• Sep 21st 2010 at 10:01AM
  • 30
Ferdinand Karl Piëch, head of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board and grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, knows that nothing lasts forever – especially, life. The VW boss man has his mind on his money while his family has his money on their minds.

Piëch, born in 1937, has recently shifted his holdings into two Austrian foundations; Ferdinand Karl Alpha and Ferdinand Karl Beta. The reason behind this move is to protect the company in the event of his death. That's to say, if he dies his family can't start selling off shares like platinum hot cakes. His wife Ursula Piëch will assume control of the foundations upon his passing.

As stipulated in his will, the assets can be sold only when the managing board, the advisory board of the trust and at least nine of Piëch's 12 children all provide a "yes" vote. As you would expect, some members of the family are a little miffed. Also, under the stipulations presented in the will, Mrs. Piëch is not allowed re-marry or divorce Ferdinand after he passes on. If she does go out and find a new hubby, she gives up control of the foundations.

[Source: FOCUS via The Truth About Cars | Image: Nigel Treblin/AFP/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      ok, 12 kids?? where did he find the time? curious if that is with 1,2, or 3 wives?

      now, thats a good catholic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        4 wifes...and he suffers from dyslexia...
      • 5 Years Ago
      German industrialists always have convoluted and over thought estate plans.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mrs. Piëch is not allowed re-marry or divorce Ferdinand after he passes on.

      How does one divorce a dead person?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It'd be like Divorce Court at Ferd'ies. The grounds would be a lack of communication, which would be easily proven.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I worked for a guy like that. Notwithstanding he was a zillionaire he was a skinflint. His "new" car was 12-years old!

      One day I said to him, "Why don't you treat yourself to a new car? You're 66 years old. You can't take it with you?

      There was a long silence, and he said, "Then I'm not going!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      He's a megalomaniac and he wants to extend his control even beyond his life. Unreal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Four wives but she's only allowed one husband... and he's dead? Hmmmm....

      Not for nothing but what about simply stipulating if she gets re-married the new dude cannot have anything to do with the trusts in any way, shape or form.

      Taking care of VW business is one thing.... controlling someone from the grave is a whole different matter.
        • 5 Years Ago
        His widow's life is not really being controlled from the grave - she'll likely still inherit other assets, just not have the control over the foundations should she remarry.

        The provision concerning her remarrying is also fairly commonly used in estate planning, not as a tool to somehow control the widow's romantic life, but it preserves the family unity.

        She is always free to have a relationship, just not create another heir to the foundation's assets.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Apparently you guys aren't thinking from a business mindset. You have to think about what marriage does, it give people partial ownership.

        If she gets married, then he shares will go to the "other' guy, which will release some control from HIS family.

        Every guy will be trying to marry that woman when she is 90 so they can own part of Porsche after she dies.

        That's what he's trying to stop from happening.

        Stop thinking with your emotions. We're men guys. come on!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The guy is a megalomaniac. I mean, how do you explain VW's wanting to reintroduce the Phaeton in this country? And the crazy idea that they're going to sell 800,000 cars a year in this country by 2018? As Peter De Lorenzo likes to say, that's notgonnahappen.com.

      Piech was a genius when he was at Audi, shepherding advances like the Quattro all-wheel-drive system to market, but since then, he's lost it.

      Last week's Rant, "VW's Recipe for Disaster":

      • 5 Years Ago
      She can't even divorce the son of a gun after he's dead?(and still head the foundations)
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Also, under the stipulations presented in the will, Mrs. Piëch is not allowed re-marry or divorce Ferdinand after he passes on."

      Sounds like they had a great relationship.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Boy, he sounds (and looks) like a loving, fun and warm father and husband. Are all Germans that sweet?
        • 5 Years Ago
        wow a comment just slightly marred in racism!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ze Germans are a race? It thought they were a nationality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Zey are ze master race. ;-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see why everyone's against him. It seems like a really smart move to me. It sounds like he's just trying to protect the company from people being greedy. Like if he dies he doesn't want a million schmucks trying to sweet talk his wife just for the money she's left with. nor does he want family members just cashing in on his death.

      I'd do the same thing if I was him. Lots of rich people don't have that kind of forethought.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So will he be watching closely from heaven?
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