Vincent Boland: South Korea’s billionaire dynasties face a reckoning as their family businesses outgrow them
For all its modernity, the country’s corporate sector is stuck in a peculiarly Korean time warp, and this is especially true of Samsung, which is now too big for the Lee family who controls it
An old proverb in the corporate world says: “From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” It refers to the idea that a business family’s wealth begins to vanish once it reaches the founder’s grandchildren.
Business school literature says the adage is often proven by evidence, which is a little depressing when you consider how many family businesses there are around the world.
So meet the Lee family. In 1938,...
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