Each year since 1996, a leading family business has been honored with IMD Business School’s Global Family Business Award.  This year IMD has already kicked off the search for 2018’s winner of the prestigious award. The school is calling for nominations for a family business whose commitment to best practice makes it outstanding, via an online nomination form. The application deadline is 25 April 2018.

The IMD Global Family Business Award is regarded as the most prestigious distinction in the world for successful, global family businesses. The list of previous winners is impressive and sets the standard for this year’s entrants: toy maker Lego, luxury house Hermès, and the German Merck Group of global pharmaceutical and chemical companies. 

The award seeks to celebrate the important role of family business in the global economy. It also recognizes the important role family firms play in driving innovation and corporate social responsibility. 

The 23rd Award Ceremony will take place at the 29th International Family Business Network Global Summit in Venice, Italy, on 10-13 October 2018. The trophy is in the shape of a tree, a symbol of family business. It is generously donated by the Scheufele family from Chopard and is made in Geneva, Switzerland. 

To select a winner, a jury carefully considers each nominee for their outstanding success, exemplary governance, long-term commitment to social good, and the involvement of several generations of the family. 

Last year’s winner was Pentland Group, a second- and third-generation family business that was founded in 1932 as a shoe maker but has diversified into other industries including sports and fashion apparel. The group owns, among others, the Speedo and Boxfresh brands. It is owned by six family members and it employs more than 20,500 people globally, with annual sales of £2.9 billion. 

“Receiving this prestigious global award is the culmination of many decades of evolving as a family business and being supported by great teams and partners,” said Andy Rubin, third generation family shareholder and chairman of Pentland Brands. 

“To be recognized externally is a great validation of what we do. It helps us – as a private family business – to see that we benchmark with the very best. We are constantly learning and evolving and are passionate about our people, our brands, our customers and being good corporate citizens.” 

Past winners of the award highlight the importance of the family business ownership model and just how widespread it is globally. Family businesses provide a major source of income, jobs and tax revenue; they are major players in the global economy and provide stability during times of economic crisis.