Share |

Top 50 Family Business Leaders 2016

From Blackmores to Wah Kwong Maritime Transport – we’ve scoured the globe for the A-Z of top family business leaders in 2016
Top 50 leaders

Whether its family members taking over top leadership positions, or businesses who’ve beaten Apple in corporate reputation rankings, we’ve got the leaders steering their family businesses in innovative and interesting directions

Welcome to the Top 50 Family Business Leaders List 2016 – the sixth time CampdenFB has compiled its list of leading lights. This year we’ve examined family businesses under the usual criteria of governance, growth, and innovation, but we’ve also placed a strong focus on sustainability and diversity. This could be in the composition of leadership of their business, boards or senior management, the establishment of special initiatives to promote equality and diversity, partnerships or other efforts around sustainability. Some businesses have more than one leader represented – this is because we want to recognise the family in family businesses, whether it be a husband and wife team, or siblings sharing executive roles. 

We have almost entirely new names in 2016. That’s not because last year’s leaders have fallen from favour, many are still at the top of their game – rather it’s a reflection of how we strive to give exposure to those ‘hidden champions’. We spend 12 months looking for the family business heads who are making a mark in different parts of the globe. New, exciting faces include: Marcus Blackmore, whose eponymous Australian healthcare company saw revenues soar 36% in 2015, and Danny Wegman whose family-owned supermarket chain beat Google and Apple to be ranked the top US company for social responsibility by 27,000 survey respondents. It’s difficult to miss out 39-year-old Sabrina Chao who has been appointed chair of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association after she took the helm at her family’s company in 2003.

Still, there are several who have been included again. The irrepressible Bill Marriott remains as he tries to steer through the $13.6 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Despite a tough retail environment, chairman Gareth Ackerman is again included as he guided South Africa’s second largest supermarket chain resolutely – turnover was up in the six months to August 2015 by 8.5%.

We’d like to acknowledge the assistance of Guillermo Salazar, partner and chief executive at Exaudi Family Business Consulting. Salazar suggested a host of Latin American businesses to research. We hope you enjoy it and do let us know of any leaders we should consider for 2017. 

Top 50 FB Leaders 2016
                        AFRICA ASIA PACIFIC EUROPE LATIN AMERICA MIDDLE EAST NORTH AMERICA
GARETH ACKERMAN MARCUS BLACKMORE IRVINE ANDERSON JANINE BELMONT MONA YOUSUF ALMOAYYED MARTHA BILLES
ABDUL RABIU SABRINA CHAO SOPHIE BELLON ALEXANDRE BIRMAN LUJAINA MOHSIN DARWISH AND AREEJ MOHSIN DARWISH GERT AND TIM BOYLE
ATUL SHAH ADRIAN CHENG SAID DARWAZAH ADRIANA CISNEROS ABDULLA AL GHURAIR GARVIN BROWN IV
KARIM TAZI WILLIAM E. (CHIP) CONNOR II VICTOR GRIFOLS HEIKE PAULMANN KOEPFER AND PETER PAULMANN KOEPFER MOHAMMED ABDUL LATIF JAMEEL RICHARD EDELMAN
LAMIA TAZI EMMA HILL NICOLA LEIBINGER-KAMMÜLLER ROGELIO ZAMBRANO LOZANO GHASSAN NUQUL LISA INGRAM
CHRISTO WIESE ANAND MAHINDRA ROLAND MACK RICARDO SALINAS PLIEGO HUTHAM AND LUBNA OLAYAN JANE LAUDER
  PAWAN MUNJAL BRIS ROCHER RODRIGO URIBE GÜLER SABANCI BILL MARRIOTT
  KUMIKO OTSUKA   NAGUIB SAWIRIS CHRISSY TAYLOR
  LIM KOK THAY FRIEDE SPRINGER   NOOR SWEID DANNY WEGMAN
        MURAT AND ALI ÜLKER  

 

GARETH ACKERMAN 

  

AGE:  57

COMPANY:  Pick n Pay

ROLE:  Chairman

REVENUES:  ZAR66.94 billion / $4.39 billion

COUNTRY:  South Africa

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth 

 

Despite a tough retail environment chairman Gareth Ackerman last year steered the firm upward. Turnover was up in the six months to August 2015 by 8.5% to ZAR34.9 billion. The company has invested in pricing, increasing at around 7% and is also expanding its footprint: It is to open three stores in Namibia, two in Zambia and two in Zimbabwe, while continuing its operations in Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland and developing a business in Ghana.

BACK TO LIST


ABDUL RABIU

AGE:  56

COMPANY:  Bua Group

ROLE:  Founder

REVENUES:  $2 billion (2013)

COUNTRY:  Nigeria

NOMINATED FOR:  Strategy

BUA signed $600 million worth of contracts with China’s Sinoma International Engineering to double capacity at its flagship cement plant. BUA Group is also in talks with Sinoma to build a steel plant in Nigeria and two cement plants in East Africa for $1.9 billion. Rabiu’s ambitions are to invest more than $500 million in Nigeria’s economy over the next few years.

BACK TO LIST


ATUL SHAH

AGE:  51

COMPANY:  Nakumatt

ROLE:  Managing director

REVENUES:  $450 million

COUNTRY:  Kenya

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth, entrepreneurship

This Kenyan supermarket chain is expanding rapidly and has an ongoing programme geared at enhancing its market presence. Currently, Nakumatt has nearly 65 branches in 15 countries alongside its Ugandan, Rwandan, and Tanzanian presence. The most recent branches opened in December 2015 and created jobs from an initial investment of KES200 million ($1.97 million). The firm also recently acquired Yako Supermarkets Ltd, setting the stage for its expansion in Kenya’s western region.

BACK TO LIST


KARIM TAZI

AGE:  56

COMPANY:  Richbond

ROLE:  Group administrator

REVENUES:  MAD1.5 billion / $155 million

COUNTRY:  Morocco

NOMINATED FOR:  Entrepreneurship

The company, just 50 years old, is one born and bred in Morocco. The next step is to expand into West Africa, initially in the Ivory Coast, and establish plastics and textiles factories there with a view to distribution especially in the household goods, soft furnishings, and furniture sectors. This should be open by 2017 and it is hoped that Africa will eventually count for around 50% of the company’s overall activity. Tazi is politically active and has been, in the past, quite outspoken about corruption, human rights abuses, and democracy.

BACK TO LIST


LAMIA TAZI

AGE:  38

COMPANY:  Sothema

ROLE:  General manager

REVENUES:  MAD1.12 billion / $116 million (2014)

COUNTRY:  Morocco

NOMINATED FOR:  One to watch

Nominated as one of the top 100 young African economic leaders of tomorrow by the Institute Choiseul, Tazi has helped transform her father’s pharmaceutical business into an international player, with laboratories now present in more than 30 countries. Last year revenues were up 9.6%. Her mission is to capitalise on Sothema’s partnership with the health ministry – to improve the health sector in Morocco – through commercial relations and scientific training in the region. Sothema was the first Moroccan pharmaceutical laboratory to be listed on the Casablanca stock market.

BACK TO LIST


CHRISTO WIESE

AGE:  74

COMPANY:  Shoprite

ROLE:  Executive Director

REVENUES:  ZAR114 billion / $7.48 billion

COUNTRY:  South Africa

NOMINATED FOR:  Strategy

Wiese has a 15% stake of publicly-traded Shoprite Holdings, which is now Africa’s biggest food retailer. He has built his father’s small retail business, Pepkor, into an international empire with supermarkets, furniture stores, and fast food outlets in 15 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. Shoprite is expanding in Nigeria where Walmart plans to take it on head-to-head. Separately his investment vehicle, Brait, has recently bought two UK household names: Virgin Active and New Look. His son Jacob Wiese works for Pepkor and is expected to take over from the patriarch when he retires.

BACK TO LIST

 

MARCUS BLACKMORE

AGE:  70

COMPANY:  Blackmores

ROLE:  Chairman

REVENUES:  AUD$607 million / $461 million

COUNTRY:  Australia

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

Blackmores has done well from the surge in demand for health supplements with revenues jumping 36% to 2015. It has been listed for 30 years but recently its stock price broke through the AUD$200 mark, up from $40 a year ago. The company has capitalised on its reputation for quality to tap into the Chinese market – it accounts for one third of sales, largely due to Chinese students and tourists buying Blackmores products.

BACK TO LIST


SABRINA CHAO

AGE:  39

COMPANY:  Wah Kwong Maritime Transport holdings/Hong Kong Shipowners Association

ROLE:  Chairperson

COUNTRY:  China (Hong Kong)

NOMINATED FOR:  Stewardship

Chao is a third-generation member of Hong Kong shipping company Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, who took the helm at her family’s company in 2003 when her father suffered a stroke. Her family is one of the most prominent within the Hong Kong shipping industry. Chao’s appointment as chair of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association in November last year highlights the strength of her leadership.

BACK TO LIST


ADRIAN CHENG

AGE:  34

COMPANY:  New World Development

ROLE:  Executive vice chairman

REVENUES:  HKD$56.5 billion (2014) / $7.2 billion

COUNTRY:  China (Hong Kong)

NOMINATED FOR:  One to watch

Cheng was promoted to executive vice chairman of New World Development in April 2015. He also sits on the board of publicly listed companies Modern Media Holdings, Giordano International, and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group. Cheng is said to disguise himself as a customer to provide an alternative view on the business. Cheng also has a nonprofit organisation K11 Art Foundation which supports emerging artists and designers from China. 

BACK TO LIST


WILLIAM E. (CHIP) CONNOR II

AGE:  66

COMPANY:  William E. Connor Group

ROLE:  Chairman and chief executive

REVENUES:  $2 billion

COUNTRY:  China (Hong Kong)

NOMINATED FOR:  Corporate social responsibility

Recognised by the Ethisphere Institute, a leading US business ethics think-tank, as one of the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company for the fifth year running, William E. Connor Group makes a dedicated effort around ethically sourcing products. Second-gen Chip Connor leads the merchandise-sourcing organisation that operates in 20 countries, and practices its own ethical standards internally. Every employee must go through ethics training each year.

BACK TO LIST


EMMA HILL

AGE:  44

COMPANY:  Michael Hill International

ROLE:  Chairwoman

REVENUES:  AUD$505.6 million (2014) / $384 million

COUNTRY:  New Zealand

NOMINATED FOR:  Succession

Emma Hill started on the shop floor of her family’s jewellery business when she was just a teenager. Appointed chairman in November last year after establishing the Canadian division of the family business in 2007, it marked the passing down of the business to the second generation. Her father was adamant of the importance of keeping the business family owned and led – pointing to the value of a family-owned brand (the Hill family own 53% of shares).

BACK TO LIST


ANAND MAHINDRA

AGE:  60

COMPANY:  Mahindra Group

ROLE:  Chairman and managing director

REVENUES:  $16.9 billion

COUNTRY:  India

NOMINATED FOR:  Stewardship

The prominence of conglomerate Mahindra Group has seen its head, Anand Mahindra, whose grandfather founded the company, hailed as one of India’s top businessmen, a symbol of the country’s growing economic might. Subsidiary Tech Mahindra, founded by Anand, and the group’s car-producing division, Mahindra & Manhindra, recently completed the purchase of iconic Italian car designer Pininfarina.

BACK TO LIST


PAWAN MUNJAL

AGE:  61

COMPANY:  Hero Motor Corporation

ROLE:  Chairman, managing director, and chief executive

REVENUES:  $4.2 billion

COUNTRY:  India

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

India’s largest motorcycle producer has demonstrated huge ambition under Pawan Munjal, one of the sons of the company’s founder, the late Brijmohan Lall Munjal, who also set up parent firm Hero Cycles. Hero Motor Corporation, which exited a joint venture with Honda several years ago, has heavily increased sales in emerging markets, helped by overseas production facilities, and is even looking at exporting to the United States.

BACK TO LIST


KUMIKO OTSUKA

AGE:  47

COMPANY:  Otsuka Kagu

ROLE:  President

REVENUES:  JPY58 billion / $519 million

COUNTRY:  Japan

NOMINATED FOR:  Corporate governance

Kumiko Otsuka won a proxy fight against her father and the company’s founder at an annual shareholders’ meeting last year. Her proposal was to install a new management team to achieving a mid-term business plan, reform corporate governance, review store operation, and rebuild the brand. Otsuka had been embroiled in a bitter family feud with her father over business strategy. Backed by investors, her proposal won 61% of the vote.

BACK TO LIST


LIM KOK THAY

AGE:  64

COMPANY:  Genting Group

ROLE:  Chairman and chief executive

REVENUES:  $4.4 billion

COUNTRY:  Malaysia

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

Lim Kok Thay has shown as much commercial bravery as his Chinese-born father, Lim Koh Tong, who developed a vast tourist resort in the mid-1960s. Genting Group is building a multi-billion dollar casino complex in Las Vegas, is planning a new Malaysian tourism resort, and recently bought a large cruise-ship operator. It could add another German shipyard following its purchase of the remainder of Lloyd Werft, which is building some of its cruise vessels.

BACK TO LIST

 

IRVINE ANDERSON

AGE:  44

COMPANY:  The Anderson Group

ROLE:  Chief Executive

REVENUES:  £220 million (2014) / $312 million

COUNTRY:  UK

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

In 2015, the Anderson Group was ranked in the Sunday Times’ Fast Track ranking of Britain’s leading 250 private mid-market growth companies. The firm’s transition over the past decade from being a Scottish haulage specialist to a broader based UK-wide firm with a range of other business interests has been hugely successfull — group turnover has grown from around £28 million in 2004 to almost ten-times that in 2014. Third-generation chief executive Irvine Anderson believes there remains room for further growth through acquisition.

BACK TO LIST


SOPHIE BELLON

AGE:  54

COMPANY:  Sodexo

ROLE:  Head of the board of directors, Chairman

REVENUES:  €19.8 billion / $22.2 billion

COUNTRY:  France

NOMINATED FOR:  One to watch

Sodexo is one of the world’s 20 largest employers, with 420,000 people on its payroll, operating across 80 countries. Bellon succeeded her father as head of the board in January 2016 and the intention is to keep the business firmly in the family. A clause stating that founder Pierre Bellon’s grandchildren and their descendants cannot sell Bellon SA shares to anyone outside the clan until 2058.

BACK TO LIST


SAID DARWAZAH

AGE:  59

COMPANY:  Hikma

ROLE:  Chairman and chief executive

REVENUES:  $1.49 billion (2014) 

COUNTRY:  UK

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

Said Darwazah has overseen sizeable revenue increases. Group turnover increased by 9% to $1.49 million in 2014 at the business founded by his father. This continues a history of expansion — Hikma has doubled its revenues every four years for several decades. Darwazah has played a key role in the development of the group strategy, including the acquisition of West-Ward Pharmaceuticals in the USw and the development of the injectables business in Europe and the Middle East/North Africa.

BACK TO LIST


VICTOR GRIFOLS

AGE:  65

COMPANY:  Grifols

ROLE:  Non-executive Chairman

REVENUES:  €3.36 billion (2014) / $3.77 billion

COUNTRY:  Spain

NOMINATED FOR:  Succession planning

Victor Grifols stepped down as chief executive in 2015 and proposed that his brother Raimon Grifols and son Victor jointly occupy the role. The changes are currently under transition and are expected to be complete by 2017. The company was founded in the wake of the Spanish Civil War in 1940 and under Victor Grifols’s leadership it has grown rapidly through acquisition. The focus now is on organic growth through research and development.

BACK TO LIST


NICOLA LEIBINGER-KAMMÜLLER

AGE:  56

COMPANY:  Trumpf

ROLE:  President and Chairwoman

REVENUES:  €357 million / $400 million

COUNTRY:  Germany

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

Leibinger-Kammüller took the helm 10 years ago and under her watch the firm has doubled its sales, set up its own bank, and now has a software division. The company provides manufacturing solutions in the fields of machine tools, lasers, and electronics worldwide. It operates in two divisions, machine tools and laser technology/electronics. It has more than 60 operative subsidiaries and in 2015 saw gross income rise by 44%.

BACK TO LIST


ROLAND MACK

AGE:  66

COMPANY:  Mack Rides

ROLE:  Founder of Europa Parks, a subsidiary of Mack Rides

COUNTRY:  Germany

NOMINATED FOR:  Entrepreneurship

Europa Park is the largest theme park in Germany and the second most popular theme park resort in Europe, following Disneyland Paris. In 2015 it hosted 5.5 million guests – a record total. Operating decisions made in recent years include expanding the hotel business into the largest hotel complex in Germany, integrating the “Confertainment” concept into the park world, and transforming it into a resort for mini-vacations. Mack is also chairman of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

BACK TO LIST


BRIS ROCHER

AGE:  38

COMPANY:  Yves Rocher

ROLE:  Group president

REVENUES:  €2.3 billion (2012) / $2.6 billion

COUNTRY:  France

NOMINATED FOR:  Stewardship

Rocher took the helm of the family business at the age of 31 in 2009. Since then he has consolidated the business by buying back 19.3% of Yves Rocher from French pharmaceuticals company Sanofi in 2012. Rocher and his family now own 96% of the Yves Rocher Group and the company’s market share in France is second only to L’Oréal. The company generates 37% of revenues in France, 35% in Western Europe, and 15% in Eastern Europe.

BACK TO LIST


GEORG F. W. SCHAEFFLER AND MARIA-ELISABETH SCHAEFFLER-THUMANN

AGE:  51 (Georg) and 74

COMPANY:  Schaeffler

ROLE:  Chairman (Georg) and deputy chairman

REVENUES:  €13.2 billion / $14.8 billion

COUNTRY:  Germany

NOMINATED FOR:  Stewardship

The mother and son combination took the company through its IPO in 2015, although the company was forced to scale back its ambitions, raising €975 million ($1.1 billion) in the listing, compared to initial estimates of about €2.5 billion. The IPO was still considered a success due to the difficulties the company was facing at the time over its association with its largest customer – Volkswagen – and the emissions scandal. The firm missed its 2015 revenue target but still posted more than 9% growth.

BACK TO LIST


FRIEDE SPRINGER

AGE:  73

COMPANY:  Axel Springer

ROLE:  Executive manager

REVENUES:  €3.04 billion / $3.5 billion (2014)

COUNTRY:  Germany

NOMINATED FOR:  Innovation

Led by Springer, the media company has successfully made the tricky transition into the digital age. Digital media activities account for almost 50% of total revenues. In 2015, it paid roughly $343 million for 88% of Business Insider, taking its stake in the New York-based digital business news outlet up to 97%. In late 2015, Axel Springer increased its share in the social video news publisher NowThis Media, as part of a $16 million financing round, to become its second-largest investor.

BACK TO LIST

 

JANINE BELMONT

AGE:  51

COMPANY:  Yanbal International

ROLE:  CEO

REVENUES:  $800 million

COUNTRY:  Peru

NOMINATED FOR:  Empowerment

Daughter of Yanbal International founder Juan Fernando Belmont, Janine Belmont heads a company that turns over hundreds of millions of dollars a year and provides hundreds of thousands of women in Latin America with employment. Its door-to-door model of cosmetics direct selling, similar to that of Avon, offers the flexibility many working mothers seek. The firm is active in eight Latin American and two European countries.

BACK TO LIST


ALEXANDRE BIRMAN

AGE:  39

COMPANY:  Arezzo & Co

ROLE:  Vice chairman

REVENUES:  $306 million

COUNTRY:  Brazil

NOMINATED FOR:  Entrepreneurship

As vice chairman, Alexandre Birman plays a key role in running family shoeware producer Arezzo & Co, started by his uncle Jefferson and father Anderson Birman. Aside from being a top-level businessman, he is also a celebrated designer, with Arezzo encompassing two brands he created, Schulz and Alexandre Birman. Feted by the entertainment elite, Arezzo is described as Brazil’s dominant women’s shoemaker.

BACK TO LIST


ADRIANA CISNEROS

AGE:  36

COMPANY:  Cisneros Group

ROLE:  CEO and vice chairman

REVENUES:  $1 billion

COUNTRY:  Venezuela

NOMINATED FOR:  Sustainability

Third-gen family member Adriana Cisneros de Griffin took over at Cisneros Group in 2013 after running the firm’s digital operations. Described by her father, Gustavo, as having “immense drive”, she heads a company active in television, retailing, brewing, and hospitality. Cisneros continued diversification was shown with the recent announcement of a $300 million Costa Rican real estate project that the company claims will preserve the local ecosystem.

BACK TO LIST


HEIKE PAULMANN KOEPFER AND PETER PAULMANN KOEPFER

AGE:  45 (Heike) and 46

COMPANY:  Cencosud

ROLE: Director, Aventura Center and board member, Cencosud (Heike); Chief officer, Importadora y Comercial Regen and board member, Cencosud (Peter)

REVENUES:  $15.2 billion (2013)

COUNTRY:  Chile

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

The pair are the son and daughter of Horst Paulmann (pictured), a German émigré who arrived in Chile after the Second World War and built up a supermarket empire, Heike and Peter Paulmann are both long-time board members (alongside their father) of Cencosud, Chile’s largest retailer and Latin America’s third biggest. Under them, the company bounced back from a disappointing 2014 to record 87% profit growth last year.

BACK TO LIST


ROGELIO ZAMBRANO LOZANO

AGE:  58

COMPANY:  Cemex

ROLE:  Chairman

REVENUES:  $15.7 billion

COUNTRY:  Mexico

NOMINATED FOR:  Stewardship

It is now two years since Rogelio Zambrano Lozano became chairman of family firm Cemex, a role he took on the sudden death of his cousin Lorenzo Zambrano. His cousin was credited with turning the company into a 44,000-employee, multi-billion dollar empire. Zambrano Lozano has pushed through asset sales to pay off the remnants of a $15 billion debt refinancing agreement that came about as a result of a facilities agreement in 2012 to put the Monterrey-based conglomerate on a firmer financial footing.

BACK TO LIST


RICARDO SALINAS PLIEGO

AGE:  60

COMPANY:  Salinas Group

ROLE:  Chairman

REVENUES:  $5 billion

COUNTRY:  Mexico

NOMINATED FOR:  Philanthropy

Aside from running a multi-billion dollar business empire, one he built up by turning around speciality retailer Grupo Elektra, Ricardo Salinas Pliego has spearheaded a number of philanthropic initiatives, ranging from large-scale litter clean-ups to the funding of medical treatment and school places. His son Benjamin Salinas Sada looks set to carry the mantle forward, having recently taken over as head of broadcasting subsidiary TV Azteca.

BACK TO LIST


RODRIGO URIBE

AGE:  67

COMPANY:  Cuestamoras

ROLE:  Chairman and founding director

COUNTRY:  Costa Rica

NOMINATED FOR:  Entrepreneurship

Since setting up equity investment vehicle Cuestamoras in 2008, designed to preserve and grow the family wealth, Rodrigo Uribe has invested in an array of sectors, among them health, hospitality, energy, and real estate. He is described as being the heir to a century-long family business legacy, although Cuestamoras exists thanks to his success in building up the supermarket chain Corporación de Supermercados Unidos, which was sold to WalMart.

BACK TO LIST

 

MONA YOUSUF ALMOAYYED

AGE:  63

COMPANY:  Y K Almoayyed & Sons

ROLE:  Managing director

COUNTRY:  Bahrain

NOMINATED FOR:  Empowerment

Mona Yousuf Almoayyed, daughter of company founder Yousuf Khalil Almoayyed, heads one of Bahrain’s largest family businesses. Y K Almoayyed & Sons employs 2,000, is active in fields ranging from construction materials to home appliances and automobiles, and is keen to expand across the Gulf region. A former leader of the Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society, she has also been active in helping those less fortunate through the Migrant Workers Protection Society.

BACK TO LIST


LUJAINA MOHSIN DARWISH AND AREEJ MOHSIN DARWISH

COMPANY:  Mohsin Haider Darwish

ROLE:  Chairperson (Lujaina) and joint deputy chairperson

COUNTRY:  Oman

NOMINATED FOR:  Gender diversity

Founded in 1987 but tracing its origins back five decades, Mohsin Haider Darwish is one of Oman’s largest family-owned companies, with about 1,000 employees and operations that cover sectors such as engineering, the automotive industry, and electronics. In a country that can be conservative, the founder’s daughters, Lujaina (pictured above) and Areej, have become role models by taking on senior positions and being active in outside organisations too.

BACK TO LIST


ABDULLA AL GHURAIR

AGE:  86

COMPANY:  Mashreq Bank

ROLE:  Chairman

REVENUES:  $2.2 billion

COUNTRY:  United Arab Emirates

NOMINATED FOR:  Philanthropy

Abdulla Al Ghurair last year demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy to match the business success he has had in the nearly five decades since he launched Mashreq Bank. In setting up the Abdulla Al Ghurair Education Foundation, he pledged to invest about $1.1 billion over ten years to educate his region’s young people. The foundation wants to help more than 15,000 talented Arab university students from poorer backgrounds.

BACK TO LIST


MOHAMMED ABDUL LATIF JAMEEL

AGE:  56

COMPANY:  Abdul Latif Jameel Group

ROLE:  Chairman and president

REVENUES:  $6 billion

COUNTRY:  Saudi Arabia

NOMINATED FOR:  Empowerment

Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel runs a Saudi-based conglomerate that can trace its history back to a trading business and a petrol station his father opened in 1945. Although well known for his business interests, which span dozens of countries and fields as diverse as consumer products and property, he is equally celebrated for his philanthropy, which covers areas including poverty alleviation, health, education, and the arts.

BACK TO LIST


GHASSAN NUQUL

AGE:  54

COMPANY:  Nuqul Group

ROLE:  Vice chairman

REVENUES:  $688 million

COUNTRY:  Jordan

NOMINATED FOR:  Corporate governance

It is more than three decades since Ghassan Nuqul joined the family business – one of Jordan’s largest conglomerates. Thanks to his reforms, the company is a model for good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility in a region where many such firms have yet to implement best practice. The sprawling group extends to 31 companies, exports to 45 countries and employs more than 5,500 people (see his profile interview).

BACK TO LIST


HUTHAM AND LUBNA OLAYAN

AGE:  61 (Hutham) and 60

COMPANY:  Olayan Corporation

ROLE:  CEO and President, Olayan America Corporation (Hutham) and CEO, Olayan Financing Company (Lubna)

REVENUES:  $625 million

COUNTRY:  Saudi Arabia

NOMINATED FOR:  Diversity

Sisters Hutham (below) and Lubna Olayan are remarkable for achieving senior positions in a conglomerate headquartered in Saudi Arabia — a country where female representation at senior levels remains low. Olayan Corporation was founded by the sisters’ father, Suliman Olayan, in 1947, and the operation now spans three continents, includes 50 companies, and employs 15,000 people. Hutham recently took up a seat on the board of IBM.

BACK TO LIST


GÜLER SABANCI

AGE:  61

COMPANY:  Sabanci Holding

ROLE:  Chairman and managing director

REVENUES:  $9.5 billion

COUNTRY:  Turkey

NOMINATED FOR:  Entrepreneurship

Third-generation family member Güler Sabanci has worked her way up after a variety of roles in Turkey’s second-largest conglomerate. Her success has seen her placed on lists of the world’s most powerful women, but she has also spoken of her responsibility to society. The holding company puts funds into a family foundation, and has been given honours in both Europe and North America.

BACK TO LIST


NAGUIB SAWIRIS

AGE:  61

COMPANY:  Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding

ROLE:  Executive chairman

REVENUES:  $380 million

COUNTRY:  Eygpt

NOMINATED FOR:  Social responsibility

Sawiris captured world headlines in September 2015 when he offered to buy an island from Greece or Italy to settle refugees fleeing the war in Syria. His tweet went viral and his proposal received such a positive response that Sawiris, North Africa’s 10th richest man with a fortune of $3 billion, announced plans in September to receive public donations for the project by establishing a joint-stock company with $100 million in capital.

BACK TO LIST


NOOR SWEID

AGE:  35

COMPANY:  Leap Ventures

ROLE:  Managing partner

REVENUES:  $71 million

COUNTRY:  Syria

NOMINATED FOR:  One To Watch

In launching Leap Ventures, US-educated Noor Sweid has been described as spearheading American-style venture capital in her home region. But her dazzling resumé extends far beyond this. She played a key role in expanding her family’s business, Depa, and masterminding its IPO, plus she set up the Middle East’s largest yoga studio chain and launched the regional chapter of women’s professional network 85Broads.

BACK TO LIST


MURAT AND ALI ÜLKER

AGE:  56 (Murat) and 46

COMPANY:  Yıldız Holding

ROLE:  Chairman, and member of the board of directors

REVENUES:  $5 billion (Yıldız Holding snacks and biscuits segment)

COUNTRY:  Turkey

NOMINATED FOR:  Strategy

The company’s acquisition of United Biscuits makes it the third largest biscuit business in the world. The Ülkers (Murat pictured above) are also reorganising their family business by uniting global assets into a new company called Pladis. Restructuring may be a prelude to an IPO. The brothers are also divesting their beverage assets by selling milk producer Ak Food to France’s Groupe Lactalis for almost $1 billion.

BACK TO LIST

 

MARTHA BILLES

AGE:  74

COMPANY:  Canadian Tire Corporation

ROLE:  President and Director

REVENUES:  $12.5 billion

COUNTRY:  Canada

NOMINATED FOR:  Stewardship

Dubbed the “Tire Queen” by Canadian media, Martha Billes has long been a high-profile figure thanks to family business feuds and upheavals in her private life. It is nearly two decades since she bought out her two brothers to take control of the company co-founded by her father, Alfred, and she remains the controlling shareholder. A business icon who has also worked to promote sport among the less privileged.

BACK TO LIST


GERT AND TIM BOYLE

AGE:  92 (Gert) and 66

COMPANY:  Columbia Sportswear

ROLE:  Chairman (Gert) and chief executive (Tim)

REVENUES:  $2.1 billion 

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  Entrepreneurship

Columbia Sportswear traces itself back to a hat firm founded by Tim Boyle’s grandfather, but the Oregon-based firm’s global presence is thanks to the current chief executive and his mother, Gert. They rescued the struggling firm after Neil Boyle — Gert’s husband and Tim’s father — died aged just 47. Gert is a colourful character who has written a noted autobiography, One Tough Mother.

BACK TO LIST


GARVIN BROWN IV

AGE:  46

COMPANY:  Brown-Forman

ROLE:  Chairman, board of directors

REVENUES:  $4.1 billion

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  Corporate governance

Garvin Brown and non-family chief executive Paul Varga co-created a ‘family engagement’ committee designed to keep the fifth generation – nearly 40 cousins, the majority of whom do not work at the company – connected to the decisions that executives are making. The Center for Family Enterprises at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University gave Brown and Varga a leadership award in 2014 for their combined efforts in support of family governance. The family recently sold Southern Comfort and Tuaca to another US family business, Sazerac.

BACK TO LIST


RICHARD EDELMAN

AGE:  61

COMPANY:  Edelman

ROLE:  President and chief executive

REVENUES:  $855 million 

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  Growth

Richard Edelman, son of the firm’s founder Daniel, wants revenues at the world’s largest PR company to top $1 billion. Mindful of the risks to its bottom line, and after suffering client losses, the firm has indicated it does not want to work with coal producers, climate-change deniers or other groups involved in spreading misinformation over global warming.

BACK TO LIST


LISA INGRAM

AGE:  45

COMPANY:  White Castle

ROLE:  President and chief executive

REVENUES:  $489 million 

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  Entrepreneurship

Lisa Ingram recently took over as chief executive of the burger restaurant chain after her father, Bill, stepped down. It is now 95 years since the firm was founded by Lisa’s great-grandfather, but the mother-of-four is just the fourth person to hold the top job. She has championed the introduction of new products while insisting the company’s core ‘beef slider’, a small hamburger, should not change.

BACK TO LIST


JANE LAUDER

AGE:  42

COMPANY:  Estée Lauder Companies

ROLE:  Board member and global brand president, Clinique

REVENUES:  $10.8 billion 

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  Board Diversity

Estée Lauder’s granddaughter Jane Lauder has spent two decades at the family cosmetics company, and before that she worked for it while still at college. She has spent the past seven years as a board member and, in 2014, took over the Clinique operation after previously heading a number of the group’s brands, among them Origins and Ojon. Sister Aerin also holds a senior role.

BACK TO LIST


BILL MARRIOTT

AGE:  83

COMPANY:  Marriott International

ROLE:  Executive chairman

REVENUES:  $14.5 billion

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  Corporate governance

Now in his 80s and still an active presence, Bill Marriott turned the company founded by his father, John Willard Marriott, into the world’s largest publicly traded hotel chain. Two years ago his daughter Debbie took the seat on the board vacated by her brother John, and she could ultimately take over from her father as chairman after a string of senior roles at the family firm.

BACK TO LIST


CHRISSY TAYLOR

AGE:  39

COMPANY:  Enterprise Holdings

ROLE:  Executive vice president and chief operating officer

REVENUES:  $19.4 billion

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  One To Watch

It is more than a decade-and-a-half since Chrissy Taylor began as a management trainee at car rental giant Enterprise. Few would bet against her becoming chief executive, not least because her father, Andy, held the role and her grandfather Jack founded the company nearly six decades ago. As she moved up the ranks she ran Enterprise’s UK operations and expanded the firm’s North American luxury division.

BACK TO LIST


DANNY WEGMAN

AGE:  69

COMPANY:  Wegmans Food Markets

ROLE:  Chairman and chief executive

REVENUES:  $7.4 billion

COUNTRY:  US

NOMINATED FOR:  Corporate reputation

This year marks a century since this supermarket chain was founded by Danny Wegman’s grandfather, Walter, and Walter’s brother, John. Danny’s daughters, Colleen and Nicole, are president and vice president respectively. Wegmans has won countless awards for being a good employer and last year beat out multinational behemoths such as Google and Apple to be ranked the number one company for corporate reputation in the US.

BACK TO LIST

 

Photo credit:BUA Group, Newscom, Newspix, New World Development Company Limited, Press Association, Reuters, Trumpf Group, Europe-Park, Analytic4084, World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org), Sabanci Holding, Sgt. Cory Grogan, World Economic Forum/swiss-image.ch/Photo by Michael Wuertenberg, CNW Group-Retail Council of Canada


Click here >>
Close