Two centuries of wealth: how Mellon family fortune of $ 12 billion

For 175 years the dynasty of American tycoons Mellon is becoming richer.How do you manage to multiply capital?

At first it seems that Matthew Taylor Mellon II at all up to its noble name.We have lunch at his favorite Italian restaurant not far from the legendary at the Pierre in Manhattan, where his apartment.For five years, he is sober, and before long struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol.Healthy tan extremely goes to his blue suit with Savile Row and tie from Hermes.He orders a salad and cranberry juice and soda.

Suddenly he asked the waiter to carry out mobile, if fear of eavesdropping in the spirit of Snowden.And then this scion of one of the oldest families in the United States drops the bankers: "I think the fellow fed up banksters" (a word in the spirit of activists of the "Occupy Wall Street").In politics he also has a claim: "We need a more open and free democracy.The more America secrecy, so it becomes more dangerous. "The solution, according to Mellon - virtual currency Bitcoin, and it has already invested $ 2 million to the creation of an incubator for start-ups whose activities are somehow related to Bitcoin.Mellon believes that over time the currency will replace the dollar calculations."And then the bankers will have to scratch turnip," - he said, a smile spreading across his face.

Freak?Absolutely.But it is assumed his great-grandfather Thomas Mellon, when laid the foundation of almost two centuries of domination of his family in the financial field.

When looking through the first Forbes ranking of America's wealthiest families, could not help thinking about how many great states, knocked together in the middle of the XIX century, it disintegrated.

Astors and Vanderbilts, Morgans and Carnegie - all out of the race.Part of the cause is generous, with the global scope of philanthropy, and partly - unlucky heirs squandered fortune.Mellons very nice on their background.If we consider the American dynasty a billionaire, but Du Pont have a long history, but they have a family-owned company, which constantly produces wealth.Not so with Mellon, whose eccentric heirs throw millions on fancy labels and Bitcoin startups, but which nevertheless took 19 th place in the ranking of the wealthiest families in America, with the state $ 12 billion - more than the Rockefeller and Kennedy togethercombined.

This they achieved gradually.Almost all members of the family Mellon, refused to be interviewed or agreed to discuss only historical subjects."We like the fact that we are so interested in" - said the cousin Matthew Mellon Stepheych Peter, the owner of a large company in Pittsburgh.

Apparently, the secret of the family - in the system of values, of which the main - the preservation of capital.Traps of "light", inherited money is well known, and of Thomas was a clear understanding that the big spending quite acceptable ("den" Matthew Mellon at the Pierre costs him nothing less than $ 7 million, and flies it only by private jet), but it is expected that each generation Mellon heirs give a little more than it was at the time received.Despite the fact that all branches of the family run businesses independently of each other, they use cunning tax minimization schemes, including, for example, the transfer of state inherited "a generation" through trust funds (to save on taxes) and donations of shares of companies.In short, Mellon expected that the descendants inherit his entrepreneurial spirit and their work will contribute to the prosperity of America.

any other rights or restrictions in the family was not.Matthew Mellon remembered only one commandment, which I have heard from relatives since childhood: "Intuition - it's your main tool."The result of this "decentralized intuition" led to numerous companies in different industries from media to industry and energy, and all of them somehow changed the face of American business.

Business pedigree

When four years ago, all members of the original Mellon clan came together for the last time (such an event must be conducted once a decade), they remembered where it all began - with a piece of land in the Irish county of Tyrone.It is here that was born in a family of farmers in 1813, Thomas Mellon.The family emigrated to America in 1818-m and settled in dilapidated shack in western Pennsylvania, where their relatives were living, have moved overseas earlier.The place came to be saying the name Poverty Point.

Allotment parents Mellon (65 hectares) soon began to make a profit.He first worked on the ground along with other, but when the horse rested Thomas in the shade reading Shakespeare."The more I read and the more viewed in the other, the better I understand that I have all the same get better," - he wrote later in his autobiography.He moved to Pittsburgh, he studied law, married in 1843 Sarah Jane Negley, who already had a son Andrew and seven children.He became a judge (he was called then - Referee) and all of its funds invested in real estate.Later, he laid the immovable property owned by him and coal field, and founded the bank T. Mellon & amp;Sons.The Bank opened in December 1869, its initial capital of $ 10,000, as it is written in the book of professor at Princeton University David Kennadayna Mellon: An American Life.A year later it increased its capital to $ 800 000. A small bank became the foundation of the International Finance Corporation BNY Mellon, whose assets now estimated at $ 1.6 trillion.At the end of the life of Thomas Mellon thought a lot about what will its efforts in the field of finance.He did not approve of his contemporary philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie (although his own son would be a generous philanthropist, in particular, its efforts will create a National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC).He divided his property among his sons, hoping they would add to the capital.

Just as Thomas once threw agriculture, confounding expectations for parents, Andrew Mellon genuine creator of the Empire, went his way: at the turn of the centuries became a venture capitalist.He has provided a loan to the manufacturer of aluminum Pittsburgh Reduction and later became a shareholder of the company.The company's profit increased from $ 87,000 in 1898 to $ 322,000 in 1900 and soon exceeded one million mark.Today the company is called Alcoa.A decade later he has invested $ 1 million to the creation of Union Steel.And four years later he sold the company, earning at least $ 41 million. (Later he was accused of inflating the value of assets in the reporting Union Steel.)

Andrew has also invested in the next generation: his nephew William Larimer Mellon sought to assert himself as his uncle andgranddad.Received $ 10,000 from the family wealth, he rushed after the Rockefellers in the oil business.Created from scratch the company has evolved with time in the Gulf Oil.After almost 90 years, in 1984, Gulf Oil was sold to Chevron for $ 13.3 billion;while Mellons seem to have retained their shares - state of the family still it was $ 2.5 billion. Andrew was finance minister under three presidents in the 1921-1932 years.

By the time of his death in 1937, his fortune was estimated in $ 280 million (in today's prices it is more than $ 4 billion), despite the fact that at the beginning of the century it had $ 50 million. And the wealth was earned as his father and could not conceive.Now the idea of ​​Mellon as bankers seem anachronistic clan members."Those who have had the largest share of bank capital, found the best way to dispose of their money - said James, Uncle Matthew Mellon.- Some of us are still receiving income from bank trusts, but the only thing that we now have ties with the institution.Frankly, the banking business as something rotten. "

Although modern Mellons is not so much to gain from Alcoa, Gulf Oil and named them the name of the bank, they continue to follow the precepts of judges - to invest and diversify.

Thomas Mellon Evans amassed a $ 290 million, and when he died in 1997, stuck to his nickname "Jaws business."

He started in 1931 in the department of statistics of Gulf Oil, and eventually became a virtuoso of acquisitions: bought more than 80 companies, faithfully observing the rule will never pay more than the liquidation value.Next

(a generation) Mellon, Timothy began with the establishment of a software company in 1960, but then went to the traditional business of the XIX century - created in New England Railway Company Guilford.Today his fortune is estimated at $ 1 billion.

Then Richard Mellon Scaife was.In 1970, Scaife bought a little-known provincial newspaper and made her a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.Better known as a man who came into the fight with President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, Scaife was arguably the most influential media magnate western Pennsylvania.He died of cancer on July 5 this year, his fortune was estimated at $ 1.5 billion.

Fashion investment

And we finally got to Matthew Mellon, who continued the family tradition to invest in accordance with their hobbies.His father Carl Mellon was practically absent in the life of Matthew, when he was a child, and later committed suicide (as Matthew does not like to remember).Anna's mother and stepfather John. Reeve Bright, once-powerful lawyer of the Republican Party and a distant cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, tried to tell him about the smaller Mellon and about what it is waiting for an inheritance.So when at the age of 21 inherited 14 trust funds worth $ 25 million, it was a shock."They say in fact, the more money, the more worries" - Matthew jokes today.Having no idea how to live with the name Mellon and what to do with money, he traveled around southern California on black "Ferrari", pretending studio talent agent.In Saint-Tropez, he sailed on a yacht with the Crown Prince of Greece.("He's a funny guy," - speaks of him Prince Pavlos.) Fun at parties and drank whiskey and hooked on cocaine.

entrepreneurial spirit possessed him at the meeting of "Alcoholics Anonymous" in 1998, where he met with Tamara Erda, which made a shoe line for Jimmy Choo.

They were married and then made themselves felt genes Mellon.Matthew first invested in the male line of the brand Jimmy Choo, then founded his own shoe brand Harrys of London, which makes a classic brogues, comfortable as sneakers.

Harrys had some success, but in general the idea ahead of its time."I think if they would have started today, the market would be larger and the business would have a global character," - says Michael Etmor, editor of Footwear News.Today, the sale of this shoe is $ 7 million. After 2005, he ceased to be engaged in the operational control of the company, and shortly thereafter stopped and marriage to Tamara.

But for Matthew Mellon lessons were not in vain.("You must not touch the fixed assets. Try to spend 1% of the income. However, there will always be unexpected expenses ... Believe me, I end up, what are you going to spend 20% of income.") And as soon as he came to himself, he began to invest: the auction house Paddle8, trading in works of art (together with Alex von Furstenberg and Damien Hirst) in the video channel StyleHaul, who taught to dress properly.

That is, Matthew returned to the topic of fashion brands.With his new wife Nicole Hanley, a former designer house Ralph Lauren, he launched a brand of luxury women's clothing Hanley Mellon, which is sold online and over the last year to invest in this project is $ 3 million.

Nicole working on fashionable clothes in the living room of their apartment,which hang on the walls of two works by Warhol, he himself is engaged in Matthew bitcoin incubator CoinApex, and this shows its global non-conformism (he also helped raise money for bail for the release from detention of Julian Assange).

While all of his initiatives - in the bush, while Matthew says that he received an offer to purchase for about $ 20 million the most promising company of his incubator -, which offers payment processing in Bitcoin, just like PayPal helps make dollar payments."Matthew belongs to the type of people who are able to attract talented guys in their projects - said George. Todd Morley, founder of the investment company Guggenheim Partners and a longtime friend of Mellon.- I know that he became interested in Bitcoin and talks with top people in the industry. "But now you can see how Matthew differs from all previous Mellon.His Aunt Rachel ("Bunny") Mellon died last spring.He went to Virginia for the funeral - one of the few events that brings together all the Mellons.He struck up a conversation with one of the advisers of the deceased."He told me:" I see you are engaged in something really big.You could be the next Andrew Mellon, "- says Matthew.- I was pleased to hear from him a compliment. "

Abram Brown, Alex Morrell

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