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Jebsen & Jessen awarded the IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award

Jebsen & Jessen is a flagbearer for family business excellence
November 2016

Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise, a family firm first established in Hong Kong at the end of the 19th Century, was awarded the 21st annual IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award at the 27th Summit of the Family Business Network International (FBN-I) in Suzhou, China.

Awarded by IMD, a top-ranked global business school, and by Lombard Odier, one of the main private banks in Europe, this prize is regarded by many as the most prestigious for successful global family businesses. The award recognizes firms that are exemplary in uniting family interests with those of the business and in combining tradition and innovation while demonstrating a clear commitment to their local community.

Asian-focused Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise was awarded the 21st Annual IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award in Suzhou, China. Pictured (left to right): Hans Michael Jebsen and Heinrich Jessen. Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise was honoured with the award for entrepreneurial spirit and its strong commitment to sustainability, environment, and its many partnerships.“Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise is a flagbearer for family business excellence and has successfully blended an enduring entrepreneurial spirit with the strong commitment to sustainability, environment, and its many partnerships,” said IMD President Dominique Turpin. “The company goes beyond merit in receiving this year’s prize.”

Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise is a third-generation family enterprise with highly diversified business that spans across distribution, manufacturing, engineering and mining activities. Organized around four main business entities, Jebsen & Co., Jebsen & Jessen (SEA), Jebsen & Jessen (Hamburg) and GMA Garnet, each member operates as an independent group, shouldering its respective responsibilities while subscribing to the vision and philosophy of the founding fathers. Privately owned, the Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise employs over 7,700 people worldwide and generates about US$4.5 billion in sales.

IMD and Lombard Odier recognize Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise for an accumulation of merits, which include its commitment to sustainability as well as its skill in mastering entrepreneurial partnerships. Its roots go back to 1895 when two cousins from the Jebsen and Jessen families from Aabenraa in Denmark established a trading house in Hong Kong.

“With this award we recognize and congratulate laureates for having shown through outstanding contributions, the vital role that family businesses have in our economies,” said Patrick Odier, Senior Managing Partner of Lombard Odier, a seventh-generation family firm. “Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise is an outstanding company that operates according to the very best practices and offers inspiration to its peers.”

For decades, Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise has been a trusted partner to many leading global companies and brands, including Air Liquide, Club Car, Demag, Dyson, Evonik Industries, Kronos, Pentax, Porsche, Toro, Xylem  and many others. Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise’s distinctive governing principles promote independence and concentrated ownership – with only one descendent from each family taking the “principal shareholder” role upon purchase – not inheritance – of the shares from its predecessor. Today, only two principal family shareholders from the third generation – Hans Michael Jebsen and Heinrich Jessen – navigate the group through their positions on the various company boards and cross-shareholdings. Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise has demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to adapt its business model to changing industries and market structures. Combining business and environment has always been an intrinsic part of its business culture with, among various achievements, both Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) and Jebsen & Co. fully carbon neutral since 2011 and 2013 respectively.

“Receiving this prestigious global award on behalf of our more than 7,700 colleagues and the Jebsen and Jessen families is a tremendous honor for us,” said third generation family principal shareholders, Hans Michael Jebsen and Heinrich Jessen “It keeps us motivated to continue the pragmatic and reliable approach adopted by previous generations: to ensure that a growth-oriented entrepreneurial spirit is allowed to thrive while concurrently maintaining sound, conservative financial discipline and independence from any one industry, geography or business relationship.”

This year, the IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award celebrates its 21st anniversary and pays tribute to a long list of prestigious recipients. Previous winners include world-class companies such as LEGO, Ayala Corporation, S.C. Johnson, Hermès, Barilla, Yazaki Corporation, Merck, Firmenich, Bel Group and most recently, Bavaria.

All of these sucessful family businesses serve as a reminder that the model for family business is the oldest and most widespread ownership model in the world. A major source of revenue, jobs and tax contributions, family businesses are key players in the economic system and often serve as models for long-term growth, profitability, stability and survival through periods of crisis.

The award trophy is fashioned out of crystal and bears the shape of a tree – a symbol of family businesses. It was generously donated by the Scheufele family from Chopard and was crafted in Geneva.

About the IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award

The IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award was created in 1996. The aim of the award, which provides a unique platform for sharing best practices and analyzing the economic backdrop, is to promote family businesses by highlighting the exceptionally high standards they are capable of and the many forms they may take.

About the Award Partners

IMD business school and Lombard Odier jointly developed the highly acclaimed and prestigious Global Family Business Award – initiated in 1996 – to annually recognize an outstanding company that has successfully blended family and business interests. In 1999, the Scheufele Family from Chopard joined forces with IMD and Lombard Odier, and has since contributed the beautifully crafted trophy.

Find out more about the IMD Global Family Business Center