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Selected Case

published: 27 Mar 2009

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Shipping
  • Region: Asia

In 1955 Pao Yue-Kong created World Wide Shipping Company Limited at a time when shipping was not recognized as a lucrative industry. Under his leadership and later his son-in-law and grandson's, BW Group (renamed after an acquisition) became the largest private shipping fleet in the world. Based on interviews with Dr. Sohmen and his son Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman and managing director respectively, in this case we learn how family owners and leaders address the strategic and financial challenges as their company becomes a dominate player in a highly cyclical industry.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case explores the need to establish financial and governance structures that balance family and non-family ownership demands. It also addresses how business families deal with stakeholders, board members, and management. It considers the influence of family values on balancing the often shorter-term investment horizons held by public investors with the long-term decision horizons maintained by the family.

Next Generation, Board, Family Values, Shareholders, Board Member, Family Communication, Stakeholders, Family Business Governance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance for Family Firms, Wicfe, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards