Chicago Tribune: Andy Hart on the Success of the Walton Family

The Chicago Tribune recently profiled one of the world’s wealthiest families, the Waltons, whose patriarch Sam Walton founded Walmart, Inc. The family has built a fortune of more than $152 billion. As an advisor to families of great wealth, Delegate President Andy Hart commented to the Chicago Tribune, providing context for the size of the family’s fortune.

“Outside of monarchies, this is one of the greatest fortunes ever amassed,” said Hart. “Monarchies and kingdoms came by birthright. This was earned.”

The article, titled “Waltons 3.0,” describes what makes the family unique, from their philanthropy in the small Arkansas town where the company is headquartered to their strategy for successful succession planning. So how did the family successfully grow their business while also maintaining control of it? 

“Their continued control reflects unusual prescience on the part of Sam Walton, who started preparing for succession in 1953, when he passed 80 percent of the family business to his four children: Alice, Rob, Jim and John,” reports the Chicago Tribune. “As with other multi-generational fortunes, the family’s challenge is ensuring its wealth doesn’t dissipate between generations. It helps that many family members’ lifestyles aren’t lavish.” 

As the title suggests, the third generation of the Walton family is rising in leadership and their influence has become noticeable in Bentonville, Ark. 

“The younger generation’s increasing influence is apparent in downtown Bentonville,” the Chicago Tribune reports. The article cites a recent example: a new eatery backed by two Walton brothers that hosted a temporary outpost of Rapha, a high-end British cycling brand that the pair bought for a reported $225 million in 2017. The siblings are also behind the bicycle trails that crisscross the town’s outskirts according to the publication.

“Sam Walton would approve,” observes the Chicago Tribune, citing his personal mantra of “operate globally, give back locally.” 

The full Chicago Tribune article is available here.