Henokiens Activities


Congress 2023 Henokiens in Geneva

The 2023 Henokiens Annual Congress which took place in Geneva (Swiitzerland from 28 September to 30 September 2023 saw the following higlights :

  • Henokiens Association General Meeting

The key points :


On behalf of his family and the staff of the Mirabaud Group, Mr. Yves Mirabaud welcomes all the members of the Association to Geneva hoping that they will all enjoy the program which features a wide variety of events, including activities aimed specifically at the Next Gens, whom he is delighted to see in such large numbers in Geneva.


The President of the HenokiensAlberto Marenghi opens the Annual General Meeting by thanking Yves Mirabaud, his family, the Mirabaud Group and its staff for all their efforts over many months to make the Geneva Congress a success. He then asked all members to observe a moment of silence in memory of Louis Fabrice Latour, after a long illness, and of Henri Gradis who both who passed away last September. He then then presented a report on this year activities and of the board of the Association which had seen in particular the arrival of Anne-Sophie Catherineau, the new Henokiens treasurer in place of Christophe Viellard. Then he informs the members that he intends to lead with the board a reflexion on the evolution of the Association linked to its growing attractiveness if the Assembly renews its confidence in it for the next two years, which it does unanimousl.


Anne-Sophie Catherineau, new treasurer of the Henokiens Association, introduced herself to all the members, pointing out her past experience in management control before joining her family company.


After presenting his company Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten, Mr. Jun Nakagawa, proposes to the members a first draft program for the 2024 Congress which he will organize with the help of the company Gekkeikan. The Congress is scheduled to take place between September 24 and 27, 2024, in Nara and Kyoto.

Bruno Bobone - Pinto Basto


The new members Pinto Basto from Portugal (founded in 1771) and Tarrerias Bonjean from France (founded in 1685) present their companies.The President Marenghi informs the Assembly that Mr. Claudio Stefani Giusti CEO of the latest member to join the Henokiens, the Italian company Acetaia Guisti will give a presentation of his company on September 29. In total 4 new companies have joined the Henokiens in 2023 (J.&L. Lobmeyr - Pinto Basto - Tarrerias Bonjean et Acetaia Giuisti) adding to the 2 companies that entered into (Group Bolloré and Group Mirabaud).

Eric Tarrerias - Tarrerias Bonjean

The Assembly is informed of the development of the Henokiens Compendium which now comprises 23 case studies of member companies all available on Henokiens website. The latest to be published will be the Grondona is case and the Lobmeyr case is under development.


Participation of the Henokiens at the EDHEC conference on October 13, 2022 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the EDHEC Family Business Center and at the INSEAD Family Enterprise Day, June 3, 2023.

Alexander Hoare & Michael Hoare- Conférence EDHEC (left photo) / Julian von Möller & Anne-Sophie Catherineau - Family Enterprise Day INSEAD (right photo)

  • European Family Businesses

Following the General Assembly, Jesús Casado, Secretary General of European Family Businesses, an organization bringing together family business associations from different countries of the European Union, made a presentation on the developments and initiatives of EFB to all European institutions (commission, parliament and council of the European Union).


The Prize Léonard de Vinci, created by the Henokiens Associaton and le Château du Clos Lucé, has been awarded this year to the Swiss company Caran d’Ache.

Caran d’Ache is a Swiss, family-run company founded in 1915 and recognised internationally for its fine art drawing and Haute Écriture instruments. A true icon of the “Swiss Made” label, the Maison is 100% Swiss and is currently run by Carole Hubscher, member of the family involved in the company's management at the highest level since the 1930s. Caran d’Ache, whose headquarters and manufacturing site are located in Thônex, in the Canton of Geneva, embodies the passion of Fine Arts, serving creativity with elegance and excellence. Caran d’Ache employs approximately 300 people and manages a network of a dozen shops in Switzerland along with 120 shop¬-in-shops around the world and exports its products to 90 countries.

Founded in 1915 as the “Fabrique Genevoise de Crayons”, and renamed the “Fabrique de Crayons Ecridor S.A.” in 1920, the company will ultimately be renamed la Maison “Caran d’Ache” in 1924 by Arnold Schweitzer, an ambitious Swiss financier. Although sales of the Caran d’Ache pencils are progressing steadily in Switzerland, this is not the case abroad, which leads businessman Jacques Hubscher, Sr. and his son Henri to invest in the company in 1930 before taking ownership of it a few years later. Jacques Hubscher left his mark on the company starting in 1960 when he expanded the company internationally and broadened its scope to include the Haute Écriture sector. Carole Hubscher, representing the 4th generation of the family, has been at the helm of the Maison since 2012, alongside her sister Patricia Hubscher, member of the Board of Directors in charge of corporate governance and orientation for the coming generation, and their cousin, Dominique Christin.

The Prize was presented on September 28, 2023 to Ms. Carole Hubscher, President of Caran d'Ache, member of the 4th generation of the Hubscher family, by Mr. Jean-Claude Biver, entrepreneur, business leader in fine watchmaking, ex -president of the watch division of the LVMH group, in the company of Mr. Alberto Marenghi, President of the Henokiens Association, François Saint Bris, President of the Château du Clos Lucé- Parc Leonardo da Vinci and Mr. Patrick Chappatte, international press cartoonist .

Alberto Marenghi - Jean-Claude Biver - Carole Hubsher - Patrick Chappatte - François Saint Bris


Family Enterprise Day 3 June 2023 INSEAD-Henokiens

Representing family enterprises and bicentenary family firms, members of the Henokiens Association have demonstrated extraordinary longevity in the face of constantly changing economic landscape and shifts in business environment. How do these family firms build the architecture for long-term success? What are the steps and strategies in engaging the Next-Gen to perpetuate the family firm legacy while rejuvenating the business to meet the evolving market demands? To understand the key factors that contribute to the enduring growth, prosperity and resilience across different generations of family enterprises, the INSEAD Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise in collaboration with the Henokiens Association jointly hosted a Family Enterprise Day moderated by Christine Blondel, lecturer in Family Business at INSEAD and advisor to family fusinesses, focused on the theme "Learning from Tradition to Build the Future with the Henokiens".

During this FED, which brought together 70 people, including more than 70% of Next Gens INSEAD MBA, university experts and members of the Henokiens Association represented by their vice President Julian von Möller, a case study of a Henokien company, Biscottificio Grondona, has been presented by the author, Rania Labaki, Director of the EDHEC Family Business Center and Andrea Grondona, member of the board of directors and general manager of the company Grondona.
They both described the fantastic journey of 200 years of Grondona from Bonifanti to Bonifanti and Bocchia. A presentation during which Andrea Grondona wanted to show how his family had always worked to honor the past while reinventing the future.

The FED also provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges and strategies to engage the next generation for succession and revitalization through a dialogue session with eminent family business panelists: Julian von Möller, Board Member and Shareholder of MöllerGroup, Andreas von Specht, Shareholder and Member of the Supervisory Board of Berenberg, Bruno Bouygues, Chairman of GYS and Anne-Sophie Catherineau, General Manager of Catherineau. Workshops where organized engaging the « Now » and « Next » generation family members to interact with their peers, to exchange insights on the role of the "Next Gens" and ideas on the role they are, or will be, called upon to play in order to find the right balance between the tradition inherited from the history of the company and its rejuvenation.


Brussels, 24/25 April 2023

"Brussels from the Inside: NextGens, Tomorrow's Leaders"

On the 24th and 25th of April, European Family Businesses, an organization in which the Henokiens Association is partner, held its 1st NextGen programme under the title “Brussels from the inside: NextGens Tomorrow’s Leaders”. This event provided a group of 50 NextGens from different European countries, among which NextGens from the Henokiens Association, the opportunity to exchange with other NextGeners from different European chapters.

The first day consisting of social and cultural activities gave the group the occasion to visit the famous D’Ieteren Gallery, a place where the Henokiens member D’Ieteren exhibits horse-drawn carriages, built and distributed by D’Ieteren and presents objects, photographs and rare documents tracing the company’s 200 years of history. The group then participated in attending two learning sessions from EFB’s sponsors, KPMG and For Talents.

The second day was the opportunity for the group to discover the work of the main European institutions at a moment when issues like the new EU Green Deal are starting to become increasingly relevant for their businesses. The NextGens took part in discussions both at the Visitors’ Centre of the European Commission and during a lunch debate hosted by MEP Martina Dlabajova at the European Parliament.


EDHEC Day October 13, 2022

Conference in celebration of the 10th anniversary of EDHEC Family Business Research Centre

The Henokiens Association took part in the EDHEC Family Business Research Center conference organized on the occasion of its tenth anniversary on the theme « Sustaining a responsible family business model from generation to generation ».

Alexander Hoare & Michael Hoare

During this session, the following theme « Lessons of Resilience and Sustainable Impact from the Oldest Banking Dynasty in the World » was developped by Rania Labaki, Director of the Center's Family Business Chair, through the case study on Bank C. Hoare & Co, a member of the Henokiens Association, in the presence of two members of the Hoare family, Alexander Hoare and Michael Hoare. An occasion to learn from how the Hoare family succeed to manage to successfully navigate notable crises while consitently realizing impact over the course of 350 years.

Julian von Möller, vice President Association les Hénokiens

The Henokiens Association also took part, in the person of its vice-President, Julian von Möller, in a round table on the theme of "Transferring the Family Business responsability while Consolidating Governance" in the company of Simone Møkster (Simon Møkster Shipping, Norway) and Mariann Wenckheim (Vöslauer and Wenckheim Holding, Mineral Water, Austria).

The partnership between the Henokiens Association and EDHEC Family Business Center shows how much the Association is committed to sharing with all those who are interested in family businesses the experience of its members and the values they defend. In recent years, the Henokiens and EDHEC have worked in this direction through various forms of joint actions such as meetings with students, writing cases (Banque Hottinguer and C.Hoare & Co.) or producing specific studies such as the one carried out in 2020 on the following theme “Historical values, social and environmental responsibilities: the new generation of family businesses is showing the way”.
This study, undertaken in partnership with le Château du Clos Lucé, co-creator with the Henokiens Association of the Leonardo da Vinci Prize, explored the theme of the future of family capitalism, a virtuous and responsible model part of the DNA of the Next Gen Henokiens.

INSEAD Day September 23, 2022

Family Enterprise Day 23 September 2022 INSEAD-Henokiens

To understand the key elements that contribute to the enduring growth, prosperity and resilience across different generations of Henokiens family enterprises, the INSEAD Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise in collaboration with the Hénokiens Association is jointly hosting the Family Enterprise Day focused on the theme "The Henokiens: From Remarkable Success to Lasting Legacy".

During this conference which brought together academic experts, distinguished family enterprise members from the Hénokiens Association, represented by its vice President Julian von Möller, INSEAD MBA students, three prominent Henokiens family enterprise members case studies have been presented by their author :

These presentations and the discussions that followed made it possible to address the following points:

  • How family enterprises inspire and entrench family values and cultures across generations?
  • How to inspire entrepreneurial spirit in the upcoming generations?
  • How do family enterprises create an innovation culture to stay competitive?

Congress 2022 Henokiens in Venice

The 2022 Henokiens Annual Congress, which took place in Venice (Italy) from 30 June to 2nd July 2022 saw the following highlights:

  • The Henokiens Association General Meeting

The key points:

Opening of the General Meeting by Henokiens President Alberto Marenghi. A minute of silence is observed in memory of Franco Crespi, former member of the Association.

Giuseppe Rizzardi, new President of the Italian section of the Association, made a presentation of the organization of the Venice Congress and the activities organized on this occasion including, in particular, the visit of the two member companies Luxardo and Garbellotto.

Nicolas Mirabaud, managing partner of the Groupe Mirabaud, a Swiss company founded in 1819 and new member of the Henokiens Association, makes a presentation of the history and the activities of his company.

Cédric de Bailliencourt, member of the Bolloré family, introduces the Groupe Bolloré to the Assembly after the confirmation of the entry within the Henokiens of this French family business founded in 1822.

Andreas Rath, member of the family owning the Austrian crystal works Lobmeyr founded in 1823, gives a presentation of his company with a view of joining the Henokiens in 2023.

  • "Project Compendium" of the Association (writing and gathering of Henokiens case studies)

20 case studies are currently available on the Henokiens website and 4 new cases are in preparation: Augustea, C. Hoare & Co A.E.Köchert and Okaya.

  • University activities

Events planned for 2022 with the participation of the Henokiens: Family Enterprise Day INSEAD, on 23 September 2022 and EDHEC conference on 13 October 2022 on the occasion of the EDHEC Family Business Centre’s 10th anniversary.

  • Visits of members companies

Introduction by Piero Luxardo (left) of the July 1st visit to his family business, the “Girolimo Luxardo” distillery (1819) located in Torreglia (Padova) and by Pieremilio Garbellotto (right) of the July 2nd visit to his family business, the “Giobatta & Piero Garbellotto” cask and barrel factory (1775) located in Sacile (Pordenone).

  • European Family Businesses

Following the General Meeting, Jesús Casado, Secretary General of European Family Businesses, an organization bringing together associations of family businesses from different countries of the European Union, made a presentation on the developments and initiatives of EFB to all European institutions (Commission, Parliament and Council of the European Union).

  • Presentation by Antonio Calabrò, Président of Museimpresa

Antonio Calabrò gave a presentation on the urgent need to preserve and highlight everything that makes up the culture of family businesses, their history, their know-how, their products and this by all means (museums and company visits, conservation and exhibition of archives, etc.) because, according to him, the cultural component of family businesses represents a formidable tool enabling them to forge a meaningful identity. For Antonio Calabrò, by integrating a cultural environment around their products and services, family businesses hold the springs of their sustainability and their future by driving a sustainable development being the cornerstone of a widespread economic, social and civil culture.

  • 11th Edition of the Léonardo da Vinci Prize

The Leonardo da Vinci Prize, created by the Henokiens Association and le Château du Clos Lucé, has been awarded this year to the Italian company Pedrollo Group.

Pedrollo Group is an industrial Italian family owned company of water handling energy transformation and applied technology founded in 1974. Pedrollo Group is globally recognised as a leader in the water pumps industry. Pedrollo business model based upon innovation, quality, service, internationalization along with its commitment to social responsibility are the foundations of its long-established reputation. The company, effectively owned by the family for 2 generations reaches a turnover of 340 millions euros, employs 1 200 people, has 7 production units, 12 commercial branches and exports most of its production to over 160 countries.

The story of the Pedrollo family began in 1974 when Silvano Pedrollo noted during a visit to Dubai that water was more expensive than oil, had the idea of producing the latest generation electric pumps in Italy. Since then, Silvano Pedrollo and his children, Alessandra and Giulio have developed the company in three business areas, water, energy and technology, seeking every day to face the fundamental global.

The Prize has been awarded on June 30, 2022 to Mr. Giulio Pedrollo, Chairman of the Pedrollo Group, member of the 2nd generation of the Pedrollo family, by Mr. Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor of the city of Venice, Messrs. Alberto Marenghi, President of the Henokiens Association, François Saint Bris, President of Château du Clos Lucé- Parc Leonardo da Vinci, in the presence of Mr. Silvano Pedrollo, founder of the Pedrollo Group in 1974 and on video of Mr. Carlo Bonomi, President of Confindustria.

Alberto Marenghi- Silvano Pedrollo- Giulio Pedrollo- Luigi Brugnaro- François Saint Bris

  • Visit of the company Luxardo, member of the Henokiens Association

On July 1, 2022, the Henokiens visited the Luxardo company located in Torreglia (Padova) accompanied by members of the Luxardo family, in particular the sixth generation active in the family business founded in 1821. The company now covers an area of 12,000 square meters and manufactures, Maraschino which make their name known worldwide, as well a full line of classic Italian liqueurs, Sambuca, Amaretto, Limoncello, Aperitivo and a full range of aromatic specialities for artisan pastry making thanks to a specific production line which was successfully started up 10 years ago.

  • Visit of the company Garbellotto, member of the Henokiens Association

On July 2, 2022, the Henokiens visited the company “Giobatta & Piero Garbellotto” in Sacile (Pordenone) the oldest and most famous of Italian cooperages (1775). Directed by Piero Garbellotto and his two brothers, Piergregorio and Pieremilio, it now supplies barrels, tuns, vats and barrels for the aging of wines, liqueurs and distillates for capacities ranging from 10 to 70/80,000 litres. This production capacity, it owes it to its warehouse of 60,340 m2 (6 hectares), its most modern equipment and its wood depot with a capacity of 12 to 15,000 m3 containing mostly oak but also cherry, chestnut and ash and other woods from the finest producers in France,Croatia (Slavonia) and others from other large European forests.


Congress 2021 Henokiens in Lyon

The 2021 Henokiens Annual Congress, which took place in Lyon (France) from 28 October to 30th October 2021 saw the following highlights:

  • The Henokiens Association General Meeting

The key points:

Alberto Marenghi, from the company member Cartiera Mantovana, was elected for a two-year term from 2022, renewable once. In his introductory speech, the new President indicated to the members that he had two objectives: enlarging the Association, but not too much and not too fast, and continuing to show those who look at the Henokiens with curiosity and interest, how family business is a model for the future.

The presentation of the two new members of the Association, the Italian companies Grondona (manufacturer of biscuits) founded in 1820 and the company Luxardo (manufacturer of liqueurs) founded in 1821.

Andrea Grondona : « you cannot name the Grondona Biscottificio without immediatly thinking of one of our sweet products which have become iconic over time as the Lagaccio, the real biccotto baked and cooked twice, rough and fragrant, or canestrelli, which have the rich consistency of simplicity. The Grondona biscuit factory is a source of pride for the Liguria region and for Italy which it represents with its products throughout the world ».

Piero Luxardo : « During its long history, Luxardo has produced many different types of liqueurs and distillates, from the more traditional to more innovative ones. Sambuca, Limoncello and Amaretto represent the core range of the most traditional Italian liqueurs, Today Luxardo exports its specialities in over 93 different countries worldwide, whilst in the domestic market it is leader in the confectionary and gourmet market, with a wide range of alcoholic aromas and preserves and jams.

The presentation of a video prepared by all the Japanese members who, not having been able to travel to Europe, wished to express their friendly support to all the other members.

the nomination of Willem van Eeghen, successively President of the Henokiens (2014-2017) and Vice President (2018-2021), Honorary President of the Association.

The next Henokiens General Meeting will take place during the 2022 Henokiens Congress which will be organized in italy.

  • Presentation by European Family Businesses of the futures challenges for Family Businesses

Following the General Meeting, Jesús Casado, Secretary General of European Family Businesses, an organization bringing together family business associations from different countries of the European Union, made a presentation entitled « Defending your business, Securing Continuity ».

  • 10th Edition of the Leonardo da Vinci Prize

The Leonardo da Vinci Prize co-founded by the Henokiens Association and Château du Clos Lucé, has been awarded this year to the French company Groupe SEB, world leader in the field of small domestic equipment. Since1930, the company has adopted a mass production model and has experienced strong growth by marketing reliable and innovative products. The Group invented the Cocotte-Minute pressure cooker in 1953, which marked the beginning of a series of innovations at the cutting edge of technology and perfectly suited to the new consumer trends of the time. SEB gradually broadened its activities by introducing new household appliancesand acquiring rival companies such as Moulinex/Krups in 2001 and the Chinese group Supor in 2007. Today, the company has a portfolio of 31 powerful and complementary brands, which are the pillars of its profitable and sustainable growth strategy(Tefal, Rowenta, Moulinex, Krups, Seb, Calor, WMF, Supor, to name a few). It employs 33,000 people at 40 different industrial sites, of which 10 in France,and is established in over 50 countries. Groupe SEB, with its global headquarters in Écully, near Lyon, had a turnover of 6.94 billion euros in 2020.

The ceremony took place on 28 October 2021 in Lyon. The Trophy was presented to Mr. Thierry de la Tour d'Artaise, Chief Executive Officer of Groupe SEB, by Mr. Patrick Martin, Deputy President of Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF) and Mr. Michel Barnier, former French minister and Brexit negociator at the European commission in the presence of the vice President of the Henokiens Association, Willem van Eeghen and François Saint Bris, President of Château du Clos Lucé-Parc Leonardo da Vinci.

Patrick Martin-Thierry de la Tour d'Artaise-Michel Barnier

  • Presentation of research from EDHEC Family Business Research Centre

The ceremony award of the Leonardo da Vinci Prize continued with a presentation by Ms. Rania Labaki, Director of EDHEC Family Business Research Center of the study "Historical values, social and environmental responsibilities: the new generation of family businesses is leading the way" realized for ther 10th anniversary of the Leonardo da Vinci Prize at the initiative of its co-founders, the Henokiens Association and Château du Clos Lucé.

Following her presentation, Ms. Labaki moderated a round table in which three members of the Association participated, from left to right, Olivier Passot (Revol), Jeroen van Eeghen (Van Eeghen Group) et Emmanuel Viellard (VMC).

  • Porcelaine, member of the Henokiens Association

The Henokiens visited the company REVOL, manufacturer of culinary porcelain established in the department of Drôme since its creation in 1768. For nine generations, the company has been run by the same family whose origins date back to the 17th.

Throughout the 19th century, the company mainly manufactured domestic products and in particular bowls, dishes and soup tureens, but also many bottles intended either for alcohol or for the preservation of food liquids: oil, milk, water, etc...

Gradually the manufacturing evolved towards more sophisticated products and in particular gifts decorated, at the same time, the company launched itself in the market of the promotional object during the first half of the 20th century. 1980s, Revol has resolutely evolved towards the hotel market, forging partnerships with recognized Chefs and offering this rapidly evolving market, innovative culinary solutions.

The beginning of the 2000s marked the entry into the world for Revol of the « retail » and the big stores. Revol since then has the ambition to become an art brand of the professional table and the general public and also the leader of custom made products for luxury brands (bottles, candles…). Today the company employs 250 people on a single site, generates 55% of its turnover in the hotel industry and exports 72% of its production to 84 countries.


Congress 2019 Hénokiens in UK

The 2019 Henokiens annual Congress which took place from 25 September to 29 September in London, Stourhead and Bath, saw the following highlights:

  • The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Association : Key points :
    • Presentation of the new member Champagne Billecart-Salmon (1818)
    • Presentation of the event to be organized in 2020 by the Association and le Château du Clos Lucé to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Leonardo da Vinci Prize
    • Presentation of the actions and projects developped by the Next Gen group of the Association
    • Updating of the « Compendium" project of the Association (writting and gathering of case studies on Henokiens members) : 17 studies published so far by the end of 2019 all in freely accessible on the Henokiens website
  • Presentation of the Hoare family history since the foundation of the bank C.Hoare & Co. by Richard Hoare in 1672
  • Visit of the Hoare family historic places in London (Fleet Street), Stourheard and Bath

9th Edition of the Leonardo da Vinci Prize

The Leonardo da Vinci Prize, co-founded by the Henokiens Association and Le Château du Clos Lucé, has been awarded this year to the British company DC Thomson, one of the leading media organizations in UK, still entirely family own business since five generations, employing over 1,800 people across its seven subsidiaries in 15 different locations across the UK and overseas and achieving a turnover of 294 millions euros.

The ceremony took place on 26 September 2019 in London in the prestigious Two Temple Place in the presence of Lord Wilson of Dinton who gave the Prize to Mr. Christopher Thomson, Deputy Chairman of DC Thomson, Mr. Tokuichi Okaya, President of the Henokiens Association, Willem van Eeghen, vice President of the Henokiens Association, François Saint Bris, President of le Château du Clos Lucé- Parc Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Hoare and Rennie Hoare partners with C.Hoare & Co., the members of the Henokiens Association and their guests.

Experts from The Witten Institute for Family Business met Henokiens Japanese members in April 2019

A group composed of researches from the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU = Wittener Institut für Familienunternehmen) went to Japan in April 2019 to explore the differences and similarities between Japanese Family Businesses and German Family Businesses. For this, they interviewed local members of academic institutions as well as representatives of spiritual organizations (e. g. Buddhist monks, Zen Masters, Shinto priests etc.) and multi-generational business families among which six Henokiens company members : Gekkeikan, Nakagawa Maschashichi Shoten, Okaya, Toraya, Yamamotoyama and Yamasa.

The learning journey was intended to address three major topics in its specific cultural constellation in Japanese society: first, issues pertaining to succession; second, structures and strategies of family and business governance and, third, established routines of conflict prevention and resolution within business and the family taking into consideration that surveys on the longevity of firms reveal that many of the oldest family companies in the world are Japanese.

WIFU & M. Tokuichi Okaya
WIFU & M. Haruhiko Okura
WIFU & M. Michio Hamaguchi

The Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU) is Germany's pioneer and guide for academic research and teaching of the specific features of family businesses. The foundations for the consistent interdisciplinary orientation of WIFU were laid when it was founded in 1998, with the installation of three professorships – business management, psychology/sociology, and law. This configuration of disciplines, the scientific mirror image of the very make-up of family businesses, has enabled WIFU to gather technical expertise that is unparalleled in the field of family enterprise. Since 2004, the Institute's sponsors – an exclusive group of 75 family businesses – have enabled WIFU to act with and on behalf of family businesses. WIFU makes use of these unique European-wide conditions to systematically advance research and teaching of this particular organizational form and to develop innovative approaches for solving related problems. With currently 18 professors, WIFU has been contributing significantly for the last 20 years to the trans-generational sustainability of family businesses.

WIFU & M. Kahichiro Yamamoto
WIFU & M. Jun Nakagawa
WIFU & M. Mitshiro Kurokawa

The WIFU researching team who participated to this journey was composed of Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wimmer, Prof. Tom Rüsen, Prof. Dr. Heiko Kleve, Dr. Tobias Köllner and Dr. Sigrun Caspary.
More information of this research :
Witten Institut for Family Business (WIFU)
Alfred-Herrhausenstr. 50
D-58448 Witten (Allemagne)
E.mail : wifu@uni-wh.de
Tel: +49 2302 926-513


6-7 October 2018 : Henokiens Next Gen meeting in Bordeaux (France)

The last meeting of the Next Gen Association of the Henokiens was held on October 6 and 7, 2018 in Bordeaux, home city of the company member Catherineau (1750).

This meeting allowed the group to discover Catherineau led today by Anne-Sophie and Marie Catherineau, 8th generation of the founding family. It was also the opportunity to attend a presentation given by Mrs. Amélie Villeger (University Bordeaux ), to visit the city of Bordeaux and its famous vineyard and, above all, to allow participants to share their own experiences and challenges while linking personal connections thus preparing the future of the governance of the Association.

15 September 2018 : Henokiens - INSEAD "Family Enterprise Day"

« Adapt or Fail & Safeguarding Family Values and Traditions for the Next Generation »

Fontainebleau, September 15, 2018

The Henokiens Association and INSEAD organized their traditonnal « Family Enterprise Day », the occasion for MBA's and Alumini to discover the draft of the « Henokiens Super Case II » a new research developed by INSEAD on 15 Henokiens focussed on three central themes :

  • How Family Assets, Values and Traditions Are Transformed into Long-Term Business Strategies,
  • How Owner-Managers Have Professionalized the Management of Family Firms to Ensure Long-term Family Governance,
  • How Business Families Adapt to a Changing Environment through Innovation and Digitalization.

During this "Family Enterprise Day" 3 Henokiens new Cases Stories were also presented :

  • The Amarelli Case, written by Salvatore Tomaselli Professor of Business Policy and Family Business at the Università di Palermo.
  • The Pollet Case, written by Eddy Laveren, Professor at the University of Antwerp and Vincent Molly, Professor at the Strategy Innovation Department at KU Leuven, Co-academic director of the Family Business Community at Antwerp Management School. The Case was presented with Mr. Jean-Nicolas D'Hondt, Administrator of Pollet SA.
  • The Banque Hottinguer Case written by Rania Labaki, Associate Professor of Management at EDHEC Business School and Director of the EDHEC Family Business Centre. The Case was presented with Jean-Conrad Hottinguer, Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Banque Hottinguer.

11 September 2018 : participation of Willem van Eeghen at the 4th annual « Family TALK » in San José (Costa Rica)

Cuestamoras (www.cuestamoras.com) – Costa Rican multi-family owned company – organized on September 11, 2018 in San José its annual conference for families in business. Cuestamoras are pioneers in the region in terms of family governance and three years ago implemented a conference called "familyTALK" to which they invite families in business from Central America who are invited to participate in hearing best practices from content experts in three main topics: family business, new generations, and entrepreneurship.

Interested to learn best practices from the Henokiens Association, the 4th « Family Talk » invited Willem van Eeghen, vice President of the Association, to give a presentation on the goals and ambitions of the Henokiens, the principles necessary for long-term success, together with first hand experience on his own family company.

Other speakers of the conference were:

Mrs. Magda Uribe Sàenz, Director of the executive board of Cuestamorras, who participated to a panel on the following theme « New Generations and Entreprenership » along with Elena and Antonio Barnabo Uribe

Mr. Victor Messalles Cebria, vice President of "Grupo Empresarial de Supermercatos S.A. » participated to a panel on the following theme « Knowing the Patriarch» along with Monserrat and Victor Messales Vargas

Dr Daniel Papero from Browen Center- Georgetown University in Washington DC gave a lecture on « Process of intergenerational transfer of knowledge»

Cuestamoras is running in to its 3rd generation. Recently the company which sold its Central American supermarket chain stores to the world's largest supermarket concern Walmart, is now concentrating on (sustainable) Energy, Health, Forestry and Urban Development. The owners, Uribe-Sàenz, are a very innovative, enterprising and hospitable family.

Congress 2018 Henokiens in Munich

The Henokiens Association visiting the Planetarium of the Munich Deutsches Museum, a museum founded in 1903 by Oskar von Miller great grand fatther member of Martin Schoeller, member of the Henokiens Associaton and organizer of the 2018 Henokiens Congress.

Gathering of the Henokiens at the Schoeller family house at lake Stenberg

The 2018 Henokiens Annual Congress, which took place in Munich (Germany) from 27 June to 1st July 2018 saw the following highlights:

The Henokiens Association General Meeting

The key points:

  • The President of the Henokiens, Tokuichi Okaya, welcomed the entry to the Association of a new Japanese member, the company Yamamotoyama (1690) and said that it has set itself the goal of welcoming a new member each year during his term. He also thanked the new board members for accompanying him in his mission (Willem van Eeghen- Bob de Kuyper / Vice Presidents, Giovanni Aldinio Colbachini / President of the Italian Section, Christophe Viellard / Treasurer, Julian von Möller / Next Gen Responsible and Anne-Sophie Catherineau / Next Gen Representative).
  • The company Yamamotoyama made a presentation of its activities as well as another Japanese member, the company Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten (1716).
  • The vice President of the Association, Willem van Eeghen, indicates to the Assembly that, seeing the growing number of membership applications likely to meet the membership criteria (still fairly lax), the board wishes to strengthen the rules for application by giving a priority to companies whose activities are representative of a specific and unique business, regardless its size and/or companies from countries where there are no member as yet.
  • "Project Compendium" of the Association (writing and compilation of Henokiens member case studies): 12 studies have been achieved so far (Gekkeikan, Toraya, Yamasa, Hoshi, VMC, Van Eeghen, Friedr.Schwarze, Garbellotto, Hottinguer, Revol, Catherineau an d Mellerio) and 2 new cases are in preparation (Amarelli and Pollet). Simultaneously, INSEAD is finalizing the Super Case n°2 on the Henokiens, a research aiming to bring together a set of mini-cases of members on various topics pre-defined by INSEAD. In addition a booklet will be made giving a concise and compressed version of the case studies produced so far. This eventually may be ordered by our members for their own use as well as for free distribution to business partners, relatives and friends.
  • The next Henokiens General Meeting will take place during the 2019 Henokiens Congress which will be organized in London by the member C.Hoare & Co.

Lectures given by Prof. Dr. Sabine Rau, Peter May Family Business Consulting, Dr. Wolfgang Heubisch, Former Minister for Education, Bavaria and Martin Zeil, former Minister for Econcomic Affairs, Bavaria.

  • Sabine Rau
    Some quotes from her presentation under the theme « Tradition in Innovation »:
    1. The world is changing – and so are weTradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." Gustav Mahler
    2. Withou