by Jennifer Leigh Parker, CNBC.com
In today's world, daughters are just as likely as sons to be the heir-apparent to the family business. From North America to Europe to Asia, there's a generation of heir apparents with the skills and experience to run some of the world's most high-profile firms.
All of these women could probably make it without help from 'Daddy.' They're smart and savvy, have earned world-class degrees, and are business leaders in their own right.
More important, they have a major stake in the family business, so they're primed to take over if and when the time comes.
Dylan LaurenDylan Lauren
Residence: New York City
Education: Duke University
Company: Ralph Lauren Corp
Current CEO: Ralph Lauren
Daughter of a self-made man and world-class designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan Lauren has her father's knack for business. She founded Dylan's Candy Bar, a U.S.-based chain known for "merging fashion and pop candy culture." She plans to expand internationally - a venture that may well prepare her to join Ralph Lauren Corp, (RL), worth over $13 billion.
Education: London School of Economics
Company: LVMH - Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Current CEO: Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault's daughter, Delphine Arnault-Gancia, became the first female board member of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH at age 28.
Since then, she's built up some serious street cred: After working at McKinsey and managing product lines for Christian Dior, she's now executive officer of Italian luxury goods company Emilio Pucci S.r.L, and Director of LMVH.
High-end extravagance for this now-famous female executive goes beyond the boardroom. Guests at Arnault's wedding to Alessandro Vallarino included designer Karl Lagerfeld, former French first lady Bernadette Chirac and president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Residence: New York City
Education: Brooklyn's Poly Prep
Company: Coalco International
Current CEO: Vassily Anisimov
Russian millionaire Vassiy Anisimov started a Moscow-based real estate company, Coalco, and gave his daughter Anna a job in its New York division. She showed a talent for real estate wheeling and dealing, famously orchestrating a $23 million deal for Diane Von Furstenberg's New York headquarters in 2005. This future real estate mogul rents an apartment in Manhattan's Time Warner Center for $15 million, and is known as New York's first Russian-American princess.
Education: University of Milan
Company: Fininvest Group
Current Owner: Silvio Berlusconi
Daughter of three-time Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Marina left her studies at the University of Milan before obtaining her degree in order to work at media holding company Fininvest Group, established by her father. She is currently Chairman of Finivest, which includes interests in a major commercial TV operator, a movie production company and soccer team A.C. Milan.
Education: Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
Company: Santander Group
Current CEO: Emilio Botin
Ana Patricia Botin worked for seven years at JPMorgan before joining the family business in 1988. She took over as CEO of Santander UK, the second largest unit of financial services behemoth Santander Group of Spain in December 2010. She is U.S.-educated, speaks five languages, and descends from one of Spain's most prominent families. Her career in London is considered an indication that she will soon lead parent company Santander, where she has been a longtime board member.
Education: University College London
Company: Virgin Group
Current CEO: Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson's daughter is the odds-on favorite for the future face of Virgin - one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous brands on the planet. Her father, billionaire Sir Richard Branson, is chairman of the Virgin Group (VMED).
In line to inherit a large slice of her father's fortune, Holly Branson has decided to put her medical degree from University College London aside to join the Virgin empire.
See More: Heirs To Megal Moguls
Also, from CNBC:
Women & Business Special Report
Why You Should Invest Like A Girl
Role Model Success Stories