Milan toasts the winners of the 2019 European Families in Business Awards

Germany’s Henkel has been recognised for its long-term commitment to sustainability and generational stewardship at the CampdenFB European Families in Business Awards, held in partnership with BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

Henkel won the highly prized honour—Top Sustainable Family Business of the Year—at the exclusive and private gala dinner and awards presentation at the Four Seasons Hotel, Milan on Tuesday 2 July 2019.

Konstantin von Unger, a fifth-generation member of Henkel’s Shareholder Committee, accepted the top award on behalf of his family and said they were deeply honoured to receive the accolade.

The German chemical and consumer goods company has a history of sustainability dating back to the 1950s. Its latest effort is an ambitious “factor 3” sustainability goal that started in 2012. The initiative aims to triple the value it creates from its operations, products and services by 2030. By 2018 there was an efficiency increase of 43%.

About 100 members of business-owning families of substantial wealth, their executives, and advisers enjoyed the prestigious gala dinner and awards in Milan. Six awards were presented throughout the evening.

Meliá Hotels International won the Top Family Business Award for its performance in 2019 that saw the third largest hotel group in Europe open 17 hotels, with innovations including a €130 million ($146 million) digitalisation project and artificial intelligence air conditioning.

Tomaso Trussardi, third-generation chief executive of his family’s 108-year-old fashion house was on hand to accept the Top Family Business Leader of the Year Award. Trussardi’s award comes in part due to his role in sealing a €50 million deal with a Milan-based investment firm to capitalise the business.

The Top Family Business Rising Star Award was given to Emanuele Preve from Italy’s Riso Gallo. Since joining the family business in 2013, the sixth-generation member has led initiatives to look outside the traditional family business and invest in the start-up space, diversifying the family business into gluten-free pasta varieties and ready meal products.

Selin Yigitbasi-Ducker received the Top Next-Generation Entrepreneur Award in a closely-run category where a mere point separated the top contenders. She is the founder and director of early-stage start-up Goodsted—a platform which makes it easier to link individuals and organisations who would like to volunteer their skills or donate products and spaces to non-profit projects.

The Top Non-Family Director Award was collected by Italian family business veteran Michele Norsa. He has more than 40 years’ experience in senior roles at a number of Italian corporates, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino Fashion Group, and Marzotto. It follows more than a decade as chief executive of Salvatore Ferragamo.

Nominees were judged by five family business leaders and specialists: Harri Broman, chief executive of Finland’s Broman Group, which won the Top Family Business Award 2013; Prof Alfredo De Massis; chairman in Entrepreneurship and Family Business at Lancaster University Management School and director of the school's Centre for Family Business; Lydia Forte, Group Director of Food and Beverage at Rocco Forte Hotels and winner of the Top Family Business Rising Star Award 2018; Andy Rubin, chairman of Pentland Brands, which won the Top Family Business Award in 2014; and Nicholas Moody, editor of CampdenFB.

Moody praised the commitment of the finalists and noted how sustainability was an increasing focus: “There is a growing trend of not only innovation across family businesses, but also the rising importance of sustainable practices,” he said.

“Family business has always been aware of their place in society, but there is a noticeable shift to make sustainability a core business principle, not just in those who entered the sustainability category, but across all family businesses.”

Vincent Lecomte and Sofia Merlo, co-CEOs of new awards partner BNP Paribas Wealth Management, said: “This award underlines our commitment to support family businesses over the long term and to accompany them at every phase of their financial journey building the bridge between their personal and professional needs.”

“Succession planning and family governance are also top of mind for many of them. As a leading private bank, our aim with our dedicated team of wealth planners around the world is to help them manage their legacy with a long-term approach.”

CampdenFB hosted the eight annual edition of the grandest night in the European family business calendar. The event was the popular social highlight of the flagship Campden Wealth European Families in Business Conference, in Milan, on 2-3 July. The conference was chaired by Lamberto Frescobaldi, 30th generation winemaker and president of Marchesi De' Frescobaldi.

The European Families in Business Award 2019 winners are:

Top Sustainable Family Business of the Year
Henkel—Henkel family (Germany)

Top Family Business of the Year
Meliá Hotels International—Escarrer family (Spain)

Top Family Business Leader of the Year
Tomaso Trussardi—Trussardi (Italy)

Top Family Business Rising Star
Emanuele Preve—Riso Gallo (Italy)

Top Next-Generation Entrepreneur Award
Selin Yigitbasi-Ducker—Goodsted (United Kingdom/Turkey)

Top Non-Family Director of the Year
Michele Norsa—Multiple businesses (Italy)

Notes for editors

For more information, comment and photographs from the awards, please contact: Nicholas Moody, Editor, CampdenFB,,
Or James Beech, Deputy 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.

About BNP Paribas Wealth Management
BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a leading global private bank and the largest private bank in the Eurozone. Present in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and in the US, more than 7,000 professionals provide a private investor clientele with solutions for growing and transferring their wealth by creating long-term value for them, their family and the society in general. The bank has €377 billion worth of assets under management.
For UHNW clients and family offices, a dedicated team of 140 highly trained Relationship Managers offers institutional-calibre solutions by providing access to all the expertise of BNP Paribas (CIB division, Asset Management, Real Estate, Insurance and Securities Services).

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