The World’s Top 750 Family Businesses Ranking

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Family businesses stand at the centre of the global economy. The Family Capital 750 – the top family businesses in the world in terms of revenue – is testament to their strength and resilience. 

Now in its second year, The Family Capital 750 underlines these companies’ powerful role in the world economy. Together, the 750 generated $9.1 trillion in revenues in 2018, and employed 30.5 million staff. They drive global economic growth. 

Today they, along with the entire world, are being tested severely by the worldwide economic crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.  Many of them are already adjusting to the new reality the crisis has created. Some are even changing their production efforts to make products like hand sanitizer, ventilators, and personal protective equipment to help defeat the virus. 

“Typical family business advantages such as strong values, patience capital, long-term goals, and fast decision-making are being tested right now,” says Peter Englisch, global family business leader for PwC. “The question of whether family businesses will be more resilient than others is too early to know.”

This year, Family Capital has introduced comparative market capitalisation numbers to show how the publicly-listed family businesses are fairing during the first few months of the crisis. Our comparison takes these companies’ market capitalisation from the beginning of 2020 until March 19th. Although it’s too early to say from these numbers about the underlining health of the 414 listed family businesses, the comparisons give an early indication of the resilience, or otherwise, of many of them.  

The ability of businesses to survive and adapt quickly to the new environment will be a big test of their character in the coming months. For family businesses, the role of the family owners will be crucial to deal with the challenges ahead. 

“Right now, family businesses need strong unity of the family,” says Englisch. “The family owners need to stand united and to speak with one voice. They need to send a very strong signal that they are backing the business. If they do this, their efforts can turn the situation into a competitive advantage.”

This year’s ranking shows the growing rise of Asian family companies, particularly from China. The country is now the third biggest constituent economy with top family businesses in the world. Including Hong Kong, China now has 73 companies in the top 750, compared with 57 in last year’s ranking. The US is still the number one centre for top family businesses, with 165 of its companies in the top 750; this is followed by Germany, arguably the economy with the strongest family business culture among the G20, with 108. 

As far as the biggest risers and fallers among the top family companies, Monaco-based INEOS moved up to 23rd place, compared to 98 last year. Within the top ten, Cargill move up to seventh place from 8th last year, and BMW moves down a place. Within the top 25, Continental, JD.com, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and LG Electronics are pushed out. They are replaced by SK Holdings, Pacific Construction Group, China Evergrande Group, and Hanwha Corp. 

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 click here for the full Methodology

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wdt_ID Rank Company Name Family Owner(s) Founded Public/Private Country Family Shareholding Sector Revenues 2018 US$m Number of Employees 2018 Market Cap 1st Jan 2020 US$m Market Cap 19th March 2020 US$m Market Cap % Change
1 1 Walmart Inc. Walton 1945 Public United States 48.0 Retail & Consumer markets 500,343.0 2,300,000 337,169.9 338,900.5 0.5%
2 2 Volkswagen AG Porsche and Piech 1937 Public Germany 52.2 Automotive 270,035.5 664,496 97,716.4 52,831.0 -45.9%
3 3 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Buffet 1889 Public United States 36.6 Financial services 247,537.0 389,000 553,690.0 424,422.8 -23.3%
4 4 Exor N.V. Agnelli 1927 Public Netherlands 53.0 Financial services 163,012.4 272,170 17,872.3 9,250.3 -48.2%
5 5 Ford Motor Company Ford 1903 Public United States 40.0 Automotive 160,338.0 199,000 36,873.5 17,723.2 -51.9%
6 6 Schwarz-Group Schwarz 1930 Private Germany 100.0 Retail & Consumer markets 117,760.0 429,000 - - -
7 7 Cargill, Incorporated Cargill 1865 Private United States 90.0 Retail & Consumer markets 114,695.0 166,000 - - -
8 8 Bayerische Motoren Werke AG Quandt and Klatten 1916 Public Germany 46.8 Automotive 111,609.8 134,682 52,641.8 26,242.6 -50.1%
9 9 Tata Sons Private Ltd Tata 1868 Private India 77.4 Diversified industries 110,700.0 702,454 - - -
10 10 Koch Industries, Inc. Koch and Marshall 1940 Private United States 100.0 Diversified industries 110,000.0 130,000 - - -
Rank Company Name Family Owner(s) Founded Public/Private Country Family Shareholding Sector Revenues 2018 US$m Number of Employees 2018 Market Cap 1st Jan 2020 US$m Market Cap 19th March 2020 US$m Market Cap % Change