The McGrady Corporation is a large conglomerate and holding company, defined legally in the Japanese term zaibatsu. Under such definitions, it is one of the largest and most prolific of its kind in human society. Since its consolidation in the early 3230s, the McGrady Corporation has ballooned in size to include resource extraction, heavy industry, fine goods production, financial services, consumer sales, media production, transportation, and real estate subsidiaries. Its industrial interests including mining, steel production, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, nuclear power, armaments, automotive, aerospace, glass and ceramics, textiles, paper, electrical components, computers and home electronics, and commercial appliances. Its consumer goods areas include a chain of wholly-owned supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as steady supply to other markets of food, beverage, personal care, medicine, appliances, and consumer electronics. It also owns several media assets, including film, television, music, and holographic video production and distribution, and several planetary radio and television networks, internet websites, and streaming video and audio services.
McGrady Financial Group
The McGrady Corporation began life as the McGrady Financial Group in 2685, as a partnership between brothers Éamon, Michael, and Patrick McGrady, and their close friend Isaac Rothschild. It was partly founded to finance the expedition to colonise the gas giant Kolossen in the Edel star system. However, within a year of the colony's foundation in the early 2700s, the partnership collapsed amidst personal disputes between Isaac Rothschild and the McGrady brothers. Three planned colony cylinder pairs were decreased to two pairs, to save costs. The McGrady brothers felt disgraced and orchestrated the ouster of Isaac Rothschild from the Group's board of directors. The McGrady family settled on the Wallerstein colony, and head-quartered their company there. The McGrady Financial Group accumulated a great deal of wealth through its many business interests and relationships with Inner Colonies aristocrats and industrialists. The McGrady family's investments and salaries, and austere fiscal planning, gave them a sizeable family and personal fortune. The fortunes of the family's patriarchs and matriarchs allowed them to eventually privately charter hospitals and schools and make a strong political and financial presence on Wallerstein. The McGradys practically dominated Wallerstein politics, and occasional family members served in the Inner Colonies Provincial Parliament. They initially were involved with the Conservative Party, but grew to hold radical nationalist convictions and furthered the position of the National Humanist Imperial Labor Party.
Through its five centuries of existence, the McGrady Financial Group was the recipient of allegations of money-laundering for space pirates and organised crime in the Inner and Outer Colonies. However, no such allegations have ever been proven or brought to court. The company became quite large over time, and its business relationships gave them interests in commercial, industrial, and media companies as well as real estate. The McGrady family retained a sizeable portfolio of expansive business interests in the Inner Colonies and Inner Sphere provinces, as well as some "Old Earth" companies that were relatively defunct. Attempts to reinvigorate these old holdings were largely unsuccessful.
The McGrady Financial Group came to an end in the early 33rd century. Proinsias Petyr McGrady became head of the family and ex officio head of the company in 3193. He initially strengthened the company through his image: his aristocratic bearing, dashing goods looks, youthful energy, and easy smugness made him appear charming and self-assured. But he attracted personal and professional scandal; combined with existing scandals and accusations regarding the company as a whole, this caused an atmosphere of dread within the company leadership. After the revelation of his tremendous spending and gift-giving, using his family's stocks in the company as collateral, his financial mismanagement compelled the board of directors to oust him in 3212. He squandered his family's fortune and they were flung into poverty.
The other main element of the McGrady Corporation was Drake Industries, which continues to exist as wholly-owned subsidiary group of companies. Drake Industries was founded in 2849 by the consolidation of six resource-extraction and refining companies held by Rupert Drake, an Anglo-French and Scots-Irish businessman hailing from the Outer Colonies. Drake Industries rapidly expanded in the 2900s and 3000s, coming to dominate mining operations in most spinward colonies, especially in areas of rare earth metals, heavy metals, and petroleum. Secondary industries expanded on several worlds to conduct refining and processing operations, smelting ores into strong alloys, crafting electronics components, and refining petrochemicals for fuels and plastics. In the 3210s and 3220s, Drake Industries began to compete with industrial businesses in which the McGrady Financial Group had significant investment, bringing them into intractable conflict with the Financial Group's board of directors.
Proinsias' daughter Shannon put herself through school and became a prospective politician in the Kolossen colonies. She earned a doctorate in law and participated in local politics on the campaign staff of Seth Rothschild. She worked with Seth's son, George Francis, and planned a run for the Wallerstein City Council in 3234. During a fundraiser event in 3230, she met Patrick David Drake, heir to Drake Industries. They courted and eventually married in January 3233. A month later, however, Patrick's father died in a spacecraft accident, with ownership of Drake Industries falling to Patrick.
Shannon and Patrick utilized the immense wealth of the Drake family to purchase enormous personal stakes in the McGrady Financial Group due to the significantly lowered cost of shares. Drake Industries cooperated with a business plan drawn up by Patrick and Shannon to initiate a hostile takeover of the McGrady Financial Group if the MGFG management rejected all offers of negotiated merger, which they did. With the assistance of several allied shareholders, Drake Industries conducted their takeover through sheer majority vote at an emergency stockholder's meeting. The existing management was overthrown, Shannon was made CEO, and a formal merger was made on 19 September 3233. Afterwards, the corporate structure of the new company was organized as a zaibatsu style conglomerate. The new business was renamed the McGrady Corporation, and Shannon resigned as head of the company. Her husband was elected President and CEO, and has run the company ever since.