The announcement of the winner, the Award Ceremony, and the session with the winner takes place at the FBN Global Summit.
Distinguishing prestigious family businesses around the world since 1996
This award – presented annually – 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 analyse the economic backdrop.
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 3rd generation)
- Large (annual turnover of at least USD 0.5 billion)
- International with a global footprint
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, the way in which they unite their family and business interests, and combine tradition and innovation, while demonstrating a clear commitment to their communities.
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.
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 and interviews are conducted with key family members from the finalist family businesses. An extensive report is prepared and submitted to the jury.
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.
The winner is contacted and a full teaching case study, accompanied by the video, is developed in preparation for the Award Ceremony.
A trophy crafted by Chopard and complimentary seats on our IMD Family Business Programs are awarded to the winner (2 free seats) and finalists (1 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.
About the trophy
The award trophy is crafted by Chopard, a family-run business and expert in watches and jewellery. Held between two glass plates fixed in a rock crystal base, the trophy, represents a tree kept in an elegant pear wood case.
Through its roots firmly planted in the ground and its branches reaching towards the sky, the tree symbolizes the stability, the link between past, present and future, and the continuity of generations. It provides a powerful metaphor of family business spirit that draws its strength from tradition in order to develop the future.
The jury is composed of minimum 6 and maximum 10 members of globally leading family businesses, former Award winners and senior expert academics within the field of family business.
Responsibility, authority & 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 be prepared for the annual Jury meeting and anonymous online vote.
- There is no compensation for time or other expenses.
Get to know the voting members of the jury, displayed in alphabetical order
Bonnier won the 2003 IMD Global Family Business Award.
Fabian is a 7th generation member of the Bonnier family. After graduating from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm he started his career outside of the…
Judy Green, Ph.D., is president of the Family Firm Institute (FFI), an international association of individuals and organizations who advise and study family enterprise.
A frequent commentator in the field, she was…
Firmenich won the 2011 IMD Global Family Business Award.
Marie-Christine, a 3rd generation member of the Firmenich family, earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemistry at the University of…
Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise won the 2016 IMD Global Family Business Award.
Heinrich Jessen is chairman and principal partner of Jebsen & Jessen, a diversified ASEAN industrial group. He is also partner and…
Pentland Group plc won the 2017 IMD Global Family Business Award.
Andy Rubin is Chair of Pentland Brands Ltd, a director of Pentland Group plc and non-executive director of JD Sports Fashion Plc.
Pentland is a UK based,…
Risto is a fourth-generation entrepreneur currently serving as a Chairperson of his family’s artisanal bakery business in Finland.
He has co-founded several start-ups; is an avid impact investor in early stage…
John Ward is Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and co-director of the Center for Family Enterprises at Kellogg School of Management.
He teaches and studies family continuity planning, leadership, ownership,…
Non voting members
Discover our non voting members, presented in alphabetical order
Alexis is the CEO of The Family Business Network (FBN), the world’s leading network run by family businesses, for family businesses, together across generations.
FBN is the world’s leading family…
Jean-François Manzoni is the President of IMD, where he also serves as the Nestlé Professor.
His research, teaching, and consulting activities are focused on leadership, the development of high-performance…
Peter Vogel is Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship and holder of the Debiopharm Chair for Family Philanthropy at IMD Business School in Lausanne. He is also the Director of IMD Global Family Business Center…
Grundfos: winner in 2021
- 2020: Brown-Forman
- 2019: Dachser
- 2018: De Agostini
- 2017: Pentland Group plc
- 2016: Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise
- 2015: Bavaria
- 2014: Ayala Corporation
- 2013: J.M. Huber Corporation
- 2012: Bel Group
- 2011: Firmenich
- 2009: The Merck Group
- 2008: Roca Corporacion Empresarial
- 2007: Yazaki Corporation
- 2006: Fundació Lluis Carulla, Ivey Foundation and Lopez Group Foundation
- 2005: Votorantim Group
- 2004: The Barilla Group
- 2003: The Bonnier Group
- 2002: The Samuel C. Johnson Family Enterprises
- 2001: The Murugappa Group
- 2000: The Zegna Group
- 1999: The Henkel Group
- 1998: Corporacion Puig
- 1997: Hermès SA
- 1996: The LEGO Group
What stakeholders say about the award?
With sincere thanks to our partners
Would you like to know more about our activities? Get in touch with our team at the IMD Global Family Business Center.