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Billionaire Dynasty of Only Men Turns to Women to Handle Fortune

The Grosvenor family, which traces its major source of wealth to a dowry of land in 1677, has been hiring and promoting women in senior roles.

Grosvenor Square engraving, 1754. 

Grosvenor Square engraving, 1754. 

Source: Historical Picture Archive/Corbis/Getty Images

The Grosvenor dynasty, which traces the origins of its multibillion-dollar fortune to a dowry from the parents of a 12-year-old bride, has passed its main source of wealth down the male line for centuries.

That hasn’t changed in 345 years: Hugh Grosvenor, 31, became the seventh Duke of Westminster in 2016 and head of the family’s estate when his father Gerald died from a heart attack at 64, even though he has two elder sisters.