1. pippajune

    pippajune New Member

    Jun 16, 2014
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    Young heirs inheriting family business? Any knowledge on hotels?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by pippajune, Dec 31, 2017.

    Hi there! I was wondering if any of you kind folks have any information on some research I am struggling with.

    The MC of my current work is the only child of the CEO of a luxury hotel empire based in New York. He is only young, fresh out of college, and his father expects him to be taking over the family business which was founded by his grandfather and has been passed through generations.

    I am doing some hard research on all of this on the internet, but coming up a bit short. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about how young heirs move into their expected roles, or how the hotel industry operates at that level? Or perhaps any signposting to some helpful material?

    I guess I am trying to figure out how my MC would be initiated into the business, and how other young heirs are initiated into high-up roles in a business when they are fresh into work. Are they conditioned from a young age to understand? Are they forced to study a relevant degree so they arrive home with the right skills? Do they have to take an intern role low down and work their way up? Do they take on small ownership of projects early, or move from department to department? Do they shadow their parent and slowly take over areas as they learn? Do they shadow other managers? Are they expected to work elsewhere first to gain experience? Does the parent mentor them or does somebody else take on the role of 'teacher' to the next generation of leaders?

    I am quite unsure how best to approach it. The taking over of the business isn't the core of the story, and my MC actually doesn't want or have the aptitude to do so, but I need to understand what his father expects to happen to be able to write their conflict realistically.

    Any help at all would be appreciated, even anecdotal! Thank you :)
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    I don't think there's one right answer to this. I recently read a really interesting article (no idea where, unfortunately) about a family with a dynasty in agricultural products and services in Canada that insisted that all of the kids get educated and take jobs elsewhere before returning to work for the family business. Then the family ran into the problem that most of the heirs were happy in their elsewhere jobs and didn't want to return to the family business. Some of them even sold their stock, and not always to other family members.

    And of course we have fun with the Hilton gang, who are apparently quite determined not to do anything useful with their lives other than being glamorous.

    What do you want your character to do/be like? You can probably make it work almost any way you want.
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Aug 1, 2016
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    East devon/somerset border
    I think on the whole you become the principal share holder* by inheriting your fathers (or whoevers) shares, this may or may not make you chair of the board depending on how the company is set up.

    It will not make you CEO because in most cases the CEO is an employee who is answerable to the board so if your father was CEO as well as chair that position will not come to you automatically

    Ergo if you are young and don't really know what you are doing you won't have to actually run daddy's company before you are able to (or indeed at all if you don't want to)

    *Also the principal shareholder may not be a majority holder - say daddy had 30% of the voting shares and was the largest single share holder, even if he left them all to you that doesnt give you the 50.001% you need to make your decisions stick .... Daddy probably did it through alliances with other shareholders , but if you don't have those alliances you don't run the company.
  4. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

    Sep 17, 2017
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    Scroll down--way way down--and there's a description of some of the jobs one heir had in the family hotel business. It became a huge company. I knew someone who worked at one of their smaller hotels in the 80's, and one of the sons had been given the task of managing it in his very early 20's--after doing the kind of assorted jobs described in this piece.


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