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40 under 40—Rising stars in family business

They are the next corporate leaders—the superstars of family business dynasties rising to the top of the business world. CampdenFB, working in association with judges from business schools and the Family Business Network, and supported by Ernst & Young, has come up with the definitive list of the top 40 next generation leaders under the ago of 40.

They are the next corporate leaders—the superstars of family business dynasties rising to the top of the business world. CampdenFB, working in association with judges from business schools and the Family Business Network, and supported by Ernst & Young, has come up with the definitive list of the top 40 next generation leaders under the ago of 40.

Some of them are well known personalities like James Murdoch, John Elkann and Karl-Johan Persson. Some are less but no less influential in their sector. All of them are making an impact in their world and are likely to do so for many years yet. Here are the 40 under 40, in alphabetical order:

Will Adderley 
Age: 39
Nationality: British
Company: Dunelm Mill
Position: Executive deputy chairman

For a next gen, Will Adderley has packed a lot in already. Taking over from his father as chief executive of the home furnishing retailer Dunelm Mill in 1996, he has more than doubled the number of stores and listed the company on the London Stock Exchange in 2006, which raised capital for further expansion. He stepped down from the chief executive role in February to take on the position of deputy chairman, because, as he said at the time, he wanted to spend more time running the business.

  Sufyan Al-Zamil
  Age: 36
  Nationality: Saudi Arabian
  Company: Zamil Group
  Position: President of Zamil Offshore Services

  Sufyan Al-Zamil has done much to restructure the
  offshore and marine services business of the Saudi Arabian construction group Zamil. He transformed Zamil Offshore Services into the largest firm of its kind in the Middle East by following a strategy of ambitious growth – Sufyan increased the number of marine vessels and expanded the group’s shipbuilding capabilities. With a degree in systems and industrial engineering and an MBA, Sufyan began at Zamil as a production engineer, taking up other positions within the group before becoming president.

Clinton Ang
Age: 37
Nationality: Singaporean
Company: Hock Tong Bee Pte Ltd – CornerStone
Position: Managing director

Third generation Clinton Ang, as managing director, revitalised retail outlets and improved profitability at Hock Tong Bee’s stores, Corner Stone. The youngest of his father’s three sons, Clinton took an interest in the business at an early age, taking menial jobs at Corner Stone before working his way up to managing director. At college, he started a small business selling used items to students. In a nod to the importance of entrepreneurship, Clinton has since offered his skills to many budding entrepreneurs, running training programmes for them.

  Delphine Arnault Gancia
  Age: 36
  Nationality: French
  Company: LVMH
  Position: Deputy general manager, Christian

 Delphine Arnault Gancia might be expected to have a lot to live up to given she’s the daughter of the king of luxury and the fourth richest man in the world, Bernard Arnault. So far she’s not doing such a bad job. With degrees from one of France’s best business schools and the London School of Economics, Delphine did a stint at McKinsey before joining LVMH and is now a major force in the management of the business, helping to run one of the flagship brands of the LVMH empire Christian Dior. Known for her determined management style, Delphine looks like she appreciates the family business model. Six years ago she married Alessandro Vallarin Gancia, heir to Gancia, an Italian wine business.

Christopher Blandy
Age: 32
Nationality: Portuguese/British
Company: Blandy Group
Position: Chief executive officer of travel and shipping at Blandy

Christopher Blandy is the seventh generation Blandy to be working for the Madeira-based trading, drinks and travel company. Currently running one of the most important divisions at Blandy’s, which is celebrating its 200th year anniversary this year, he has recently been given the sizeable brief to restructure the company’s operations in certain areas and seek out new markets for Blandy’s diverse range of businesses. Before joining the Blandy Group, he gained external experience, including working for the luxury hotel group Williard InterContinental and fellow family-owned wine producer, the Symington Family Estate.

  Emma Bloomberg
  Age: 32
  Nationality: American
  Company/organisation: Robin Hood

  Position: Senior planning officer

 Armed with a first degree from Princeton and a Harvard MBA, Emma Bloomberg would have been expected to enter the eponymous media and data company set up by her father. But she decided instead to follow a more altruistic path and joined the high-profile New York-based charity group the Robin Hood Foundation, which has a board that includes many of the city’s top bankers and hedge fund managers. She oversees the strategy practice of the foundation and works with many of New York’s wealthiest philanthropists.

Nicolas Bouckaert
Age: 29
Nationality: American
Company: Beaulieu of America
Position: Chairman

Nicolas Bouckaert worked across nearly every division of his parents’ carpeting empire before becoming chairman of the Georgia-based business, which is one of the biggest soft-carpet companies in the world. But he has also done plenty outside of the business to confirm his entrepreneurial credentials, including setting up a number of environmental ventures such as Avalon Industrial Products, which recycles yarn tubes used by carpet markers and founding the Echo Project – a three-day music and arts festival featuring environmentally-focused bands.

  Holly Branson
  Age: 29
  Nationality: British
  Company: Virgin Group
  Position: Special projects manager

  What do you do to prove yourself if you are the
  offspring of one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, Sir Richard Branson? Train as a doctor might suffice. And that’s exactly what Holly Branson did, qualifying as a junior doctor a few years ago. She’s since joined her father’s sprawling business empire and helped move the famous brand into the healthcare sector last year when the Virgin Group bought a 75% stake in Assura Group, the UK’s biggest private owner of GP surgeries.

Adrian Cheng Chi-kong
Age: 30
Nationality: Chinese
Company: New World Development
Position: Executive director

Adrian’s first big task came the very year he became executive director of the Hong Kong-based construction and property company. The third-generation family member led the listing of one of the company subsidiaries and handled the post-listing operations. The sale of shares shouldn’t have been too difficult for the Harvard graduate – before joining the family business, he worked in corporate finance with investment banks Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. Adrian also lead the construction of the world’s first art mall, the K11 in Hong Kong, which combines art, culture and nature within a shopping centre – a design based on Adrian’s own ideas. During his tenure, he was also involved in the launch of a first of its kind national volunteer organisation within China’s construction industry.

  Adriana Cisneros de Griffin
  Nationality: Venezuelan
  Age: 31
  Company: Cisneros Group
  Position: Director of strategy and vice-

 Adriana Cisneros de Griffin might just have one of the most powerful positions in Latin American business after her father said in June that he intends to hand over the running of the business – one of the region’s biggest private companies – to his youngest daughter. Along with her father, the journalism graduate from New York University has been overseeing the day-to-day management of the company and has helped expand its presence into other markets. Adriana has also gained a reputation as a philanthropist, giving generously to education.

K C Crain Jr
Age: 33
Nationality: American
Company: Crain Communications
Position: Vice president and group publisher

Starting as a reporter for one of the many business- to-business titles at the Detroit-based publishing company, third-generation K C Crain moved swiftly into the commercial side of the business, quickly becoming associate publisher and advertising director. In 2008, he took control of one of the most important divisions at the completely privately held company. His father Keith Crain is chairman of Crain Communications, a publishing business founded in 1916. K C’s brother, Chris, also works in the business.

 Catharina Cramer
  Age: 33
  Nationality: German
  Company: Wersteiner Brauerei Haus Kramer
  Position: Managing partner

  Catharina Cramer was the first woman to be
  appointed managing partner at the famous German brewer Warsteiner, founded in 1753. She represents the ninth generation of family members at the helm of the brewer, one of the biggest in Germany. Catharina has done a lot to modernise the image of Warsteiner, with a rebranding exercise and the launch of a number of new ad campaigns. She has also managed to grow market share for Warsteiner in an environment where fewer Europeans are drinking beer.

Anirudh Dhoot
Age: 35
Nationality: Indian
Company: Videocon
Position: Chief executive of Electrolux

Anirudh Dhoot might have felt the full weight of family expectation when his father and chairman of Videocon said: “Let Anirudh do for Electrolux what I did for the Videocon Group.” Anirudh appeared to have got the message, revitalising the fortunes of the Videocon subsidiary and expanding it into markets outside India. That achievement is even more impressive, given Anirudh’s inauspicious beginnings when he lost a sizable chunk of money on an ill-timed telecommunications initiative.

Enrico Drago
  Age: 34
  Nationality: Italian
  Company: Inditex
  Position: Chief executive officer, Inditex Italy

  Enrico Drago is proving he has considerable
  management skills outside of the family business,
  heading the operations of Inditex, owner of the fashion retailer Zara, in Italy. The son of the chairman of family-controlled Italian conglomerate De Agostini Group, Enrico oversees more than 300 Zara stores throughout Italy. Equipped with an MBA from the Barcelona business school IESE, he has also worked at the cosmetics and perfume giant Puig and Prada – all family-owned businesses.

John Elkann
Age: 34
Nationality: Italian
Company: Fiat
Position: Chairman

John Elkann has arguably the biggest job among all the next generation leaders as chairman of Fiat and chief executive and chairman of the investment company Exor. Already honoured in Campden FB’s top 50 family business leaders, Elkann looks destined to achieve greater prominence in the years ahead. He wants Exor to become the Berkshire Hathaway of the capital goods world. His power and influence in global business is even stronger given the fame and fortune in his background.

  Marc de Kuyper
  Age: 32
  Nationality: Dutch
  Company: De Kuyper Royal Distillers
  Position: President

  Marc de Kuyper is the 11th generation of the Kuyper
  family to work at the Dutch distiller. He should have plenty of theoretical experience of running a family business because, before joining De Kuyper, he set up ABN AMRO’s family business centre. Marc is also actively involved with a number of family business organisations – all of which have provided him with direct insight into running such a business successfully. Marc joined the De Kuyper family business in 2010 and handles marketing for its American division.

Emanuel Forster
Age: 37
Nationality: Swiss
Company: Forster Rohner
Position: Managing director

Adecade after he became the fourth generation of his family to join the embroidery business and four years since he assumed operational management, Emanuel Forster is credited with developing Forster Rohner’s presence in China. He worked after graduation at Victoria’s Secret in the US and completed an internship in the UK with Marks & Spencer. Famous clients include Michelle Obama, who wore a dress made of a fabric embroidered by Forster Rohner at her husband’s inauguration.

  Jens Fiege
  Age: 37
  Nationality: German
  Company: Fiege Stiftung GMBH
  Position: Member of executive board/
  managing director of Fiege Logistics

 “Fiege is family-run and remains family-run,” the owners of the German logistics company once said, and fifth-generation Jens is testament to that commitment. Jens began as chief executive in charge of international business and was instrumental in expanding company operations to 18 countries with a total of 210 branches worldwide. As a member of the company’s executive board, he showed astute management and leadership skills during the turbulent period of the 2008/2009 downturn.

Sarah Flieg-Naf
Age: 30
Nationality: Swiss
Company: LSE-System AG
Position: Chief financial officer

Sarah Flieg-Näf has worked her way through the ranks, starting at LSE-System nine years ago, to become chief financial officer at the company her father founded after inventing a unique mechanism to sanitise drinking water pipes. After a short stint in insurance, Sarah joined the family business in an administrative role and today works closely with her brother Ramon, currently chief executive, in the day-to-day running of the business. Indeed, Ramon, 33, could have equally made the top 40 list, but Sarah gets the nod from the judges.

  James Ferragamo
  Age: 39
  Nationality: Italian
  Company: Salvatore Ferragamo
  Position: Women’s leather product director

  James Ferragamo is steadily working his way through
  various divisions of the famous Florence-based fashion house. Beginning in the men’s sportswear division, James played an important role in developing the Audrey brand of shoes (originally designed for the actress Audrey Hepburn by his grandfather and founder, Salvatore). James is also pushing the company down a clean-tech agenda, using non-polluting and biodegradable chemicals for producing the group’s leather products.

Pirojsha Godrej
Age: 30
Nationality: Indian
Company: Godrej Group
Position: Executive director of Godrej Properties

The youngest scion of the Godrej empire began as a management trainee with Godrej Properties – the real estate arm of the billion-dollar conglomerate – equipped with an MBA from Columbia University. During his tenure, the property division grew from contributing just 2% of group turnover to becoming a major driver of growth at one of India’s biggest companies. Pirojsha is also at the forefront of sustainable development and environmentally friendly construction – his latest project is “The Trees”, an eco-friendly commercial and residential project in the heart of Mumbai.

  Lawrence Ho
  Age: 35
  Nationality: Hong Kong Chinese/Canadian
  Company: Melco Crown Entertainment
  Position: Co-chairman and chief executive

  Lawrence Ho has done much to move out of the
  shadow of his father Stanley Ho, one of Asia’s best-known gambling tycoons. After buying the family-held distressed asset Melco in 2001, Lawrence revamped the company and transformed it into an electronic gaming business, adding a hotel and casino to boost performance. Ho did a stint at investment bank Jardine Fleming before doing the Melco deal and has won various top chief executive awards.

Morten Høegh
Age: 36
Nationality: Norwegian
Company: Høegh LNG
Position: Chairman of Høegh LNG and director of Høegh Autoliners

Morten Høegh certainly gained some impressive credentials before joining the family business, doing an engineering degree at MIT and an MBA at Harvard, before working as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in London. He’s used a lot of these skills in listing and de-listing parts of the family business, since joining in 2003. He’s currently working on the listing of Høegh LNG on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Leif Høegh, who pioneered the transportation of liquefied gas, founded the family business in the early 1970s.

  Jane Lauder
  Age: 37
  Nationality: American
  Company: Estee Lauder
  Position: Global president and general
  manager of Origins and Ojon

  Jane Lauder has made her mark on one of the world’s most famous cosmetics companies, turning around struggling brands like Beauty Bank and its product range into highly profitable parts of the Lauder empire. She’s now doing the same with other brands. She is the daughter of Ronald Lauder, the philanthropist and art collector and son of Estée Lauder. William Lauder, the current chairman of the family business, is her cousin. Aerin, her sister, recently launched her own lifestyle brand after seven years as creative director at Estée Lauder.

Dylan Lauren
Age: 37
Nationality: American
Company: Dylan’s Candy Bar
Position: Owner

Dylan Lauren – daughter of fashion designer Ralph – is the brains behind Dylan’s Candy Bar, a boutique candy store with locations in New York, Houston and Orlando. When the first store opened in New York City 10 years ago, Lauren was apparently pinning her hopes on attracting some of the clientele from her father’s clothing business. But it blossomed into a much bigger business. With a degree in art history from Duke University, Dylan started the business as a result of her love for colour and candy.

Marco Lavazza
Age: 34
Nationality: Italian
Company: Lavazza
Position: Development and acquisitions manager

  Eleven years after he joined the board of directors of the family business, Marco Lavazza has become integral to the company’s expansion plans into emerging markets, particularly India. In 2007 he was installed as president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Italy and in the same year was appointed to his current role, since when he has overseen Lavazza’s efforts to develop India as the world’s second largest coffee market. In January he was present at the announcement of plans for a new €20 million manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh.

Silvan GR Meier
Age: 36
Nationality: Swiss
Company: Walter Meier
Position: Chief executive

Earlier this year Walter Meier acquired the UK’s humidification market leader, JS Humidifiers in a deal Silvan GR Meier described as the most effective means of developing the UK market successfully. Since taking the reins in 2006, Meier has pushed through a number of other deals designed to consolidate the company’s position as the leader in the global humidification market. He was earlier involved in expanding the family business into Eastern Europe. Silvan is the third generation Meier to work in the business.

  Aditya Mittal
  Age: 35
  Nationality: Indian
  Company: ArcelorMittal
  Position: Chief financial officer and head of
  mergers and acquisitions

 Aditya Mittal appears to be dealing well with being the son of one of the world’s richest men, Lakshmi Mittal. Starting out in investment banking with Credit Suisse, Aditya joined the family firm in 1997 and soon used his deal-making expertise to smooth over the merger in 2006 of the steel company Arcelor with Mittal, creating the world’s biggest steel producer. He has recently taken charge of boosting the company’s performance in Europe, and continues to drive mergers and acquisitions at the Luxembourg- based company.

Geoff Molson
Age: 39
Nationality: Canadian
Company: Molson Coors
Position: Director

Geoff Molson is gradually moving up the hierarchy at the North American brewing company. After a job at Coca- Cola and a number of years working as a consultant, Geoff took a position in the family firm, helping to build and strengthen relationships with company shareholders. The owner of the ice hockey team the Montreal Canadiens, has been instrumental in developing the company’s brand following its merger with the American Coors family brewery in 2005. Geoff is the seventh generation to work in the business set up in Montreal in 1786.

  James Murdoch
  Age: 38
  Nationality: American
  Company: News Corporation
  Position: Deputy COO, chairman and CEO of
  international operations

  There is still speculation as to whether James Murdoch is heir apparent to News Corp’s €20 billion-plus empire, but his appointment as deputy chief operating office this year suggests he is closer to the top position held by his famous father Rupert. James is a great believer in digital media and has influenced News Corp’s development in this area, leading the efforts of the newly launched The Daily, a paid-for iPad application. James has spent more time at News Corp than any of his siblings, which further cements his credentials as a potential successor to his father.

Marta Ortega Perez
Age: 27
Nationality: Spanish
Company: Inditex
Position: Marketing

Marta Ortega Perez started as a customer assistant on the shop floor at Bershka, a shop brand of the Inditex empire. She then worked her way up to more senior positions and is now working in Inditex’s head office in Corunna, Spain. Often featured in the society pages of Spanish newspapers, Marta has already been appointed vice president of two Inditex holding companies, Gartler and Partler, which together control almost 60% of the Inditex stock.

  Karl-Johan Persson
  Age: 35
  Nationality: Swedish
  Company: Hennes & Mauritz
  Position: Chief executive

  Starting from an operational role to taking over as
  chief executive from his father in 2009, Persson became company head during a particularly difficult time for retailers worldwide. But he showed considerable skill in handling the downturn by going on the offensive and opening a host of new stores abroad. Persson climbed up the H&M ladder not simply because of his name – before joining the family business, he purchased an events management business and sold it a few years later for a sizeable profit.

Dawood Pervez
Age: 36
Nationality: British
Company: Bestway Group
Position: Director and company secretary

If the UK’s second largest wholesale cash and carry operator needs any legal advice, all it has to do is turn to company secretary and family member Dawood Pervez, who, besides handling the group’s property and development business, is also a fully qualified solicitor. Before joining the family business in 2002, Dawood worked in law firm Linklaters, specialising in international corporate and structured finance. Dawood has helped to internationalise the business, as well as grow Bestway’s business in the UK.

  Marc Pictet
  Age: 37
  Nationality: Swiss
  Company: Pictet
  Position: Partner

  Few come more blue-blooded in the world of banking
  dynasties than the Pictet family, who still control arguably Switzerland’s most-revered private bank. So when Marc Pictet was appointed a partner at the Geneva private bank after serving an apprenticeship heading up the bank’s business in Luxembourg many reckon he had taken a step closer to one day running the bank that bears his name. No doubt the fact that Swiss law requires a family member to be a senior partner if a bank wants to use the family name as its brand will help in his ascent to the top.

Rewant Ruia
Age: 28
Nationality: Indian
Company: Essar Group
Position: Promoter director and head of North American operations

Rewant Ruia, the youngest son of Ravi Ruia, the vice chairman of one of India’s largest conglomerates Essar Group, is credited with pioneering the group’s entry into the telecoms sector, establishing the Mobile Store, one of India’s largest telecoms retail chains. He was appointed head of Essar’s North American operations in 2010 and oversees the group’s steel, minerals and retail business. Rewant, who began his career with Essar in mid-2005, is also in charge of brand management at the family business.

  Aditya Shriram
  Nationality: Indian
  Company: DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd
  Position: Vice president, Farm Solutions

 After getting a Bachelor's and Masters degree in engineering from Cornell University and some experience outside of the family business for a Dutch trading company, Aditya Shriram joined DSCL and started working at the company's factory in Kota,Rajasthan in the Cement business and has recently moved to the important agri-business division as the Vice President.Current chairman of the family business Ajay Shriram said that working in the company’s factories at an early age underpinned his current success.


Owen Sisk
Age: 31
Nationality: Irish
Company: Sisk Group
Position: Director

The fifth-generation leader of the diversified construction group gets a place in this list for his crucial role in international expansion, with a special focus on growing the UK infrastructure business. As director of UK operations, Owen proved his mettle by using a strategy of redeploying professional staff from Ireland to the UK in an attempt to win more and bigger projects – and at a time when the Irish economy was hit hard by recession. It looks to be paying off – Sisk Group has won bids for projects worth an estimated €900 million in the UK so far.

  Thilo Wersborg
  Age: 34
  Nationality: German
  Company: Percitec Group
  Position: Managing director

  Thilo Wersborg trained well to work in the laser
  engineering company set up back in the early 1970s in Baden-Baden, Germany. The second-generation head of the laser material processing company gained a PhD in human biology. Before joining the Percitec Group, Thilo did a stint working for an internet start-up in Silicon Valley. Thilo should know something about the ins-and-outs of next gens taking over the family business – he sits on the next gen committee of the Family Business Network.

Sull Yoon-suk
Age: 30
Nationality: Korean
Company: Taihan Electric Wire
Position: Senior executive vice president and director

At the age of 30, Sull Yoon- Suk is reckoned to be one of the top 30 wealthiest individuals in Korea with an estimated net worth of $630 million, which means photographs of the next gen are rare, given the kidnap risk. Sull was promoted to a vice president-level position just over five years at the cable manufacturer after he joined the group as a manager in the domestic sales division in 2004. Taihan Electric Wire was set up in 1955 and is one of the biggest cable companies in the world.

  Francesca Versace
  Age: 29
  Nationality: Italian
  Company: Francesca V
  Position: Designer

  The niece of the late great Versace founder Gianni,
  Francesca Versace inherited not just the family name but also the family creative talent, which she used to develop a business outside of the Versace empire. After attending Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Francesca produced her first collection for a Singapore-based label All Dressed Up. Although the family name would have contributed to the label’s success – named Francesca V – those in the know say the heiress proved herself by launching a collection very different from the traditional Versace designs.


CampdenFB identified the future leaders of the most dynamic family businesses around the world by applying the following criteria:

• The candidate shows outstanding entrepreneurial talent in the context of the family business and/or outside of the family business.
• The candidate shows an adherence to the principles and culture that have underpinned the success of the family business.
• The candidate showed exceptional skills at creating further dynamism at the family business such as taking it to a new level of success.

A long list was then judged by experts from business schools and next generation specialists from Europe, North America and Asia.

Photos: Sources include Getty Images, Press Association and Associated Press

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