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Obituary

January 29, 2015

Joseph Rotman, the Canadian businessman and philanthropist who founded private equity firm Clairvest Group, has died in Toronto at the age of 80.

Joseph Rotman, the Canadian businessman and philanthropist who founded private equity firm Clairvest Group, has died in Toronto at the age of 80. 

Rotman founded Clairvest in 1987, which has grown to manage more than C$1.5 billion (€1.05 billion) of equity capital. His son, Kenneth, is now co-chief executive, alongside Jeff Parr. 

January 20, 2015

Peter Wallenberg, the Swedish financier who helmed one of Europe’s largest corporate dynasties for 15 years, has died at the age of 88 in Stockholm County.

Peter Wallenberg, the Swedish financier who helmed one of Europe’s largest corporate dynasties for 15 years, has died at the age of 88 in Stockholm County.

The elder statesman took over the Wallenberg family business following the death of his father in 1982 – a move that many believed would bring about the end of the family’s century-long dominance of the Swedish banking and industrial sectors.

January 16, 2015

Hari Harilela, who went from struggling entrepreneur to international businessman through his eponymous hotel empire, has passed away. He was 92.

While many wealthy families today are spread across continents, the Harilela family of Hong Kong is anything but multi-jurisdictional, with up to 100 members of the family occupying a 70-bedroom sprawling mansion in upmarket Kowloon Tong. Patriarch Hari Harilela said the living arrangement was based on a promise once made to his mother, to keep the whole family under one roof. The family patriarch, who went from struggling entrepreneur to international businessman through his eponymous hotel empire, passed away at the property on December 29. He was 92.

December 18, 2014

David Luke III, who served as the fifth-generation chief executive of US paper and packaging giant Westvaco, has died in New York, aged 91.

David Luke III, who served as the fifth-generation chief executive of US paper and packaging giant Westvaco, has died in New York, aged 91.

Luke joined the family business in 1953, becoming chief executive in 1963, and stepping aside for his brother John to take over in 1988. He remained chairman of the company until 1996.
Six years later the family business became MeadWestvaco following a $3.29 billion merger. The new company had total sales of $5.4 billion in 2013.

October 8, 2014

The billionaire founder of Europe’s largest shoe retailer, Heinz-Horst Deichmann, has died in Essen, Germany, at the age of 88.

The billionaire founder of Europe’s largest shoe retailer, Heinz-Horst Deichmann, has died in Essen, Germany, at the age of 88.

A keen philanthropist who had an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion (€3.3 billion), Deichmann transformed his father’s cobblers business into the best-known footwear seller on in Europe, with estimated sales of $6 billion in 2013.

October 6, 2014

Tsai Wan-tsai, the Taiwanese billionaire that founded family-controlled financial services conglomerate Fubon Group, has died at the age of 86.

Tsai Wan-tsai, the Taiwanese billionaire that founded family-controlled financial services conglomerate Fubon Group, has died at the age of 86.

Details of Tsai’s death were not revealed in the one-sentence press release issued by Fubon Group on Sunday and the octogenarian was not known to be in poor health.

Tsai headed the family business for more than 50 years, transforming it from a property and casualty insurer into a service provider for financial, real estate and telecommunications sectors.

September 15, 2014

Isidoro Alvarez, the man who turned his uncle’s small tailoring service into a retail empire, has died at the age of 79 in Madrid. 

Isidoro Alvarez, the man who turned his uncle’s small tailoring service into a retail empire, has died at the age of 79 in Madrid.

The second-gen entrepreneur, who inherited 15% of El Corte Inglés from his uncle, was rushed to hospital last week after complaining of breathing difficulties and died early on Sunday morning from a subsequent heart attack.

September 8, 2014

The deeply religious founder of US fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, S Truett Cathy, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 93.

The deeply religious founder of US fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, S Truett Cathy, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 93.

Cathy, a devout Southern Baptist, was born into poverty, but died a multi billionaire due to the success of his family-owned empire, which had annual sales of $5 billion in 2013.

Cathy launched his first diner in 1946 with his brother, and two decades later opened his first Chick-fil-A store in Atlanta.

Today the company has 1,600 stores.

August 26, 2014

The former chairman of one of Brazil’s largest family businesses, Antonio Ermirio de Moraes, has died in Sao Paulo aged 86.

The former chairman of one of Brazil’s largest family businesses, Antonio Ermirio de Moraes, has died in Sao Paulo aged 86.

Third-gen Ermirio de Moraes took over the family business, Votorantim Group in 1971, following the death of his father, and helped turn it into one of Brazil’s largest conglomerates.

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