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From right, Mukesh Ambani, Anand Piramal, Isha’s husband, Isha, Akash, Nita, Anant, and Anant’s partner Radhika Merchant, at Akash’s wedding ceremony in Mumbai, on March 9, 2019.

From right, Mukesh Ambani, Anand Piramal, Isha’s husband, Isha, Akash, Nita, Anant, and Anant’s partner Radhika Merchant, at Akash’s wedding ceremony in Mumbai, on March 9, 2019.

Photographer: Sujit Jaiswal/AFP/Getty Images

Asia’s Richest Man Looks to Walton Family Playbook on Succession

Mukesh Ambani’s grand plan is aimed at averting pitfalls of the past

For years, Mukesh Ambani has studied the ways in which billionaire families, from the Waltons to the Kochs, passed on what they’d built to the next generation. Recently, that process has intensified, with Asia’s richest man eyeing a blueprint for the next stage of his $208 billion empire that seeks to avert the succession warfare that’s torn apart so many wealthy clans — including his own.

The 64-year-old Indian tycoon’s favored plan shares elements with that of Walmart Inc.’s Walton family, people familiar with the matter say, and could provide the framework for one of the biggest transfers of wealth in recent times. Ambani is considering moving his family’s holdings into a trust-like structure that will control the Mumbai-listed flagship Reliance Industries Ltd., the people said, asking not to be identified on a topic they’re not authorized to discuss publicly.