The Solari, the family behind Falabella

Solari is the last name behind Falabella, the Chilean company with 131 years of history that at this time seeks to leave Argentina.

The largest retail company in Latin America began in 1889 when the Italian immigrant, Salvatore Falabella, opened the first large tailor shop in Chile. The business grew hand in hand with his son Arnaldo Falabella and later with Alberto Solari Magnasco (Arnaldo’s son-in-law). It was he who incorporated new product lines and transformed the family business into department stores.

Upon Alberto’s death, his brother Reinaldo Solari Magnasco took over the business, representing his three nieces for some time.

Meanwhile, the Solari Magnasco brothers were ten, and of them today, six — of the seven — family branches that control the company are descended: Cuneo Solari, Solari Magnasco, Solari Heller, Solari Karlezi, Solari Cortés and Cardone Solari.

In 1980, Reinaldo took over the leadership of the group together with his nephew, Juan Cúneo Solari. They both built other lines of group business, such as CMR, Falabella’s credit card, and promoted international expansion in Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

Uncle and nephew built a holding company, including the group’s travel agency, the insurance company and Banco Falabella.

The seventh branch is the seven brothers Del Río Goudie in 2003 entered the ownership of the Group with almost 20% of the business, after merging his company SODIMAC with Falabella. Thus, together, the Solari and Del Río Goudie family represented 81.9% of the company until a few years ago. The rest are publicly traded.

Family expansion

Although the men of the family were in charge of the business, the three Solari Falabella sisters were always aware of the group’s operations and were part of its board of directors until they were relieved by their children.

Liliana Solari expanded her heritage by entering new businesses in 1987. The businesswoman is the founder of Bethia, an investment fund from which she controls her shares in Falabella and other businesses of the businesswoman such as the airline Latam and the Chilean Equestrian Club, among other companies. Currently, her son, Carlos Heller, occupies one of the positions of Falabella’s board of directors, while her daughter, Andrea Heller, works alongside her in Bethia.

In 2014, another phase began in the generational change of the group, which until then was led by Reinaldo Solari Magnasco and Juan Cúneo Solari. On April 6 of that year, Carlo Solari Donaggio, son of Reinaldo, assumed the presidency of the group, while Juan Carlos Cortés, son of Teresa Solari, was appointed vice president of the retailer.

Solar Donation He has been linked to the family group from the beginning of his professional career, where he worked in logistics, as head of product and commercial planning, until occupying the highest position of the company. On the other hand, Cortés Solari has been linked to Falabella since 2002, when he started working in the general management of the department store chain until he positioned himself as the second head of the group.

The other two sons of Reinaldo Solari, Sandro and Piero Solari Donaggio, are also linked to the group. The first is the current general manager of Falabella, while his brother is in charge of finding new business opportunities for family holding.

Sergio Cardone Solari, Alberto and Reinaldo Solari’s nephew, is also part of the group’s council. Graduated in engineering, the manager has been linked to the group since 1980 and currently holds the presidency of the Mall Plaza network of shopping centers.

Another recognized member of the family is Agustín Solari, who served as manager of Falabella Retail Chile until September 2013 when he resigned from his position to lead other projects in the fashion industry. Currently, he is the CEO of Limonada, specialized in children’s fashion.

Thus, it turns out that the Solari family and the Del Río Goudies had their shareholder agreements in place since 2003; However, in 2013, given the generational succession they faced (2014) and the potential growth of the business, they had to re-negotiate them — an arduous job and with some setbacks—, sealing them again in September 2013. This “new pact” will govern them until 2025—When they will review it again.

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