Bessemer Trust: Guardians of Capital

Posted: 10 Feb 2012

See all articles by Tom Nicholas

Tom Nicholas

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

David Chen

Harvard Business School

Date Written: October 3, 2010

Abstract

Henry Phipps, Jr. made his fortune in the steel industry alongside one of America's most celebrated entrepreneurs - Andrew Carnegie. His wealth was administered in the form of trusts, which he hoped would provide a stream of income for his family and their descendants into the future. Phipps had a clear vision for the intergenerational disposition of his assets, which required both an efficient organizational structure for the wealth to be administered and leadership on the part of family members to keep his original vision intact. Despite undergoing several significant legal and leadership changes, the trusts survived relatively intact and continued to achieve their express goal of preserving the capital Phipps created and providing income for Phipps family members.

Learning Objective: To examine the origins and recycling of family wealth over generations in the United States.

Suggested Citation

Nicholas, Tom and Chen, David, Bessemer Trust: Guardians of Capital (October 3, 2010). Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management case no. 811-031. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002081

Tom Nicholas (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

David Chen

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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