The Third Most Exclusive Club in the World
* One bad actor across the years can bring a fine, old and respected company to its knees. In 1995, the 233-year-old investment bank that had helped finance the Napoleonic wars, Barings Plc, went broke when a rogue trader in Singapore named Nick Leeson lost £1 billion.
* The Henokiens are diverse--vintners; distillers; a cooper; a confectioner; a publisher; a paper maker; wool, yarn and linen manufacturers; trading companies; a hotelier; a firearms maker; and manufacturers of industrial parts for aerospace and steel.
* The Henokiens Web site is not about a business model; rather, it is about the most successful succession model the world has ever seen.
* These remarkable families not only wrestled with creating and marketing products but also with the philosophy and rules of succession. They must have come to the same conclusions and rules completely independently. After all, this was long before business management became a pop quasi-science promulgated by Peter Drucker, Tom Peters or the late Edward Deming, who traveled the world preaching the doctrine and collecting fat consulting fees. No books on the subject existed.
* Very likely Drucker, Peters and Deming could have learned a lot more from the Henokiens than the Henokiens could learn from them.
* These families did not subscribe to Business 2.0 or FastCompany or Family Business. They did not call each other on the telephone, because no telephones existed until the 20th century.
* It is highly unlikely these business families even knew each other, let alone got together at business conferences at a flashy hotel in Capri or Cannes to compare notes.
* As the Henokiens Web site explains:
In 1981, the idea of creating an association of bicentenary family companies came from the Chairman of Marie Brizard, a descendant of the creator (in 1755) of the first anisette. He decided to place it under the aegis of Henok (or Enoch) a name coming from the Bible.