HISTORY CHANNEL: THE ROCKEFELLERS 5 OF 9

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HISTORY CHANNEL: THE ROCKEFELLERS PART 5 OF 9

-Family Wealth-

The combined wealth of the family -- its total assets and investments plus the individual wealth of its members -- has never been known with any precision. In 1992, family members estimated it to be between US$5 billion to $10 billion. The records of the family archives relating to both the family and individual members' net worth is closed to researchers.

From the outset, and even today, the family wealth has been under the complete control of the male members of the dynasty, through the family office. Despite strong-willed wives who had influence over their husbands' decisions -- such as the pivotal female figure Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of Junior -- in all cases they received allowances only and were never given even partial responsibility for the family fortune.

Much of the wealth has been locked up in the notable family trust of 1934 (which holds the bulk of the fortune and matures on the death of the fourth generation), and the trust of 1952, both administered by the Chase Manhattan Bank. These trusts have consisted of shares in the successor companies to Standard Oil and other diversified investments, as well as the family's considerable real estate holdings. They are administered by a powerful Trust Committee that oversees the fortune. It has consisted over time of high-profile individuals, which have included Paul Volcker, William G. Bowen (former president of Princeton University) and John C. Whitehead (retired co-chairman of Goldman Sachs).

Management of this fortune today also rests with professional money managers who oversee the principal holding company, Rockefeller Financial Services, which controls all the family's investments, now that Rockefeller Center is no longer owned by the family. The present chairman is David Rockefeller, Jr.

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