Family Practice

Working with family isn’t always easy, but the payoff can be financially and spiritually rewarding. These six family-run companies have risen to the challenge of blending blood and business. Here are their lessons for success.

By Lynsey Santimays

Bal Harbour Shops

STANLEY WHITMAN WITH HIS SON, RANDY, AND GRANDSON MATTHEW WHITMAN LAZENBY

What They Do

The three generations develop and manage the luxury retail center in South Florida, which generates more revenue per square foot than any other shopping center in the country.

Division of Labor

“Stanley built this bus, and my Uncle Randy and I have had the privilege of driving it for many years now,” explains Matthew, who handles expansion and leasing.

“The objectives of a publicly traded company and a family business are entirely different. We aren’t looking out for what is going to be best for our shareholders at our next quarterly meeting. We are looking at what is best for our family 10 years from now. That is a radically different mentality.”

MATTHEW WHITMAN LAZENBY

Marlborough Galleries

FATHER AND SON PIERRE AND MAX LEVAI

What They Do

The blue-chip galleries, with locations in New York, London, Barcelona, Santiago, Madrid and Monaco, specialize in contemporary masters.

Division of Labor

Pierre, nephew of co-founder Frank Lloyd, oversees operations at Manhattan’s 57th Street and the Monaco and Madrid locations. Max is the director at the Chelsea gallery in New York.

“My father and I speak more than 10 times a day on the telephone. Everything I do has to be approved by him. It is naturally difficult to work with your father, as you have expectations for how he should treat you. It’s important to set boundaries, but it’s difficult to keep them.”

 — MAX LEVAI

Nolet Distillery

CAROLUS NOLET SR. AND HIS SONS, BOB NOLET AND CARL NOLET JR.

What They Do

The 321-year-old Dutch distillery produces Ketel One Vodka and Nolet’s Finest Gins, among other spirits.

Division of Labor

Representing the 10th generation in the family business, Carl Sr. is chairman, while Carl Jr. co-heads the North American operation and Bob helps oversee the distillery and global marketing.

“When my father took over the company some 40 years ago, he bought out his entire family. He believed that too many family members would slow down the progress, so now it’s just the three of us. It makes it much easier to make decisions.”

 — CARL NOLET JR.

Bayco

BROTHERS MORIS AND GIACOMO HADJIBAY, WITH MORIS’ SON MARCO HADJIBAY

What They Do

Using rare precious stones, the 30 year-old Manhattan jeweler creates one-of-a-kind pieces.

Division of Labor

The three men share all primary responsibilities — buying, designing and selling.

“The jewelry trade is a trade of honor — it’s even more important than the knowledge of the stones. When people know you are honorable, they want to be a part of your business. And when they see how we are a united family, that’s just an incredible addition. It shows that we have trust among us — we respect each other.”

 — GIACOMO HADJIBAY

Jordan Vineyard & Winery

TOM AND SALLY JORDAN AND SON JOHN JORDAN

What They Do

The Healdsburg, Calif., winery produces cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay and hosts wine-centric dinners.

Division of Labor

“We did this together,” says Sally Jordan. “Tom was the numbers man and my job was the vision.” Now, Tom and Sally are semiretired and John is CEO.

“When my parents started the winery in 1972, the vision was that we would do three things: cabernet, chardonnay and hospitality. My goal was not to change my parents’ vision, but adapt it to the 21st century. Companies that are not agile do not survive. That’s the mortal flaw of family businesses.”

 — JOHN JORDAN

Starhotels

FERRUCCIO FABRI AND HIS DAUGHTER, ELISABETTA FABRI

What They Do

The Florence-based hotel group has 22 hotels worldwide, including five luxury hotels (among them the Michelangelo in New York) called the Collezione.

Division of Labor

Ferruccio purchased his first hotel in 1974, founded the brand in 1980 and ran the company for 20 years; Elisabetta took over as CEO in 2000.

“A lot of people say they work with their family and it is easy. I think it is very difficult. My father treated me tougher than he would treat any other employees. I have a brother, but he didn’t have the passion to do it and was not able to weather the storm. Ultimately, it wasn’t that my father chose me over him. It was the children’s choice — and the children’s abilities.”

 — ELISABETTA FABRI

Welcome!

Magazines Review offers you a broad range of popular American magazines online. Browse an extensive directory of magazines, covering most important aspects of your life. Find the most recent issues of your favourite magazine, or check out the oldest ones.

About content

All the articles are taken from the official magazine websites and other open web resources.

Please send your complains and suggestions through our feedback form. Thank you.