On February 26, the 2019 hurun rich list was released. As in previous years, always mysterious France’s third largest family – muriere family, still stable in the top 100.
Holding a number of large enterprises such as auchan, decanon and lehua meilan, with the century-old experience passed down from generation to generation, this low-key tycoon has quietly become “rich for six generations”.
1 One thousand giants
In the first soil auction in suzhou in 2019, the winner of ikea south plot of metro new city is decathlon, known as “ikea in sports”. In the future, more than 20,000 square meters of decathlon flagship stores will be built here.
In jinan, the single building for the “custom lease” of decathlon, the future flagship store in shandong, is the fourth decathlon store in jinan.
Decathlon has steadily expanded in China since opening its first store in Shanghai in 2003.
In 2013, the offline retail was bleak, but the expansion of decathlon accelerated. In the four years since, its number of stores in China has ballooned from 70 to 267.
In 2017 alone, decathlon opened 52 new stores in China, where turnover rose to a record 10.5 billion yuan. This year, decathlon opened 185 new stores worldwide.
Decathlon, by leaps and bounds, seldom sings.
The performance in China in 2017 is the first time for decathlon to disclose its operating results in China. Decathlon, which relies heavily on word of mouth, also does little advertising and is limited to 1 per cent of revenues.
Decathlon, a low-key private company, is backed by an equally low-key majority shareholder, the Mulliez Family.
The muriyah family has been farmers for generations and has a deep affection for the land. Even during the war, when family members fled, they bought land and owned farms again.
In 1900, Louis Mulliez founded a small textile mill called Phildar. After the baptism of the two world wars gradually grew, other family members have joined.
Louis, with 10 siblings, became the first of a large family of 13 children. Today, the sprawling family is in its sixth generation, with more than 1,000 members.
The members of the Muriel family keep a low profile and are rarely known to the public, but their businesses are well known. Some of these names are familiar to Chinese consumers.
In addition to decanon, the family business also includes Auchan, a retailer ranked in the world’s top 500, Leroy Merlin, a building materials supermarket, Norauto, a clothing supermarket, Kiabi, Flunch, a Pizza chain, pai, a home appliance retailer, Boulanger, Kiloutou, and so on.
The mourier family business, which employs more than 500,000 people in dozens of countries, has an annual turnover of more than 70 billion euros.
The murriers own the companies through their holding company, CIMOVAM, which is owned by 600 family members, 250 of whom are directly involved in the operations of the subsidiaries.
According to foreign media, the mouriers own 45.5 per cent of decathlon, while the second largest shareholder with 44.5 per cent is the family of its founder, Michel Leclercq.
The two are also related by marriage and were small businesses when they married in the textile boom.
The first decathlon, opened in France in 1976, was founded by small sock shop owner michel reylek.
At first, it was just a sporting goods retail store, selling various brands of products.
As the business grew, by 1986 decathlon was designing and producing its own branded products. The earliest decathlon products were bicycles, which gradually expanded to the whole industry chain of sporting goods and clothing.
At present, only the intermediate manufacturing process of decathlon is completed by OEM, while the brand, product design and retail are under the control of decathlon.
In 2018, decathlon founder michel reylek and his family, with a fortune of $4 billion, ranked 55th on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires.
The moliere family ranks 66th on the hurun global rich list 2019 with a fortune of rmb110bn.
2 A shareholding family that takes simplicity for happiness
The vast wealth of the muriyah family contrasts sharply with the down-to-earth lives of its members.
Gerard Mulliez, a fellow brother of michel reylek and the founder of auchan, used to drive a vintage post-world war ii car for a long time.
“It’s a low gas guzzler,” Gerard said. “it’s a little bit difficult to outrun a truck, but I’m used to it. Later, I bought a new Mercedes, but I didn’t feel any happier.
Money can’t buy happiness, is the muriyah family values for generations. Since the founder of the family, many members of the family advocate simplicity and do not like the luxury of life.
The family has been Catholic for generations, and has also inherited the orthodox family concept in Catholicism, cherishing family harmony and mutual support among families.
Family motto tous dans tout (everyone is in the group) reflects this family value and tradition.
In the family, the relatives come and go frequently, the children almost all grow up in the united warm big family environment, each other show active and sincere one side.
In this atmosphere, even in the fourth and fifth generation, there are many family members, but still maintain a strong cohesion, everyone is trying to maintain family unity.
Vianney Mulliez, auchan’s chief executive, summed it up: “the roots of our family, above all, are collectivism.”
In order to strengthen the family’s emotional bond and deepen their understanding of the family business, the family will organize a training once or twice a year.
Every year at auchan, for example, the family has the option of becoming a butcher, a cashier, an accountant, a porter, a computer operator and so on.
Based on the spirit of “tous dans tout,” in the 1950s the muriyer family developed a “family constitution” that guaranteed the supremacy of family interests. It also included penalties for breaking the rules, the severest of which was disinheritance.
The implementation of ideas and principles requires a reasonable and effective system to implement.
Through the AFM, the family council, the family holding company CIMOVAM and the family private equity fund CREADEV, the mouriers have put together an ingenious and effective framework of family governance that has kept the family in order for generations.
The foundation of the four institutions, the AFM, was founded in 1955 and consists of approved family members. By 2011, there were 780 members of the mourier family, 550 of whom belonged to the AFM, according to the documents.
In the case of joint-stock companies, the AFM functions as a general meeting of shareholders and the board as a family committee.
The family committee is made up of seven members elected by AFM members. In addition to vetting the AFM qualifications of family members, its duties include assessing the strategic decisions of the family holding company CIMOVAM.
Instead of directly owning shares in the subsidiary, members of the moorier family share in the family business by taking a stake in CIMOVAM.
Externally, CIMOVAM represents the family’s shareholding in the company; Internally, it is the equity exchange platform within the family.
When family members are allowed to join the AFM as family shareholders, they become eligible to own shares in CIMOVAM. These shares can only be circulated among AFM members through an annual public transaction.
For family businesses, they can also join or quit the family equity platform after being evaluated by the family committee.
This kind of family internal benefit distribution system, similar to the modern shareholding system, not only allows the interests of family members to be Shared and bound as a whole, but also ensures the supremacy of family interests.
3 Business schools don’t learn about values
When filda, his small textile mill, finally began to make money, Louis used the profits not to consume them but to reproduce them.
Since then, the financial concept of high reinvestment has been followed. So the family business expansion speed is fast, but the level of dividends is not high.
Those who do not know the moullier family may assume that the sons of the family were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and lead a life of luxury. However, although they do not worry about food and clothing, but they need to work very hard to win the family’s recognition and respect.
Only adult family members are eligible to join the family association. However, this kind of qualification cannot be obtained by identity alone, and it requires strict study and training.
These days, prestigious business schools in China are expensive, but plenty of entrepreneurs and second-generation millionaires still flock to them.
But the muriers do not like to send young people to business school, preferring them to study within the family. In this way, we can not only learn valuable business experience accumulated by the family for generations, but also help to pass on the values the family values hold.
When the younger generation completes this learning process and is approved by the commission, they become AFM members.
Similarly, family shares are not allocated according to status. They need the money from their jobs to buy their first stocks.
Families provide opportunities for members to participate in the family business at different levels. The successor of family business, stand out gradually in this process.
The next generation members who are consistent with the family values, capable and enthusiastic, are more likely to become the future managers of the family business.
In order to ensure the transmission of family interests and family values, there is a steering committee or board of directors in the Muriel family business.
Steering committee and board chairman, usually a family member. But the remaining senior management positions are open to talent from outside the family.
In the control of the family business on the basis of the final decision, the management of the business, the mourier family meritocracy.
Andrew, Gerard’s brother, once said: “support your subordinates and give him the freedom to make decisions. If it doesn’t work, take it back.”
In order to fully stimulate the potential of employees, the moullier family also encourages employees to hold shares in the family business and share the benefits of the development of the enterprise with the employees who hold shares.
The murrije family now employs about 500,000 people at its businesses, many of whom have stakes in them.
Decathlon, for example, has had an employee stock ownership scheme in place since 1985. In decathlon China, nearly 84 per cent of employees have joined the scheme.
4 Keep up the fight to expand the territory
For the more ambitious members, the family will provide enough resources to help them start their own businesses.
But this support is by no means unconditional.
The moullier family is rich in financial resources. For the financial needs of its members, the family usually relies on internal financing rather than external financing. Some members even see raising money in the stock market as “selling out”.
CREADEV, the family private equity fund, can be seen as the family’s internal venture capital fund, which is mainly used to support family members to start their own businesses.
In the 1950s, the French textile industry declined. After gaining experience at felda, Louis’s eldest grandson, Gerald, wanted to leave the textile industry and start his own business.
In 1961, after gaining family support, Gerard, 29, opened a grocery store in rube.
One day, he received a phone call from his father.
“He said, ‘your business has been losing money for the last three years. Why should we continue to invest in you?'” At the age of 86, Gerard recalls, “my face was as pale as an apron when I answered the phone.”
As Thierry Mulliez, former chairman of the family association, once said: “the man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”
The family gave gerrard a second chance on the condition that he succeed within three years.
After learning the hard way, Gerard immediately summed up the lessons and planned the future together with his entrepreneurial partners.
This time, he succeeded, and the fruit was auchan.
In 2018, auchan group ranked 156th in the world’s top 500 list.
The family platform provides the young generation with superior conditions to start their own business and make them more fully trial and error, but this is different from doting, but based on the trust of inspection.
For more than a century, the murriers have been able to expand their empire while maintaining a solid family foundation because of their prudent approach to each investment.
“Rich but three generations”, as if the top of the family business curse.
Globally, the average life span of a family business is just 24 years, with about 30 per cent passing to the second generation, according to McKinsey. Less than 13% can be transmitted to the third generation; Only 5 percent can continue to do well after three generations.
Relying on blood ties, common values and a century-old business, the 5% muriyah family has grown into a cohesive, large-scale platform for wealth, management, contacts and talent.
Today, members of the sixth generation are fighting to become family shareholders; The Muriel family group is also strengthening its presence in China.
5 Crack the secrets of inheritance risk
China is the world’s richest country with 658 billionaires, 74 more than the United States, according to the hurun global rich list 2019. Germany, Britain and India are next.
China also has the largest number of self-made billionaires in the world, with 80 percent of the world’s self-made billionaires being women.
Their average age is 59, five years younger than the global average. Now, these with the reform and opening up to grow up at the same time the plutocrats, has to consider the moment of succession.
The intergenerational transmission of wealth and power often involves risks. One wrong move would leave both families and businesses severely weakened.
And the muriyah family not only smoothly completed a hundred years of inheritance, but also in the process of continuous development and growth.
Its core secret, nothing more than two:
Above all, maintain consistent familial value meticulously, the heart thinks toward a place, strength ability makes toward a place.
On this basis, through a set of effective and reasonable mechanisms to ensure the interests of each family members, and ensure that family members always maintain sufficient initiative.
Generational gaps in values and a lack of experience passing on wealth are the biggest problems facing China’s rich.
The moliere family’s century-long experience may provide valuable reference for China’s high net worth population.