PLANNING FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS AT MARS INC.

Post  |  April 2019  


Here at Creaghan McConnell Group, we take a keen interest in the best practices of the world’s most outstanding family-controlled businesses.  For a few years now we’ve been researching and crafting our own stories of some of these families. 

-1x-1.jpg

One such story, from 2013 on the iconic Mars (candy) family, is linked below.  It spotlights the history of the third-largest private corporation in the U.S., with annual revenues of $35 billion in 2018.  It also describes how the Mars family continues to respect the same principles instilled by its original founder, Frank Mars.  These principles are rooted in absolute financial independence and a concept they call ‘ownership freedom.’

A recent article in Bloomberg adds further commentary to our original story.  It’s an interview with current Mars CEO, Grant Reid, and highlights a common (and refreshing) theme we see in many family-controlled enterprises here in Canada – a disciplined, long-term view of success. 

Some particular highlights that caught our eye from the interview, along with quotes from Grant Reid:

1.    A long-term planning horizon.  “My job is to make sure that I’m setting us up for the next 100 years. To do that, you need a vibrant company that’s growing, that’s bringing in the best talent.”

2.    The benefits of working for a family-owned, privately-held business.  “(I love) the fact that I can sit down and talk to family members.  It’s their business, and they really care—about the brands, about our associates.  That’s a big difference.  They take very little out. They reinvest in us.  They reinvest in the consumer.  That’s one big difference in terms of the dividend level vs. some other companies.  It’s their approach and their love for the business.”

3.       An unshakeable commitment to family ownership.  “Our vision is to keep our company privately held forever.  We have “G3” still very active.  We have a number of G4 on the board, and we have a number of G5 and G6.”

 If you’re interested in the full interview in Bloomberg, you can read it here.

You can also reference our original story on the Mars chocolate dynasty here, or read the PDF version here.