UK retail family business Pentland Group has been awarded the top honour at this year's CampdenFB European Families in Business Awards in Barcelona.
Spain's own Koplowitz family was awarded with the lifetime achievement award.
Held in association with Societe Generale Private Banking at a gala dinner at El Palace Hotel, the annual awards, now in their third year, recognise European family businesses that excel in stewardship and governance, as well as revenue growth and profits.
On hand to receive the award for top family business were Pentland Group's Stephen and Andy Rubin. Their family's sports, outdoors and fashion retailer owns brands such as Canterbury of New Zealand, Speedo and Berghaus. Founded in 1932, the family business, now in its second and third generations, has revenues of more than €2 billion.
Alicia Alcocer Koplowitz of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) was on hand to accept the lifetime achievement award on behalf of her family, including her mother Esther Koplowitz, and their family business – one of the 25 biggest listed companies on the Spanish stock exchange.
FCC was established in 1900 and today has revenues of more than €11 billion.
Taking out the top honour for family business leader was Nicholas Boel, of Begium-based Solvay – a chemicals company with revenues of more than €10 billion a year. Boel, who was unable to accept the award in person, said in a statement that the history of the Solvay Group was "a collective adventure, the result of the determination of a few charismatic, ambitious and visionary individuals, carriers of and carried by a project".
Peter Armitage, chairman of the UK's OCS, was awarded top non-family executive. Armitage joined the company in 1979 and was promoted to managing director in 2001. This year he was appointed president of UK organisation Institute for Families in Business.
The top sustainable family business award went to another Spanish company Acciona, an energy company that refocused itself towards renewables in 2009. It fought off competition from the likes of German chocolate company Ritter Sport, which supports sustainable farming in Central America through its business, and Polish bus manufacturer Solaris, which produces green technology vehicles.
In a theme consistent throughout the three years the awards have been running, a sibling pair took out the honour for top family business rising star. Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser, of the eponymous German headphones and audio electronics manufacturer, took out the award, thanking their more than 2,000 employees for the success of the company started by their grandfather.
Previous winners of the category have included the Lavazza brothers of Italy, who head their family's eponymous coffee company, and Ramon Naf and Sarah Flieg-Naf, a Swiss brother and sister team involved in Naef Group.
The 2014 European Families in Business Awards are:
Top Family Business of the Year
Pentland Group (UK)
Top Family Business Leader of the Year
Nicolas Boël – Solvay (Belgium)
Top Family Business Rising Star of the Year
Daniel and Andreas Sennheiser – Sennheiser (Germany)
Top Non-Family Director of the Year
Peter Armitage – OCS (UK)
Top Sustainable Family Business of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award
Koplowitz Family – FCC (Spain)
Notes for editors
For more information about the awards, please contact:
Editor, Campden Wealth
+44 (0)20 7214 0585
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