Ayala Corporation, one of the oldest and largest business groups in the Philippines, was awarded the 19th Annual IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award at the 25th Summit of the Family Business Network International (FBN-I) held October 16 in Dubai.
Given by IMD, a top-ranked global business school based in Switzerland, and Lombard Odier, one of the most respected private banks in Europe, this prize is regarded as the most prestigious recognition for successful family businesses. It recognizes the way in which multi generational families separately manage the interests of their families and businesses, combining tradition and innovation while demonstrating a clear commitment to the social and civic responsibilities of their community.
“The Ayala story is close to two centuries old, and is both fascinating and impressive,” said IMD president Dominique Turpin. “Over seven generations, this company has provided numerous lessons for other family businesses to learn from, in particular the importance of long-term vision, a broader social awareness and an ability to adapt. I warmly congratulate Ayala on winning this year’s award.”
Said Thierry Lombard, FBN-I chairman and managing partner of the Lombard Odier Group, also a seventh-generation family firm: “This award highlights the vital contribution that family businesses like Ayala make to the global economy. We want to recognize an outstanding company operating according to the very best practices and offering inspiration to its peers. Ayala’s exceptional standards show just what family businesses are capable of.”
Established in 1834 by two enterprising individuals and built by seven generations of its founding families, Ayala is a widely diversified and publicly listed conglomerate. It has leadership positions in a broad range of sectors: property development (Ayala Land), financial services (Bank of the Philippine Islands), telecommunications (Globe Telecom), electronics manufacturing services (Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc.), water infrastructure (Manila Water), automotive distribution (Ayala Automotive) and business process outsourcing (LiveIt Investments). It also has new investments in traditional and renewable sources of power (AC Energy Holdings), transportation infrastructure (AC Infrastructure Holdings), and the for-profit education sector.
Fernando Zobel de Ayala, together with several sisters and their spouses were present in Dubai to receive the award. In a joint statement on behalf of the family, Jaime Augusto and Fernando Zobel de Ayala thanked the organizers, “We are absolutely delighted and honored to be the recipients of the IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award for 2014. As we celebrate our 180th anniversary this year, we share this award with the many generations of exceptional executives, board members, and family members that have led the company over the years.”
Previous winners include world-class companies such as LEGO, S.C. Johnson, Hermès, Barilla, Yazaki Corporation, Merck, Odebrecht, Firmenich and Bel Group.