There are around 5.5 million family businesses in the United States, which account for 54 per cent of the country’s GDP and 60 per cent of its workforce. Family firms have helped shape America’s business landscape, influencing the culture, economy, and spirit of the communities where they operate.
New York City is home to nearly 206’000 businesses. Among them are some of the country’s largest family enterprises. The Big Apple boasts the highest economic output of any US city, at $1.77 trillion. From high fashion to broadcasting and finance, family businesses have a significant role in defining the industries that New York City is known for.
Here are New York City’s largest family businesses by revenue:
10. Renco Group
Annual Revenue: $5 billion
Controlling family: Rennert
Founded in 1975, the family-owned holding company has completed more than 40 acquisitions in the mining, metal production, and material handling industries. The group owns subsidiaries including Doe Run Resources and US Magnesium in addition to holding a 30 per cent stake in defense contractor AM General. In 2021, Renco Group acquired renowned global sock manufacturing company, Renfro Brands.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Ira Rennert built Renco Group through investments he made in the 1980s. Ira’s son, Ari Rennert, serves as Renco Group’s President.
9. Coty Inc.
Annual Revenue: $5.3 billion
Controlling family: Reimann
Coty created its first perfume in 1904. Soon after it expanded its portfolio to include cosmetics and beauty products. In 2013, Coty was publicly listed in the largest American IPO for a consumer products business at that time. Today, the company produces, licenses, and distributes over 50 brands including Hugo Boss, Gucci, CoverGirl, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Vera Wang, and Tiffany & Co. The Reimann family acquired the New York-headquartered business in 1992 through its JAB holding company.
8. Central National-Gottesman Inc.
Annual Revenue: $6.2 billion
Controlling family: Wallach
A global leader in the sales, marketing, and distribution of papermaking and packaging materials, CNG was originally founded in 1886. Now spanning five generations, the company operates in over 100 countries with more than 4,200 employees.
Representing the family’s fourth generation, Kenneth L. Wallach became CNG’s executive chairman in 2015 after serving as its chief executive officer for 17 years. Today, Andrew Wallach is CNG’s CEO and president, a position his father, James G. Wallach, held for nearly 20 years.
7. Ralph Lauren Corporation
Annual Revenue: $6.2 billion
Controlling family: Lauren
Ralph Lauren established his famous Polo brand in 1967 while selling ties out of a drawer in the Empire State Building. He went on to design an entire men’s fashion collection and open a boutique in New York’s Bloomingdales. His style is an American phenomenon, and today Lauren’s brands range from fashion and fragrances to furnishings and restaurants.
Ralph Lauren serves as executive chair and chief creative officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation. His son, David Lauren, has been the company’s CEO since 2015. Ralph Lauren Corporation operates 504 retail stores and 684 concession-based shop-within-shops internationally.
6. STO Building Group
Annual Revenue: $9.5 billion
Controlling family: Marino / Donaghy families
STO has provided maintenance and construction services to some of New York’s largest and most widely known properties, ranking 4th among America’s Top 400 Contractors.
Founded in 1971 by Patrick J Donaghy and Lewis R Marino as the Structure Tone Organization, the group runs 13 companies with 49 offices throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. James Donaghy succeeded his father as the company’s executive chairman and currently oversees the business with Robert Mullen serving as CEO.
5. Bloomberg LP
Annual Revenue: $11 billion
Controlling family: Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg leveraged a $10 million settlement from his previous company to launch Bloomberg LP in 1981. Initially, the business marketed a terminal that provided computerised, real-time market data to firms in the financial sector. In the 90s, the company expanded its offerings to financial news products delivered both electronically and through its television programming.
Today, Bloomberg LPs financial tools, data, analysis, and trading platforms are mainstays in the global finance community. The company’s media brands include Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio. Michael Bloomberg remains CEO of the company he owns and founded.
4. The Hearst Corporation
Annual Revenue: $11.5 billion
Controlling family: Hearst
After taking ownership of The San Francisco Examiner in 1887, William Randolph Hearst acquired several other newspapers and print publications before making his mark in radio and television broadcasting. Hearst’s company is now one of the largest monthly magazine publishers in the world and the largest monthly publisher in the United States, producing Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Car and Driver, Good Housekeeping, Elle, Oprah Daily, and more.
The Hearst Corporation’s television brands include ESPN, and A+E Networks, and its newspaper division publishes 24 daily and 52 weekly editions across the country. Hearst’s grandson, William R. Hearst III, oversees the family enterprise that owns more than 360 businesses.
3. Fox Corporation
Annual Revenue: $14 billion
Controlling family: Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch inherited his father’s newspaper at age 22. He then acquired and transformed many of Australia’s struggling news publications before successfully repeating the formula in England and the United States. In 1985, Murdoch introduced television and entertainment into his growing media business, eventually purchasing several independent television stations and the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. In 2019, most of Fox’s movie studio was sold to Disney, leaving Murdoch to focus on his television brands, including Fox News.
Rupert Murdoch remains chair of Fox Corporation while his son, Lachlan Murdoch, runs the family’s broadcast, news, and sports networks in his role as executive chair and chief executive officer.
2. Estée Lauder Cosmetics., Inc.
Annual Revenue: $18 billion
Controlling family: Lauder
Raised in Queens, New York, visionary Estée Lauder began selling skincare and makeup in beauty salons before she and her husband officially launched their business in 1946. The company’s first major order came one year later from Manhattan’s Saks Fifth Avenue.
Today, Estée Lauder Cosmetics is a global leader in beauty, offering a diverse portfolio of well-known brands in more than 150 countries and territories. Leonard A. Lauder, son of the founders, joined the family business in 1958 and serves as its chairman emeritus. Leonard’s brother, Ronald S. Lauder, is chairman of the company’s Clinique Laboratories and an executive officer. The Lauder family’s third generation also plays active roles in the iconic family business.
Annual Revenue: $29 billion
Controlling family: Redstone
After taking over his father’s National Amusements drive-in theatre chain in 1954, Sumner Redstone built a media empire culminating in the acquisition of entertainment company Viacom in 1987 and broadcaster CBS in 1999.
Shari Redstone took control of her father’s business interests and the family’s holding company after his passing in 2020. She serves as non-executive chair of Paramount, formally ViacomCBS. Shari’s son, Tyler Korff, also sits on the seven-member board of trustees that controls the majority stake in the family’s holding company. Paramount’s portfolio of popular global brands includes Nickelodeon, MTV, Showtime, Paramount Pictures, CBS, and Simon & Schuster. The company’s subscriber base tops 4 billion across more than 180 countries.