The Kam family has owned Yung Kee, a huge 750-seat restaurant in Hong Kong, for more than 50 years. Starting out as a food stall, the business still 'packs them in' today. However, soon after the death of the patriarch, at the age of 96, in 2004, his two oldest sons became embroiled in a bitter and very public family feud over the restaurant's management and the family fortune, estimated to be worth HK$2 billion.
The case offers an excellent introduction to the complexities of succession in family businesses. Most students think of ownership design as a simple transfer of assets from one generation to another. As a result they fail to consider the larger social interests of the surviving family members. The Yung Kee case has the advantage of being readily accessible while giving ample opportunity to ask questions about ownership design.
- Hong Kong
- British Virgin Islands
- Succession, next generation
- Fair process, communication, psychology, gender