BW Group: Balancing Interests in a Rapidly Growing Business

Published 27 Mar 2009
Reference 5526
Region Asia
Summary

In 1955 Pao Yue-Kong created World Wide Shipping Company Limited at a time when shipping was not recognized as a lucrative industry. Under his leadership and later his son-in-law and grandson's, BW Group (renamed after an acquisition) became the largest private shipping fleet in the world. Based on interviews with Dr. Sohmen and his son Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman and managing director respectively, in this case we learn how family owners and leaders address the strategic and financial challenges as their company becomes a dominate player in a highly cyclical industry.

Teaching objectives

This case explores the need to establish financial and governance structures that balance family and non-family ownership demands. It also addresses how business families deal with stakeholders, board members, and management. It considers the influence of family values on balancing the often shorter-term investment horizons held by public investors with the long-term decision horizons maintained by the family.

Keywords
  • RD0309
  • AR0809
  • AR2009
  • Next Generation
  • Board
  • Family Values
  • Shareholders
  • Board Member
  • Family Communication
  • Stakeholders
  • Family Business Governance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Governance for Family Firms
  • WICFE
  • Governance, parallel planning, strategy, boards