realities of the new economy, a group of companies – ‘hidden champions’ – has stayed true to its core principles, with business characteristics similar to those of family-run businesses

The media hype associated with the trends of the new economy has shown how modern management principles may come and go. The rise and fall of 'dot-coms'have left many people wondering what future business trends and principles will be. Throughout the good and bad times of the changing realities in the 'new'economy, a group of companies has stayed true to its core principles: the hidden champions. Many of the characteristics of the hidden champions run parallel to those of family-run businesses. In fact, many of the hidden champions are exactly that – family-run.

January 1, 2002

The business of haute horlogerie is specialised and dominated by a small number of firms. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Vice-President of Chopard, reveals how their family business has remained one of the leaders

When German jewellery- and watchmaker, Karl Scheufele, bought the small Chopard Swiss watchmaking firm in 1963, his intention was to develop a distinctive brand, while maintaining a tight control over the production process.

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

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.

January 1, 2002

Barbara Murray, Editor of Families in Business interviews Alexander Scott and Grant Gordon, respectively Founding Chairman and Director General of the Institute for Family Business (UK). The new organisation will also operate as the UK chapter of the Family Business Network

Barbara Murray (BM): Why have you established the Institute for Family Business (UK)?

January 1, 2002

Krister Ahlstromis a busy man. As head of one of Europe’s biggest independent companies, Finland’s Ahlstrom Corporation, he oversaw enormous change as the business diversified and globalised from its origins in the paper industry.

Krister Ahlstromis a busy man. As head of one of Europe's biggest independent companies, Finland's Ahlstrom Corporation, he oversaw enormous change as the business diversified and globalised from its origins in the paper industry.

Ahlstrom himself built a reputation as a sound corporate thinker, a man who has won widespread acclaim for his ideas on corporate governance, and on the management of change within family enterprises. As a result, he is in demand at numerous conferences and seminars.

January 1, 2002

Surprising realities about large family businesses in France

When the words 'family business' are mentioned, some people still think it refers to smaller companies – backward-looking firms with their roots in the past and doomed to disappear. Even though national surveys from many countries regularly suggest that four of every five business enterprises operate under family ownership and control, their predominance is perceived as exaggerated or in some way abstract. The prevalent model of 'business'– communicated by business schools and referred to in the media – is that of a large company, traded on the stock exchange, and with spread ownership.

January 1, 2002

Jose Ferrer is President of Freixenet SA, the world’s largest sparkling wine producer, with wineries in Spain, France, California and Mexico. As he prepares the next generation for the challenges of working in the family business, he tells us what he encounters during a ‘typical’ working week

José Ferrer is President of Freixenet SA, the world's largest sparkling wine producer, with wineries in Spain, France, California and Mexico. As he prepares the next generation for the challenges of working in the family business, he tells us what he encounters during a 'typical' working week

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