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Selected Case

published: 27 Mar 2009

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

Abstract:
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.

Keywords:
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


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