Carlos Slim keeps it in the family as grandkids join boards

Tue May 17, 2016 11:57am EDT
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By Christine Murray and Julien Toyer

MEXICO CITY/MADRID (Reuters) - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has put two of his grandchildren on boards of his companies, a major step in the succession of one of the world's largest family business empires.

Daniel and Rodrigo Hajj Slim, both in their early 20s, are sons of Slim's second-eldest daughter Vanessa and Daniel Hajj, chief executive of the family's most valuable asset, America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote). The sons were made directors at smaller companies.

Slim has said publicly that his succession plan is done, having put his three sons in key positions of his telecoms-to- banking empire, worth some $50 billion, and transferring much of his wealth to his children.

But building a bridge to the next generation, which appears to be part of the longer-term plan, is notoriously tricky.

Daniel Jr.'s appointment to the board of Slim-owned metals miner Minera Frisco MFRISCOA1.MX was approved by shareholders in April 2015, according to a public filing to Mexico's stock exchange. The Slim family holds a direct stake of 78 percent.

Rodrigo joined the board of Spanish real estate business Soinmob Inmobiliaria Espanola SA in March this year, according to a filing in Madrid.

As in the United States, most businesses in Mexico are family-run. But barely 5 percent of them make it to the third generation successfully, according to Hector Macias, a corporate governance expert at PWC.

"Transcending generations is not very common. It's very complicated," Macias said, explaining that sometimes younger generations are not interested or have very different ideas, disrupting the hoped-for transition.   Continued...

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu (R) speaks with his son and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Carso, Carlos Slim Domit, before receiving a recognition from WBC for his support for boxing via Telmex foundation at Soumaya museum, in Mexico City, Mexico, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo