It is rare for a family to maintain its wealth for generations. Taxes, welfare decline, corruption… are inevitable and ultimately affect family conditions. However, the Rockefellers did not follow this rule. Currently, they have maintained their wealth to the 170th generation. In 2016. Forbes estimated the family fortune at $11 billion. Meanwhile, the ancestor of this family, John D.Rockefeller, became the first American billionaire after founding the Standard Oil Company in the late 19th century.
What’s even more incredible is that this family is still united, without public scandals, hostilities, lawsuits, and tragedies common to other wealthy families. Today, more than 250 family members are descendants of John D. Rockefeller and Laura Spelman Rockeleller.
Rockefeller’s Long-lasting Wealth Secret
In a rare interview with members of the clan, David Rockefeller Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rockefeller & Co., said that the family has developed a system of values, traditions, and institutions. help members connect with each other and preserve their wealth. He points to four key factors:
The first is regular family gatherings
“We have family meetings twice a year, usually more than 100 people in one room, for example to eat a Christmas dinner. We also have a family forum. When you are 21 years old, you will be invited to these meetings. At these meetings, people often talk about their direction, projects, new members, and any other family news related to work or important milestones. It’s important for everyone to feel part of the family even after marriage.”
Maintain family history
They do this through the family “manor”. There, they can gather and connect with their past. “This is a place that is familiar and passed down from generation to generation and my great-grandfather lived more than 100 years ago. There, any family member can return and see how he lived. , see how his descendants live.”
No more family business
According to David Rockefeller Jr., it is important that there is no longer a family business. Many disputes in wealthy families stem from business, who will manage, how to manage and who will benefit. The Rockefellers have been out of the family business since 1911, when Standard Oil was divided by the government into publicly traded companies due to new antitrust laws. This was the only blow that made Rockefeller’s fortune go from gargantuan to several publicly listed companies. Combined with a wide range of written trusts, stocks and assets are easily passed on to future generations and financial disputes are less likely.
“Of course, our family’s wealth is tied to Standard Oil’s oil business. But the business doesn’t bring us together and frankly many families have been separated because of this. hey, i think my family is lucky because no single business can make us tear apart we have a business that brings wealth from generation to generation and to others, at the same time that is preserved.”
The Rockefeller family’s strongest bond is family values, specifically philanthropy. Various family foundations including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, and the David Rockefeller Foundation total more than $5 billion.
Family members are encouraged to participate in foundations and help choose causes for charity. By creating such a family identity, the Rockefellers preserved the core values of John Rockefeller Jr.