Histoire des HENOKIENS


An association of family and bicentenary companies, the Henokiens intend to enlarge their family circle.

Today, there are 41 members: 1 English, 13 Italian, 12 French, 4 German, 2 Dutch, 5 Japanese, 2 Belgian and 2 Swiss. At the head of their companies, unique, dynamic managers. In 1981, recognising and co-opting each other, they formed a group, creating a restricted and rigorous international organisation: the Henokiens.

Click here to access the Henokiens map

Henokiens Association membership criteria are: company longevity – a minimum age of 200 years – and permanence – the family must be owner of the company or the majority share holder - one member of the founder must still manage the company or be a member of the board – and the company must be in good financial health. In addition, being modern is a final requirement.

Created in 1981, the objective of the Association is the development of its membership throughout the world around a common philosophy: the value of the concept of the family company, real alternative to the multinationals.

It is not a brotherhood, the sectors in which the members carry on their activities are in fact highly diversified: craft industries, trades, services, publishing, heavy industry…

Nor is it a businesses club (certain firms may even be competitors). The Henokiens do not exchange services, they exchange only ideas.


In 1981, the idea of creating an association of bicentenary family companies came from the Chairman of Marie Brizard, a descendant of the creator (in 1755) of the first anisette. He decided to place it under the aegis of Henok (or Enoch) a name coming from the Bible.

Henok (or Enoch) was one of the greatest patriarchs. Caïn’s son and Methuselah’s father, he lived before the flood, and was 365 years old when he ascended to Heaven without having died. After a year of research, Gérard Glotin, Chairman of Marie Brizard (with the help of 164 Chambers of Commerce and 25 embassy attachés) was able to identify 74 companies and among them made a selection of about thirty.

The first meeting took place in 1981 in Bordeaux. Since then, the Henokiens meet each year in a different country for their general meeting. For the year 2008 it was in Japan, 2009 in Switzerland and 2010 in Italy.


Each of the companies has a fascinating history. One can find at various times characters of legend and industrial adventures which could serve as inspiration for literature, television or film, all three media being great amateurs of dynasties.

Despite or perhaps because of their illustrious ancestors, the Henokiens are deeply rooted in the economic realities of the present and they manage their companies with talent, navigating between modernism and tradition, between know-how transmitted from the past and innovation or diversification.

Not resting on their laurels, always trying to do better than the previous generation, such are the guiding principles of the descendants. The development of their firms has been continuous.

But the power of a company is not a criterion to become an Henokien; preference is given to solidity.

That is why companies of very different sizes may be found among them, famous names or others less known by the general public.

Top of page