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October 1, 2010

The war of words between the Riggio family and activist investor Ron Burkle came to a head this week at the Barnes & Noble annual general meeting when shareholders voted on Burkle’s proposals to change the company’s governance structure, writes Katie Barker

The war of words between the Riggio family and activist investor Ron Burkle came to a head this week at the Barnes & Noble annual general meeting when shareholders voted on Burkle's proposals to change the company's governance structure, writes Katie Barker.

The Riggio family succeeded in defending its position when shareholders voted to reinstate Leonard Riggio as chairman of the board and failed to pass Burkle's plan to loosen a poison pill provision that allows the family to hold the largest share.

September 22, 2010

In the 1980s Japanese companies, buoyed by huge piles of cash and the strongest domestic economy in the world, bought a host of assets in the US and Europe.

In the 1980s Japanese companies, buoyed by huge piles of cash and the strongest domestic economy in the world, bought a host of assets in the US and Europe.
 
One of the most memorable acquisitions was the purchase of the Rockefeller Centre in New York City in 1989 by a Japanese real estate company. At the time, the purchase was seen at just how much the centre of economic power had shifted away from the US towards Japan and Asia.
 

September 15, 2010

More than a third of family businesses and their advisers (family offices) in Europe don’t believe private banks are essential to their wealth management needs, according to a study conducted by Campden Wealth.

More than a third of family businesses and their advisers (family offices) in Europe don't believe private banks are essential to their wealth management needs, according to a study conducted by Campden Wealth.

This compares with just 8% of European family businesses and advisers who thought private banks are crucial to the management of their wealth.
 

September 8, 2010

A political scandal in the UK involving allegations of phone tapping has pitched two of the great family media dynasties against each other. The outcome could have considerable consequences for both, writes Katie Barker.

A political scandal in the UK involving allegations of phone tapping has pitched two of the great family media dynasties against each other. The outcome could have considerable consequences for both, writes Katie Barker.

The scandal began in 2006 and centres around allegations that Murdoch-owned tabloid News of the World hacked into the telephone messages of UK royals and celebrities in order to get stories.

September 1, 2010

Family-controlled businesses in the US are gearing up for new regulations that will see minority shareholders exerting more influence over board appointments, writes David Bain.

Family-controlled businesses in the US are gearing up for new regulations that will see minority shareholders exerting more influence over board appointments, writes David Bain.
 
The ruling could not only undermine existing family-owned business structures, but also deter such businesses raising funds in capital markets.
 

August 25, 2010

There has been considerable speculation about whether Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister and current Middle East peace envoy, is in the process of launching a private bank to service rich clients. But could the truth really be that he’s setting up a family office, asks David Bain.

There has been considerable speculation about whether Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister and current Middle East peace envoy, is in the process of launching a private bank to service rich clients. But could the truth really be that he's setting up a family office?
 
Unsurprisingly, Tony Blair's office has denied the reports in the UK media that he's setting up a private bank, but that hasn't dampened down speculation.
 

August 18, 2010

Family ownership is a big factor in the success of the luxury consumer sector, which has rebounded sharply since the credit crisis, according to a leading analyst, writes Marc Smith.

Family ownership is a big factor in the success of the luxury consumer sector, which has rebounded sharply since the credit crisis, according to a leading analyst, writes Marc Smith. 
 
Scilla Huang Sun, the lead fund manager for Julius Baer's luxury brands fund, said: "Luxury brands that have a majority owner like a family are likely to have a long-term strategy in place, which is vital to their success."
 

August 11, 2010

Billionaires might be lining up in the US to join the so-called Gates pledge initiative, but so far it has little support outside of America, writes Katie Barker.

Billionaires might be lining up in the US to join the so-called Gates pledge initiative, but so far it has little support outside of America, writes Katie Barker. 
 
Forty billionaires have signed up to the pledge, whereby they agree to give away at least half of their fortunes to philanthropy during their lifetime or shortly after their death. But not one of them is based outside of the US.
 

August 4, 2010

When family-controlled industrial group Schaeffler shocked world markets by announcing it was launching a hostile takeover bid for tyre-maker Continental in 2008, few gave them much hope of pulling it off, writes Marc Smith.

When family-controlled industrial group Schaeffler shocked world markets by announcing it was launching a hostile takeover bid for tyre-maker Continental in 2008, few gave them much hope of pulling it off, writes Marc Smith.

Schaeffler, which was set up in 1946 when brothers Wilhelm and Georg Schaeffler started rolling bearings business INA, had a turnover of €9 billion compared with Continental's €26 billion.

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