In this issue
The wealthy, world-beating Durst family of New York City spent three frustrating decades trying to assemble a block of Manhattan's West 42nd Street in the hope of building a 50-story skyscraper there. For much of that time, all that stood between the Dursts and their groundbreaking was a slender, 22-story brick office building owned by a less affluent but equally stubborn and determined New York real estate dynasty: the Maidman family and their Townhouse Management Company.
Marta Valls, president of the Valls Corp. in Barcelona, Spain, recently visited Cincinnati. Since she's one of the few women chief executives in Spain, Marta wanted to learn whether Spanish fathers are more reluctant than American fathers to appoint their daughters to head their family businesses. What part does culture play when a family prefers either male or female successors?
To answer that question, I invited about 15 women CEOs of family businesses to meet with Marta and share their experiences. A majority of the women agreed that:
“Looking for funding?” asks the headline in the March 5 Wall Street Journal. “Better not say it's all in the family.”
When Edsel Ford passed away unexpectedly in 1943 at age 48, Ford Motor Company's founder, Henry Ford, re-entered the family business at the age of 80. After a two-year struggle for control, he agreed to turn the reins over to his grandson, Henry Ford II. At the tender age of 28, Henry Ford II became one of America's most powerful young business leaders.