The Secrets of Corporate Longevity

Sister Linda’s two children are older and have migrated to New York City where they are involved in different careers. Barry’s three sons are only 15, 14 and 11 years old. However, the family has established policies that will govern whether any of the children work at the bank. “We have quite specific guidelines,” Sloane says. “Any member of the family must have a master’s degree in business or an allied field and they must have a minimum of five years working experience in an allied field away from here. You must have those experiences elsewhere to manage this legacy.”

The way Sloane and his wife, who is a scientist and teacher, manage their home life seems inextricably linked to the issue of generational transition at the bank. “In my house, the kids’ first responsibility is their academic performance,” Sloane explains. “We expect only the best performance from my children. They have to earn the things they have, whether it’s a computer game or a new basketball. It has to come with achievement.  Hopefully, they will always connect achievement with reward.”

The boys are assigned household chores and they make deals with their parents that link their academic performance with where they get to go to summer camp. In addition, the family shops a great deal on Walmart.com, where prices are rock bottom. “When we go shopping, we’re bargain shoppers,” Sloane says. “In our family, we hate to waste.” All of which may create the next generation of leadership at Century Bank, helping it live up to its name.

Corning: Consistency at Work
It is possible for the CEOs of publicly traded companies to take the long view, even if the founding family is no longer involved in the business. That seems to be the case at Corning, which was founded in 1851 by Amory Houghton, Sr. Shares were controlled completely by the family until after World War II, when the company issued the first shares to outsiders in 1947.