An interesting little snippet on the dynamism of this capitalist/market thing

But none has a longer waiting list, nor a greater shared history, than the Tercentenarian Club.

If you have never heard of it, that is not a surprise. It has barely a dozen members, no annual fee, and it meets just once a year. The members are a rag-tag collection of businessmen, including a wine merchant, a butcher, a hat maker, a ribbon manufacturer, a builder and boatyard owner. There’s even a candlestick seller.

To enter the club you need to run a business that has survived for more than 300 years and is still owned by the same family that started it.

Only a dozen out of the millions upon millions of businesses in the country.

10 comments on “An interesting little snippet on the dynamism of this capitalist/market thing

  1. 300 years is not so special compared to a non-family business, though.

    (I once did a quick google on this topic: the oldest businesses seemed to be Japanese.)

  2. I saw a TV program about the product called
    “balsamic vinegar,” a great portion of which is produced in and around Modena (Italy). One operated in the basement of a home, in which his family had been producing since the 13th century.

  3. Staying power, eh?

    But I’m not sure that that is what our usual friends mean by ‘sustainable’.

    Just think of all those tax avoidance opportunities over the centuries!

  4. My current employers business made it to 206 years in the same family before being sold (fairly recently) to it’s current owners. In it’s case, the last family owner’s only child was a daughter who had no desire to take the business on when dad retired. It’s a fairly small concern (6 of us full-time at the moment), and I think has been that sort of size for many years, which to my mind makes its survival quite remarkable.

  5. Some kind of academic survey in 2012 said the average life expectancy for an S&P 500 company was 15 years.TW obviously thinks this is a good thing!Bankruptcy/no company pensions/being made redundant three times in your working- life all part of that wonderful creative destruction process he’s always going on about> si monumentum requiris circumspice! (something for the public-school element).

  6. DBC, ya numpty, the vast majority of large companies don’t end up going bust. They get bought, maybe rebranded, and everyone ends up working for the new people. The people working in the Cadbury factory didn’t all lose their jobs and pensions just because the parent company got sold to the Yanks.

    (senior managers generally end up sacked in such cases, but I’m assuming you’re not shedding too many tears for them…)

  7. the average life expectancy for an S&P 500 company was 15 years

    Often because other companies – not always in new industries – move in to the 500. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything radical, never mind disasterous, has happened to the companies that move out.

  8. Some kind of academic survey in 2012 said the average life expectancy for an S&P 500 company was 15 years.

    This probably includes firms which are swallowed up or merged with others though, and therefore no loss of pension (and usually no redundancy for most individuals) results.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>