It’s Good To Know: Keiretsus

I was just reading Mark Anderson’s SNS blog (A Bright Fire) when he used the word Keiretsu (系列).

I have done some business reading myself, but I had never heard of that word before, so wikipedia came to the rescue:

A keiretsu (lit. system or series) is a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings.

I knew of Mitsubushi’s holdings, but in my brain corporate octopuses seemed more at play with Italian families (Agnelli, et al), South Korean powerhouses (Samsung, Hyundai, Daewoo) or upcoming Indian mamooths (Tata).

Owning a bunch of companies in different sectors doesn’t seem to qualify as a keiretsu. Encouraging business connections between those companies seem to do the trick. Synergies, they used to call it at business school.

One of my long-time plans is setting up a worldwide business ownership network based in stock exchange filings (a live The Rule and Who owns What for all walks of the business life). Fascinating but ever changing.


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