IMD has opened up nominations for the 2021 Global Family Business Award (GFBA) and invites you to nominate family businesses.

Every year since 1996, a globally leading family business has been honored with this award – regarded by many as the most prestigious distinction in the world for successful global family businesses. The aim of the award, which provides a unique platform for sharing best practices and analyzing the economic and societal impact of family businesses, is to promote these organizations by highlighting the exceptionally high standards they are capable of and the many forms they may take. Multi-generational success requires a united family as well as a well-governed and performant organization.  In order to be eligible for the GFBA, a family business has to be at least 3rd generation, have a global footprint (operating on at least two continents) and have an annual turnover of at least $0.5 billion.

Anyone can nominate a family business, and family businesses can also nominate themselves. The deadline for nominations is 30 April, 2021. This year, the award ceremony will take place at the FBN Global Summit in Budapest, from 13-16 October, 2021.

A jury of independent experts selects the winner on the basis of their outstanding best practices in the family, the ownership group as well as the business. Jurors consider 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. Nominees are also expected to demonstrate a clear commitment to their communities and to society-at-large.

The 2020 winner of the Global Family Business Award, sponsored by Pictet, was Brown-Forman, one of the largest American family-owned businesses in the wine and spirits sector. With a history of 150 years, Brown-Forman owns brands such as Jack Daniels. The jury honored Brown-Forman for its focus on responsible family ownership, good corporate governance, brand building, sustainability, diversity and inclusion.

The jury was particularly impressed by Brown-Forman’s focus on best practice governance and strategy, its management of heritage and legacy, leading-edge brand and portfolio management practices, and a proactive sustainability agenda,” said Professor Benoit Leleux, 2020’s IMD Global Family Business Award Director.

A selection of previous winners includes (in alphabetical order): Ayala – Barilla – Bavaria – Bel – Bonnier – Dachser – De Agostini Group – Firmenich – Henkel – Hermès – Jebsen & Jessen – JM Huber – Lego – Merck – Murugappa – Pentland Group plc – Puig – Roca – SC Johnson – Votorantim – Yazaki and Zegna.

Now in its 26th year, Professor Peter Vogel, Director of the IMD Global Family Business Center, has taken over the directorship of the Global Family Business Award from Prof. Benoit Leleux.

It is an honor and privilege to follow in the footsteps of Benoit, who successfully directed the award from 2008 to 2020. I am excited to be taking over the lead of this award and navigate it into the future – as an integral and strategic aspect of IMD and our activities in the Global Family Business Center. We will be seeking to reach maximum impact and visibility for this award, which promotes successful family businesses as role models and positive changemakers in today’s society”, says Prof. Vogel.

 About the award partners

In 1999, the Swiss watch and jewelry maker Chopard joined forces with IMD and has since contributed the beautifully crafted trophy. In 2018, Pictet joined as the official award sponsor to further develop this prestigious award.