By Shaomin Li and Seung Ho Park
China has produced a class of successful entrepreneurs whose wealth rivals the “old money” of the west. Their success has created a novel phenomenon in China: “fu-er-dai” or “2Rich,” – the second generation of the rich. While their parents earned their money through their own hard work and thus respect in society, the 2Rich have a reputation of spending lavishly and driving expensive sports cars.
While mature economies go through slow wealth transfer over multiple generations, wealthy first-generation entrepreneurs and their descendants are entirely new in fast-growing emerging economies like China. These entrepreneurs are now in their 50s and 60s and beginning to look at retirement and the question of leadership succession in their family-run businesses. Will they hand the reign over to non-family professional managers or their children? Would the 2Rich be willing and ready to continue the family tradition?
Some of the things that Luisa Estella Morales, the president of Venezuela’s Supreme Court, came out with on Wednesday were frankly puzzling.
At times the chavista apparatchik almost looked uncomfortable when making some of the tortured arguments relating to why Hugo Chávez doesn’t have to be sworn in for his third six-year term as president on Thursday.
Hugo Chávez has talked of staying in power until 2021, even 2031 – much to the despair of his opponents, many of whom are currently suffering from acute depression after failing at their best chance of unseating him yet.
So they will have pricked up their ears on Thursday when it emerged that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the heavyweight former Brazilian president and a close Chavez ally, thinks Venezuela’s leader “should start preparing his succession”.
Like a valuable heirloom, a strategic stake in San Miguel Corp, one of the country’s most well-known companies founded in 1890, used to be passed down from generation to generation, along with executive positions and directorships in the company.
But the succession plan of chairman and chief executive Eduardo Cojuangco (pictured) goes against the dynastic model. Rather than leave his roughly 15 per cent stake in San Miguel to his children – he has two sons and two daughters – he has announced he is selling 11 per cent of his stake to a non-family member, Ramon Ang, 58, the company president.
India’s English-language news channels broke into regularly scheduled programming and news websites splashed it as their top story: India’s most famous family-owned company had finally named a successor to 74-year-old chairman Ratan Tata, one of the country’s most respected industrialists.
The decision to appoint Cyrus Mistry, the 43-year-old son of construction billionaire Shapoorji Mistry, who is the largest single shareholder in the Tata grouping, came as a surprise to many.
Kazakhstan has finally broken a disturbing silence about the mysterious disappearance of Nursultan Nazarbayev this month that raised fears of a looming succession crisis in the oil-rich central Asian country.
It turns out that the president of Kazakhstan is fighting fit and has already decided that his billionaire son-in-law, Timur Kulibayev is the best person to take over his job when he finally leaves the political scene.
After hosting lavish celebrations for his 71st birthday, Nursultan Nazarbayev departed Astana for a “short vacation” last week, according to the Kazakh president’s website.
However, media reports that Nazarbayev, rather than holidaying has gone under the knife in a German hospital, are stoking questions about the future leadership of the oil rich central Asian country he has ruled with a firm hand for more than two decades.