Three Steps for Bringing in an Outsider to Lead the Family Business

How to replicate Hermès’ success

Last year, Patrick Thomas announced that Axel Dumas would succeed him as CEO of Hermès, the luxury goods company known for its trademark silk scarves and Birkin bags.  Thomas has been the first non-family member to lead Hermès; Dumas, 43, is a member of the sixth generation of the Hermès family and nephew of Jean-Louis Robert Guillame Frederic Dumas-Hermès, the last family member to occupy the top corporate role.  Thomas’s announcement, which was overshadowed in the press by the ongoing fight between Hermès and LVMH, marks a notably successful leadership succession process at the august luxury goods manufacturer.

Posted on December 27, 2013 .

Buy-Sell Agreements Can Help Family Business Survive

Operating a business with your brothers, sisters, and/or cousins is one of the most complex arrangements facing family businesses. Indeed, sibling or cousin family businesses can inherently last a long time. As such, just as good fences make good neighbors, good buy-sell agreements make good sibling/cousin family businesses. Think of it as a pre-nuptial agreement before getting into business together.

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Posted on December 26, 2013 .

Majority Sonoma Vineyards Still Family Held—For Now.

Foremost, we can take comfort in the fact that although large companies have expanded their holdings in local vineyards in recent years, the majority of vineyards are still owned and farmed by independent growers. Moreover, the majority are still family-owned operations that remain vital to the local economy.

Posted on December 24, 2013 .