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Obituary

October 16, 2015

Roger Pedder, the man credited with turning around shoe manufacturer and retailer Clarks, and helping it become one of the sector's top companies globally, has died from leukaemia aged 74.

Roger Pedder, the man credited with turning around shoe manufacturer and retailer Clarks, and helping it become one of the sector's top companies globally, has died from leukaemia aged 74.

He became chairman of UK-based Clarks in 1993 following disputes between family members over whether to sell amid stagnant turnover and falling dividends.

A retail specialist, Pedder heavily expanded Clarks' high-street presence, a move that paid off as operating profit increased from £27.6 million in 1993/94 to £94.2 million in 2005/06.

September 16, 2015

L.L. Bean, the All-American fashion retailer based in Maine, has closed its 24-hour flagship store to remember third-generation family member Leon Gorman, who died this month from cancer. The philanthropist and businessman was 80.

L.L. Bean, the All-American fashion retailer based in Maine, has closed its 24-hour flagship store to remember third-generation family member Leon Gorman, who died this month from cancer. The philanthropist and businessman was 80.

It is the third time the chain’s Freeport store has closed since its all-hours service started in 1951. The two other occasions were the deaths of US president John F Kennedy and the company’s eponymous founder, L.L. Bean.

August 5, 2015

Third-generation New Zealand businessman John Todd has been farewelled in Wellington this week.

Third-generation New Zealand businessman John Todd has been farewelled in Wellington this week.

The former chairman of Todd Corporation died last Wednesday, aged 88, following a short illness.

Todd Corporation, New Zealand’s largest family business, dates back to 1884 and has interests in energy, property development, healthcare, telecommuncations, technology and wine.

According to local business publication The NBR, the family is worth NZ$3.16 billion.

July 27, 2015

Jeannette McNeil Cathy, widow of the founder of US family-owned fast food chain Chick-fil-A, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 92.

Jeannette McNeil Cathy, widow of the founder of US family-owned fast food chain Chick-fil-A, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 92.

In a statement, her son, second-generation chairman and CEO Dan T Cathy, said his mother was “the spiritual nucleus and encourager of our family”.

Cathy’s husband, S Truett Cathy, founded Chick-fil-A in 1946. Today the company remains privately owned and has revenues over $5 billion.

June 3, 2015

As an eleventh-gen family member and long-time head of the M DuMont Schauberg Group, Alfred Neven DuMont was one of the Germany's most important post-war newspaper publishers.

As an eleventh-gen family member and long-time head of the M DuMont Schauberg Group, Alfred Neven DuMont was one of the Germany's most important post-war newspaper publishers.

Indeed the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was among those to offer words of praise at his 80th birthday party, in 2007. Her attendance was unsurprising given that Neven DuMont was chairman of a company that produced newspapers read by millions of Germans each day.

April 1, 2015

Andrew Getty, grandson and one of the heirs to the multi-billion dollar J Paul Getty oil fortune, was found dead at his Hollywood Hills home in California on Tuesday, aged 47. 

Andrew Getty, grandson and one of the heirs to the multi-billion dollar J Paul Getty oil fortune, was found dead at his Hollywood Hills home in California on Tuesday, aged 47. Authorities have yet to officially disclose a cause of death, but LA County assistant chief Ed Winter has been reported by multiple local media sources as suggesting Getty either succumbed to natural causes, or was the victim of an accident.

March 20, 2015

US philanthropist Marguerite Harbert, from the family behind Harbert Management Corporation (HMC), has died this week, aged 91.

US philanthropist Marguerite Harbert, from the family behind Harbert Management Corporation (HMC), has died this week, aged 91.

The Alabama-based family business started as construction firm Harbert Corporation, but diversified into financial services and investment management under the leadership of her son Raymond Harbert.

Harbert’s late husband started the business in 1949.

It was a number of large-scale projects such as the Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham and the Red Mountain Expressway.

March 9, 2015

John Hemmes, the founder of Australian property empire Merivale Group, has died after a long battle with cancer, aged 83.

John Hemmes, the founder of Australian property empire Merivale Group, has died after a long battle with cancer, aged 83.

Along with his wife, Merivale, Hemmes founded the family business in the 1950s initially as a fashion house, before it moved into hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs.

February 16, 2015

Italian confectioner Michele Ferrero, who created Kinder eggs and Ferrero Rocher for his eponymous family business, died over the weekend, aged 89. 

Italian confectioner Michele Ferrero, who created Kinder eggs and Ferrero Rocher for his eponymous family business, died over the weekend, aged 89.

The second gen passed away in Monaco, where he lived, on Valentine’s Day – one of the chocolate industry’s most important dates of the year. He had been suffering from illness for the past couple of months.

Although the business has been in the third generation for almost two decades, Ferrero was considered the main decision maker.

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