- IMD Business School  - IMD Business School  - IMD Business School
IMD Global Family Business Award

Celebrating excellence in family, business, ownership, and society

IMD Global Family Business Award

Celebrating excellence in family, business, ownership, and society

Distinguishing prestigious family businesses around the world since 1996

This annual award provides a unique opportunity to promote the indispensable role family businesses play in the global economy and serves as a platform for family businesses to exchange best practices and analyze the economic backdrop.

The Award cannot exist without your active contribution to identifying exceptional companies worthy of recognition. Anyone can nominate a family business, and businesses can also nominate themselves.

Call for nominations and self-nominations open annually between February and March.

Criteria & process

The award recognizes family businesses with excellence on the following dimensions: family, business, ownership, and society.

Eligibility criteria are:

  • Multigenerational (of at least third generation)
  • Large (with an annual turnover of at least USD 0.5 billion)
  • International

In selecting the award winner, a panel of independent jury experts examines further aspects of the family business.

Careful consideration is given to the values of the people who run the business, including the way in which they unite their family and business interests and combine tradition and innovation while demonstrating a clear commitment to their communities.

Award process
Call for nominations and collection of the applications

Anyone is welcome to nominate or self-nominate. There are no costs associated with entry. IMD solicits applications from the nominated family enterprises that fit the award criteria. Families need to sign off on the application before it is considered by the award evaluation committee.


Identification of the finalists

Based on the award criteria, finalists are identified by the evaluation committee composed of representatives from the IMD Global Family Business Center and FBN.

Advanced research on the finalists

Advanced research and interviews are conducted with key family members from the finalist family businesses. An extensive report is prepared and submitted to the jury.

Jury meeting and vote

The award jury votes individually and anonymously. The jury is composed of members of globally leading family businesses, former Award winners, and senior expert academics within the field of family business.

Contact the winner and prepare the Award Ceremony

The winner is contacted. The announcement of the winner, the award ceremony, and the session with the winner takes place at the FBN Global Summit.

Case study

A teaching case study accompanied by a video is developed. The family is treated as a co-author of the study and as such can continue to use the case and the video interviews in any way it sees fit afterward, internally, without royalties due.

Award Prizes

A trophy crafted by Chopard and complimentary seats on our IMD Family Business Programs are awarded to the winner (two free seats) and finalists (one free seat). A case study and articles about the winning family business are published by IMD’s Award Director Professor Peter Vogel and the award research team.

 - IMD Business School
About the trophy

The award trophy is crafted by Chopard, a family-run business and expert in watches and jewelry. Held between two glass plates fixed in a rock crystal base, and housed in an elegant pear wood case, the trophy features a representation of a tree, providing a powerful metaphor of the family business spirit that draws its strength from tradition to grow and develop.

Through its roots firmly planted in the ground and its branches reaching towards the sky, the tree symbolizes the stability of the family, its links to the past, present, and future, and the continuity of generations.

IMD launched the IMD Global Family Business Award
6 jury
former Award winners and senior expert academics within the field of family business
2 partners
thanks to the ongoing support from Chopard and FBN


The jury is composed of minimum six and maximum 10 members of globally leading family businesses, former award winners and senior expert academics within the field of family business. 

Responsibility, authority and compensation

  • Full confidentiality applies at all times for all Award activities and communications.
  • Jury members receive an extensive report on finalists which they are asked to read to prepare for the annual jury meeting and anonymous online vote.
  • There is no compensation for time or other expenses.
Non-voting members

Discover our non-voting members, presented in alphabetical order

Award winners

List of previous winners
 - IMD Business School

The IMD Global Family Business Award is one of the oldest and most highly recognized family business honors in the world. For over a quarter of a century we identify and recognize outstanding enterprising families and their businesses who serve as a role model for families around the world..

Peter Vogel Award Director and Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship, IMD, Switzerland
 - IMD Business School

We are very glad we took part in the IMD Global Family Business Award process, since some of the questions in the application form pushed us as a family to think through.


Award applicant 2023
 - IMD Business School

2020 was a challenging year for so many of us. And so, winning an award like this is timely encouragement to us to continue to nourish our culture, brands, people, environment, shareholders and stakeholders, for their long-term health into the next generation, and the coming decades.

G Garvin Brown IV Brown-Forman Chairman and a 5th generation family shareholder, Brown-Forman (2020 winner), USA
 - IMD Business School

Being recognized by IMD encourages us to keep building a lasting family-owned company in the direction that we have been following since its foundation. It also makes us very proud of our progress and conscious about the challenges we must face and overcome as a family in the upcoming years. As a family, we feel united by this award.

Pedro Felipe Carvajal CEO and fourth generation family shareholder, Carvajal (winner 2022), Colombia

With sincere thanks to our partners