This list is CampdenFB’s fourth annual Top Family Business Leaders list, and, aided by a panel of experts, we have scoured the globe to find the individuals heading some of the most innovative, fastest growing and influential businesses on the planet. This year we bring you 60 business leaders you need to know about, rather than the usual 50, with the list divided into six regions – Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, South America and North America.
Blink and you might miss them. CampdenFB’s annual survey of the world's 50 fastest growing family businesses, carried out in association with Ernst & Young, underlines how important the family is to business.
Scholz Group, a recycling business based in the small town of Essingen in south-west Germany, is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. Indeed, it grew in revenue terms by a staggeringly high 121% between 2009 and 2011. That makes it this year’s top global challenger of the fastest growing family businesses in the world. Altogether the 50 fastest growing family businesses in the world notched up average growth of 65% between 2009 and 2011.
The importance of family businesses to the European economy cannot by underestimated. They are essential to growth and employment creation throughout the world’s biggest economic area. CampdenFB has produced its second list of the top 100 family businesses in the region, which shows just how crucial these businesses are to Europe’s economy.
Their combined revenues have reached more than €1.8 trillion in 2011, that’s nearly 14% of the European Union’s GDP. Revenues for the top 100 family businesses were up by more than 17% in 2011 from 2010, indicating that overall Europe’s biggest family businesses have recovered strongly from the downturn in much of 2009 and 2010.
At the time of writing, traders’ screens around the world are turning a nasty shade of red. Stock markets are plummeting everywhere and there is much talk of developed economies slipping back into recession. But away from the trading floors, there is another story about the world economy - one that moves more slowly and involves fewer people panicking, and so gets less attention.
CampdenFB’s list, supported by Ernst & Young, of the fastest growing 50 family businesses, shows a sector flourishing. The top spot is occupied by Argentina’s IMPSA, a manufacturer of renewable energy technology, whose revenues increased 115% between 2008 and 2010. It’s a global story and in a troubled world, families are doing it for themselves. And it’s working pretty well. To rank the companies, CampdenFB looked at revenue growth in local currency during the three-year period from 2008 until the end of 2010.
Family businesses are alive and well in the US, with the top 100 generating approximately $1.6 trillion to America’s $14.6 trillion GDP in 2010. Just under half of the top 100 are owned outright by the family, a higher proportion than in Europe, where Campden’s top 100 family business for the region found that less than a third were fully controlled by the family.
This may be because many North American family businesses are very regional – often with operations only in a few states – and consequently unlikely to use public markets to grow the business outside of their region.
Welcome to the first definitive list of the top 100 family businesses in Europe, compiled by CampdenFB. The role of family businesses in the European economy is paramount to the success of the countries that comprise the biggest economic region in the world. Just how important they are to the wellbeing of Europe is underlined by the combined revenues of the top 100 that amounted to €1.1 trillion in 2009 – nearly equivalent to the GDP of Spain.
At the apex of this list in terms of total revenue is the carmaker Volkswagen, the second-largest automaker in the world of which the Piëch clan control 32.2%, with revenues of more than €105 billion last year.