Inaugural networking event scheduled for Hong Kong Show. A new initiative to encourage the involvement of younger diamantaires in the industry is gaining traction ahead of its first major networking event in September.
The ‘Young Diamantaires’ project grew out of a need to get trade members aged less than 45 years involved in the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), explained Rami Baron, the group’s convener who serves as chairman of the WFDB’s promotions committee (pictured below).
An informal meeting with 12 “young diamantaires” was held in May at the World Diamond Congress in Dubai, demonstrating a keen interest among participants “to express themselves and be part of something bigger,” Baron said.
While the current focus is simply to build a network, an implicit requirement is to provide continuity, Baron stressed. “The third or fourth generations are not interested in being in the family business,” added an Israeli diamantaire who requested anonymity.
The difficulty in recruiting the younger generation spans across the industry’s distribution chain. Business closures among U.S. jewelry retailers continue to accelerate due to a lack of continuity rather than bankruptcies, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT).
“The baby boomer generation of jewelers is getting older and doesn’t have a succession plan. They just close their doors, liquidate inventory and go out of business,” said Tony Capuano, JBT’s president in a recent interview. “We need to train the next generation of jewelers. While there are organizations working to educate young people about diamonds and jewelry, bringing them in has been a challenge.”