Fred Mouawad - Billionaire Diamond Owner & 4th Generation Co-Guardian [The Business of Family]


31 August 2020

1 hr 1 min 27 secs

Season 1

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About this Episode

A global citizen, portfolio entrepreneur, and fourth-generation co-guardian of the Mouawad family jewelry business, Fred Mouawad’s story is as incredible as it is impactful. Listen in to learn how he brings a new and enterprising perspective to his family’s multi-generational success.

Fred Mouawad is described often in the media as a billionaire diamond owner but has also accomplished countless entrepreneurial ventures outside of the family business and offers some key advice on stewarding the next generation.

Standout Quotes

  • “We have the inventory; we have the expertise. If we create masterpieces and truly craft extraordinary and position the brand at the very top, then we would be able to build a very niche business. That would stand in the marketplace and have a very clear image.” – Fred Mouawad [12:29]
  • “It was interesting to see how we had to reinvent our business and reposition it based on where we thought the world was moving towards. It was an exercise of not necessarily innovation but adaptation and being able to forecast how the markets are going to change over the long run and how us ourselves should prepare for that change.” - Fred Mouawad [14:29]
  • “Our responsibility was to guard that heritage. That’s why we call it co-guardians to look after it and start thinking long-term because our job is to look after it for only a certain period of time. It’s a transition from generation to generation.” - Fred Mouawad [24:14]
  • “All of the day-to-day is done by professionals. We have a CO for the group, he’s a general manager, for the entire operation. Why did we come up with that model? We came up with this model because we did not want to start blaming each other for executional problems.” - Fred Mouawad [27:16]
  • “I think it’s all about preparing the next generation to be the right stewards for the organization and how do you get there? You get there by exposing them to the business, by having them get richer with experience. By exposing them to different elements in the business and outside the business.” - Fred Mouawad [36:26]
  • “The best investment I have ever made was investing in myself, investing in my education, and having the courage to gain new experiences. Always being an avid learner. This is what I find the most satisfying, gratifying, and what enables me to do what I do. It’s investing in knowledge and experience and trying to share that with your team.” - Fred Mouawad [50:11]
  • “The most important thing that I would want my children to understand is that life is a journey and life requires that they take responsibility. They should keep on stretching themselves by learning, having the courage to try new things, by figuring out how to make the lives of other people better. How can they make a positive impact and how can they always behave based on core values that meet high ethical standards.” - Fred Mouawad [58:43]

Key Takeaways

  • The incredible and impactful story of the Mouawad family business
  • How standardizing a brand image benefits the scalability of a business
  • Mouawad’s mission to craft the extraordinary
  • How to prepare the next generation of a successful multi-generational business
  • What co-guardianship can mean for a family and the business they run
  • Why building relationships with capable people leads to scalable businesses
  • How your best investment may be investing in yourself
  • Instilling in the future generation the skills to make a positive impact and maintain high ethical standards

Episode Timeline

[1:58] The background of Mouawad’s generational success
[8:01] Modern day Mouawad jewelry business and what it represents
[17:38] High-end masterpieces and being recognized for Guinness World Records
[20:58] The value in business of natural vs synthetic diamonds
[22:39] Preparing the fifth generation of the Mouawad family business
[25:20] The idea of co-guardianship when running a multi-generational business
[29:25] Shaping the next generation for business success
[35:43] Teaching the skills to have another successful generation of Mouawad
[39:26] Formation of family guidelines as family business becomes a family enterprise
[42:27] Fred Mouawad’s entrepreneurial successes
[49:58] What Fred’s best investment was
[51:11] What it means to be a self-described global citizen
[52:47] How to effectively raise motivated children in wealth
[55:35] The transition from full control to family business co-guardianship
[58:24] Fred’s focus on allowing his children to have a positive impact in their life’s journey

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