A Legacy Transformed: John Elkann’s Journey
“My life was always about being confronted with an environment where you had to adapt.”
What if I told you that the fortune of one of Europe’s wealthiest industrial families is undergoing a quiet transformation? This is the story of John Elkann, the unlikely scion of a dynasty who was thrown into his role in the midst of an attempted coup by management and creditors.
Through his letters we can study the mindset and evolution of this emerging capital allocator. We can follow his journey from a novice, eager to learn, to a sophisticated strategist who restructured his company to maximize his edge and build a lasting legacy.
First, a little context. Exor is the publicly-listed holding company controlled by the Agnelli family, the Italian dynasty behind the automaker Fiat. In 2004, with the automaker in crisis, the family experienced a severe succession crisis and Elkann had to step up and take control. In 2009, he merged the family’s holding companies into Exor. Since then, he has transformed the family’s portfolio, evolved as an investor and leader, and developed a new visio…