MILAN Brunello Cucinelli, founder of the Italian luxury clothier of the same name, has transferred his entire stake in the firm to a trust - a relative uncommon structure in Italy - to benefit his daughters and ensure the continuation of his philantrophic work.
Over 90 percent of Italian companies are family-owned. But only one in five survives until the third generation, making the need of careful wealth transfer planning crucial.
In a statement, the 60-year-old entrepreneur said he had transferred the ownership of Fedone S.r.l, the holding through which he controls 61.56 percent of Brunello Cucinelli SpA (BCU.MI) to the Esperia Trust Company S.r.l.
His daughters Camilla and Carolina will be beneficiaries of the trust. Camilla who sits on the board of the listed company.
Cucinelli said the trust had been established to ensure unified management of his company but also to support the Brunello Cucinelli foundation in its effort to work towards the "embellishment of mankind".
Beyond his cashmere sweaters, Cucinelli is a philanthropist who has spent much effort and money to restore the centuries-old Italian town of Solomeo, home to its company's headquarters.
He routinely donates a portion of his profits to the Brunello Cucinelli Foundation, which is involved in cultural and arts projects. In 2011, he spent over 1 million euros ($1.4 million) to restore the Etruscan Arch, one of the artistic treasures of Perugia.
The company Brunello Cucinelli SpA will continue to be subject to Italy's fiscal regime.
(Reporting by Lisa Jucca; editing by Keiron Henderson)