In today’s world, daughters are just as likely as sons to be the heir-apparent to the family business. From North America to Europe to Asia, there’s a generation of heir apparents with the skills and experience to run some of the world’s most high-profile firms.
All of these women could probably make it without help from ‘Daddy.’ They’re smart and savvy, have earned world-class degrees, and are business leaders in their own right.
More important, they have a major stake in the family business, so they’re primed to take over if and when the time comes.
Click ahead to see some of them — in alphabetical order — and how they’re preparing to take the helm.
By Jennifer Leigh Parker
Posted 10 October 2011
Education: London School of Economics
Company: LVMH - Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Current CEO: Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault’s daughter, Delphine Arnault-Gancia, became the first female board member of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH at age 28.
Since then, she’s built up some serious street cred: After working at McKinsey and managing product lines for Christian Dior, she’s now executive officer of Italian luxury goods company Emilio Pucci S.r.L, and Director of LMVH.
High-end extravagance for this now-famous female executive goes beyond the boardroom. Guests at Arnault’s wedding to Alessandro Vallarino included designer Karl Lagerfeld, former French first lady Bernadette Chirac and president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Residence: New York City
Education: Brooklyn’s Poly Prep
Company: Coalco International
Current CEO: Vassily Anisimov
Russian millionaire Vassiy Anisimov started a Moscow-based real estate company, Coalco, and gave his daughter Anna a job in its New York division. She showed a talent for real estate wheeling and dealing, famously orchestrating a $23 million deal for Diane Von Furstenberg's New York headquarters in 2005. This future real estate mogul rents an apartment in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center for $15 million, and is known as New York’s first Russian-American princess.
Education: University of Milan
Company: Fininvest Group
Current Owner: Silvio Berlusconi
Daughter of three-time Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Marina left her studies at the University of Milan before obtaining her degree in order to work at media holding company Fininvest Group, established by her father. She is currently Chairman of Finivest, which includes interests in a major commercial TV operator, a movie production company and soccer team A.C. Milan.
Education: Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
Company: Santander Group
Current CEO: Emilio Botin
Ana Patricia Botin worked for seven years at JPMorgan before joining the family business in 1988. She took over as CEO of Santander UK, the second largest unit of financial services behemoth Santander Group of Spain in December 2010. She is U.S.-educated, speaks five languages, and descends from one of Spain's most prominent families. Her career in London is considered an indication that she will soon lead parent company Santander, where she has been a longtime board member.
Education: University College London
Company: Virgin Group
Current CEO: Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson’s daughter is the odds-on favorite for the future face of Virgin — one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous brands on the planet. Her father, billionaire Sir Richard Branson, is chairman of the Virgin Group (VMED).
In line to inherit a large slice of her father’s fortune, Holly Branson has decided to put her medical degree from University College London aside to join the Virgin empire.
Residence: Los Angeles
Education: Parsons School of Design
Company: Hilton & Hyland
Current CEO: Richard Hilton
While most have heard of Paris Hilton, her sister Nicky is the one showing a flare for business. She has launched two clothing lines, and is well known among the fashion elite worldwide.
Nicky’s business sense may lead her to inherit the family firm. Her father, Rick Hilton, is chairman and co-founder of Hilton & Hyland, a Beverly Hills real estate firm that caters only to people who can afford the most extravagant properties in the 90210 zip code. He, too, is the progeny of a tycoon – founder of Hilton Hotels chain, Conrad Hilton.
Residence: Hong Kong
Education: Santa Clara University
Company: Shun Tak Group
Current CEO: Stanley Ho
Pansy Ho, equipped with a degree in marketing and business, is already the managing director of Shun Tak Holdings Limited (SHTGF), a conglomerate invested in shipping, property and hospitality sectors. It was founded by her billionaire father, Stanley Ho.
Ho has held a monopoly on the gambling industry in the Chinese region of Macau for four decades, earning the nickname “The King of Gambling” and making him one of the wealthiest men in Asia.
Residence: New York City
Education: Duke University
Company: Ralph Lauren Corp
Current CEO: Ralph Lauren
Daughter of a self-made man and world-class designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan Lauren has her father’s knack for business. She founded Dylan's Candy Bar, a U.S.-based chain known for "merging fashion and pop candy culture." She plans to expand internationally — a venture that may well prepare her to join Ralph Lauren Corp, (RL), worth over $13 billion.
Education: European Business School
Current CEO: Lakshmi Mittal
One of the top ten richest men in the world, steel baron Lakshmi Mittal is the CEO of ArcelorMittal (AMSYF). His daughter Vanisha is a key player in the company, serving as a board member, and since 2004, a director at LNM Holdings (the holding company for the Mittal group).
Apart from being known for having one of the most expensive weddings in history (her Paris celebration lasted a week and cost a cool $60 million), Vanisha attracts even more attention for the sheer size (up to $31 billion) of her likely inheritance. She may, however, have competition from her brother, Aditya Mittal.
Residence: New York City
Education: The Chapin School, NYC
Company: The Trump Organization
Current CEO: Donald Trump
Ivanka Trump serves as Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at the Trump Organization – the real estate enterprise that made her famous father a billionaire.
Ivanka may, however, need to jockey for position with brothers Donald Jr. and Eric, who have also taken positions alongside dad within The Trump Organization. So far, she’s winning on name recognition, thanks to her work as a runway model, a role on TV show “The Apprentice,” and the successful launch of her own line of designer shoes.