Prague toasts winners of CampdenFB European Families in Business Awards 2017

Starhotels has taken out the top award at the sixth annual European Families in Business Awards, presented in Prague on 20 June.

Second generation Starhotels chief executive Elisabetta Fabri attended the high-profile event to accept the award on behalf of the bespoke hotel chain, which prides itself on the Italian values of style and hospitality.

More than 100 multigenerational family members, principals, chief executives, and advisers of family businesses and offices attended a glittering gala dinner and awards at Prague’s Lobkowicz Palace, held in partnership with Societe Generale Private Banking for the sixth consecutive year.

The evening recognised European family businesses that excel in stewardship and governance, as well as revenue growth and profits, as judged by five international family business leaders and specialists.

"It's a surprise [to win the award] ... I am very, very pleased. This is a great group of people [the finalists], and we're a group that shares a passion for family business, which is very exciting," Fabri told the audience from more than 20 countries.

The judges were impressed by Starhotels’ rapid growth – revenue increased 16% year-on-year in 2015 – as well as the company’s commitment to giving back.

Fabri – well known for her advocacy and philanthropy – was also nominated in the Top Family Business Leader, though this was taken out by Cyril Camus, president of Camus Cognac.

Camus, a fifth generation family member and sole shareholder at the historic brand, is celebrated for his nous in emerging markets. During his tenure he has expanded the French brand into China, Japan, Russia, and the US.

Brothers Martin & Andreas Prinz, from Austrian pharmaceuticals business Croma-Pharma, were named joint winners of the Top Family Business Rising Star award, alongside Geordie Willis, creative director at UK wine merchants Berry Bros and Rudd.

Non-profit founder and out-of-the-box shoe maker Galahad Clark, of Clarks Shoes family fame, won Top-Next Generation entrepreneur, while Michaela Doll-Lämmer, director of hotels at Europa-Parks took out Top Non-Family Director.

Italian holding company CIR Group won top Sustainable Family Business, off the back of its ongoing effort to protect the environment, including one of its companies using 74% recycled paper.

CampdenFB, the leading global magazine for family businesses with revenues over $100 million, received close to 200 online public nominations from more than 14 countries for the awards.

A panel of five judges including family business leaders and academics had the tough task of reducing this to 31 finalists across six categories.

Nicholas Moody, CampdenFB editor and one of the judges, commended the winners on showing that successful businesses could prosper despite the uncertain political climate.

“Our winners are showing businesses of all types why patient, long-term capitalism works best. Keep doing what you are doing, building and sustaining great businesses over generations. CampdenFB will be here to celebrate your achievements.”

Olivier Lecler, chief executive of Societe Generale Private Banking Switzerland, agreed that the stability, responsibility and long-term vision embodied by family businesses was “more necessary than ever”.

“I am very proud to be able to acknowledge and highlight, through the European Families in Business Awards and its seven winners, the pivotal role these families play in Europe. Congratulations to all the winners!”

CampdenFB thanks major sponsor Société Générale Private Banking, as well as the exemplary panel of judges: Harri Broman, chief executive of Broman Group; Professor Denise Kenyon-Rouvinez, director at IMD Global Family Business Centre; Professor Alfredo de Massis, family business management platform director, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and Lancaster University; and Andy Rubin, chairman, Pentland Brands.

The 2017 European Families in Business Award winners are:

Top Family Business of the Year

   Starhotels – Fabri family (Italy)

Top Family Business Leader of the Year

   Cyril Camus – Camus Cognac (France)

Top Family Business Rising Star

   Joint winners: Andreas and Martin Prinz - Croma-Pharma (Austria), and Geordie Willis - Berry Bros & Rudd (UK)

Top Next-Generation Entrepreneur Award

   Galahad Clark - VivoBarefoot (UK)

Top Non-Family Director of the Year

   Michaela Doll-Lämmer - Europa-Park (Germany)

Top Sustainable Family Business of the Year

   CIR Group – De Benedetti family (Italy)

Notes for editors

For more information about the awards, please contact: Nicholas Moody, Editor, CampdenFB,

About Campden Wealth

Campden Wealth is an independent family owned business providing unrivalled knowledge, intelligence and connectivity for family businesses, family offices and significant private investors worldwide. For the past 22 years Campden Wealth and the Institute for Private Investors have delivered membership services, peer-to-peer private meetings, educational programs, proprietary research, news and analysis for families and family offices. All vital resources to their future success.

About CampdenFB

Published since 2001, CampdenFB (formerly Families in Business) magazine has provided business-owning families of substantial wealth with the knowledge, insights and vital business intelligence they require to manage their enterprises and their families successfully.

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