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Feuds in Family Business – What Causes Relationships to Collapse?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

It has been said that you should never mix business with pleasure. This can take on many different avenues, even the best relationships seem to be ruined once money is involved. What causes these relationships to collapse? Take a look at a few examples that will make you think twice about going to business with family.

Adolf and Rudolf Dassler are two brothers that started a shoe company in their mother’s laundry room after the First World War. Both brothers were part of the Nazi Party during World War 2. Rudolf was drafted into the war and Adolf stayed behind. Rudolf was captured by American troops in suspicion of being an SS member and it is rumored that his brother was behind his capture. In 1948 Rudolf split the company and formed Puma. The factory was opened across town form the original factory which continued to produce Adidas.

Larry Flynt is an American publisher and the president of Larry Flynt Publications (LFP). Most notably, this publication company is responsible for the publication of Hustler magazine. Jimmy Flynt has worked for his big brother and is often involved in the legal battles of Larry. In 1977, Larry was convicted of obscenity charges and Jimmy was acquitted. In October 2010, Jimmy filed a lawsuit against his brother sitting wrongful termination. The judge ruled that Jimmy was not entitled to half of the empire that his brother had built.

Gucci is a leader in the fashion world. It was started by Guccio Gucci in Florence in 1921. This family feud looks like one straight from the soap operas. The company began small and eventually started to expand with the help of Guccio’s sons. Aldo, Vasco, and Rodolfo helped their father establish a reputable brand. However, in the 1980s family disputes started to develop. Rodolfo’s son took over after his father’s death and dismissed his uncle Aldo. Maurizio was an unsuccessful business man and was murdered in 1995. His wife currently serves time in jail for hiring people to kill him. Tom Ford took over the company in the early 90s and helped develop a ready to wear line which expanded the empire again.

These stories are perfect examples on how families can be ripped apart once money is involved. It is important when thinking about starting a business that you find great business insurance to protect yourself in case any thing like these stories ever happen to you.

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