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Ayala Corporation wins IMD-Lombard Odier family business award

By Michael Finnigan

The oldest family business in the Philippines, owned by one family for 180 years, has been awarded a prestigious award that celebrates the impact of family-run firms on the global economy.

Holding company Ayala Corporation was awarded the top prize at the IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award ceremony after judges suggested the family business served as a guiding light to others in the region.

The award is now in its 19th year and has been won by a host of top family businesses, including Odebrecht, Merck and last year's winner J. M. Huber Corporation.

Ayala Corporation chairman and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala, a seventh generation member of the founding family, received the award in Dubai alongside his sister Beatriz Urquijo Zobel de Ayala.

“We share this award with the many generations of exceptional executives, board members and family members that have led the company over the years,” the chairman said.

The Ayala Corporation was founded in 1834 by the Spanish Ayala and Roxas families, who travelled to the Philippines during Spanish colonial rule. Today the conglomerate has interests in real estate, banking and telecommunications and reported revenues of PHP159 billion (€2.8 billion) in 2013.

Chairman and chief executive Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala was voted one of CampdenFB's Top 50 Family Business Leaders in 2012.

The award uses three criteria to evaluate the performance of family businesses – family values such as the shared vision across generations; business values such as excellence in performance standards; and transfer such as excellence in governance.

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