The World’s Top 750 Family Businesses Ranking


Family businesses overwhelming importance to the global economy has never been greater. This is brought into sharp focus with Family Capital’s ranking of the top 750 family businesses in the world.

These businesses, as ranked below, generate annual revenues of more than $9 trillion. They employ nearly 30 million people.

Many of these companies are known global brands, but many aren’t. Indeed, through Family Capital’s extensive research with the support of PwC, we were able to track down many companies in less known centres of family enterprise, particularly China. Out of the 750 companies, 62 were from China, including Hong Kong, and 43 were from mainland China. This number compares well with Germany, perhaps the country with the most advanced family enterprise culture, with 94 companies on the list.

Of course, China’s phenomenal economic achievements are well known, but what is less well known is the growing role its corporations play in the global ecosystem of family businesses. This is important because it underlines the corporate culture in the world’s second-biggest economy is arguably moving more towards a long-term focus. Further analysis of the importance of family businesses in the global economy and the 750 ranking is provided by Professor John Davis, MIT Sloan School of Management.  

The growing role of China and indeed Asia in the family business world will have consequences for other parts of the world, says Peter Englisch, global family business leader for PwC.

“The global shift of power is now also reflected in the ranking of the world’s leading family businesses,” he says. “America is still going to dominate the index, but the rise of the Asian family businesses put European leaders under pressure to maintain a leading position in the future.”

The ranking, compiled through extensive analysis of publicly available sources (see Methodology), is also the launch of a dynamic database and analysis service from Family Capital. The ranking will be continuously updated – and analysis and trends from this data and more connected to it will be released on a regular basis.

Analysis and trends on the growing importance of gender equality in the family business sector will be looked at extensively. Recent research from PwC found that women are poorly represented at a senior level in family businesses, with women only averaging one in five board members and fewer than one in four on management teams. Are bigger family businesses setting a good example when it comes to gender equality?

An analysis of the 750’s revenues and profits, how they are being affected by disruptive forces in their sectors, and how they are managing succession and governance pressures will also be released in the future.

In order to qualify for the ranking, the family or group of families would have to control at least 50% of the voting shares in a privately held company and at least 32% of the voting rights in a publicly listed company.

PLEASE NOTE: Where there is a 0.00 in the row for family shareholding, the exact ownership amount is not publicly available, but there is an assumption for these businesses that if the company is privately owned, the family owners have at least 50% of the voting rights, and at least 32% of the voting rights in a publicly listed company.

Please click here for the full Methodology

To access the Table in full, please click on its content and scroll right or left with your mouse. Or scroll down to the end of the Table and use the right/left scroll bar there.

Top 750 Family Businesses_copy

wdt_ID Rank Company name Family owner(s) Founded Listing status Country Family shareholding 2017 revenues in USDm 2017 number of employees Market Capitalization in US$m (as of Dec 31, 2018) Sector
957 1 Walmart Inc. Walton 1945 Public USA 50.70 495,012.00 2,300,000.00 270,625.0 Retail and Consumer Products
958 2 Volkswagen AG Porsche and Piech 1937 Public Germany 52.20 276,995.68 642,292.00 79,322.1 Automotive & Assembly
959 3 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Buffett 1955 Public USA 37.60 239,289.00 377,291.00 502,599.6 Wealth & Asset Management
960 4 Exor NV Agnelli 1899 Public Netherlands 53.00 171,175.55 307,637.00 12,736.6 Wealth & Asset Management
961 5 Ford Motor Company Ford 1903 Public USA 40.00 156,776.00 202,000.00 30,431.0 Automotive & Assembly
962 6 Schwarz Gruppe Schwarz 1930 Private Germany 100.00 127,616.16 410,000.00 - Retail and Consumer Products
963 7 BMW AG Quandt and Klatten 1916 Public Germany 72.70 118,489.43 133,475.00 52,594.3 Automotive & Assembly
964 8 Cargill, Incorporated Cargill and MacMillan 1865 Private USA 88.00 109,699.00 155,000.00 - Diversified industries
965 9 Tata Sons Ltd Tata 1868 Private India 73.40 100,000.00 695,669.00 - Manufacturing & Industrial Products
966 10 Koch Industries, Inc. Koch 1940 Private USA 84.00 95,155.50 120,000.00 - Manufacturing & Industrial Products
Rank Company name Family owner(s) Founded Listing status Country Family shareholding 2017 revenues in USDm 2017 number of employees Market Capitalization in US$m (as of Dec 31, 2018) Sector