Citi Private Bank Teams with Campden Wealth to Produce Top 50 Global Challengers Study

New Research shows Mid-sized family businesses embrace globalisation to grow

Key findings:

  • While over half (62%) of the world’s top fast growing, mid-sized family businesses come from Europe or North America, their operating businesses reach far and wide across the globe. They are active across 3.7 regions on average;
  • These family businesses often focus on a single sector for their success;
  • They are predominantly active in ‘Retail, Consumer Goods and Lifestyle’ (24%) and ‘Agriculture, Food and Beverage’ (24%);
  • People are their key strength - they employ 15,000 workers on average;
  • Corporate Social Responsibility is important to their business success and is a way to engage the next generation of family members.

LONDON--()--Campden Wealth Research, in partnership with Citi Private Bank, has today launched the Top 50 Global Challengers study. The new research celebrates the growth of mid-sized family businesses around the world. It profiles 50 fast growing family businesses with turnover between $200 million - $6 billion.

Masters of one trade, rather than jack of all trades

The majority of the family businesses highlighted have found success through expanding their operations internationally via a single sector approach. Forty-three of the 50 family businesses noted that they operate within one sector, with a reach that spans 3.7 regions on average.

While these businesses focus across 14 different sectors, they are predominantly active in the secondary economy (the production of goods from raw materials), with nearly half residing in either ‘Retail, Consumer Goods and Lifestyle’ (24%) and ‘Agriculture, Food and Beverage’ (24%). Thus, it has been the mass market production of consumer goods, distributed internationally, which has driven the successful expansion of many of these firms.

Figure 1: Nature of Sector Active In

Agriculture, Food and Beverage 24%
Retail, Consumer Goods and Lifestyle 24%
Supply Chain 14%
Automotive 10%
Infrastructure and Urban Development 10%
Energy Technologies and Energy Utilities 8%
Global Health and Healthcare 8%
Manufacturing 8%
Aviation and Travel 6%
Banking and Capital Markets 6%
Insurance and Asset Management 4%
Chemistry and Advanced Materials 2%
Media, Entertainment and Information 2%
Mining and Metals 2%

Source: Campden Wealth/Citi Private Bank Top 50 Global Challengers

Philip Watson, Head of Global Investment Lab for Citi Private Bank says, “These sectors have benefited from significant population growth, urbanisation, mass market production and a focus on meeting consumer demands. With the advantage of requiring relatively low capital investment in the early stages, families and their businesses have developed strong and often highly competitive ecosystems within their sectors.”

Manpower is a key input for these family businesses

These family businesses are large employers of people, on average hiring over 15,000 workers each. This underscores the economic and social importance of these companies, particularly within the local economies within which they operate.

Dr. Rebecca Gooch, Research Director for Campden Wealth, commented on the findings, “Our research highlights that The Global Top 50 Challengers are major employers of people all around the world. Getting the best out of their large workforce and ensuring that this will lead to their continued growth is a key ingredient for the success of these family businesses.”

CSR is at the centre of these businesses

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies are very much in evidence among the Top 50 Global Challengers, with a high incidence of reporting impact and having procedures for CSR policies within the areas of social (86%) and environmental (82%) impact, and employee involvement (74%).

Interviews with family business advisors also evidence that CSR policies are a powerful tool to ensure that future generations remain active in the family business.

Figure 2 CSR: Policies and Reporting

CSR Policies and Reporting   Procedures for   Reports Impact on
Supplier engagement 42% 22%
Diversity 56% 38%
Customer engagement 56% 44%
Employee involvement 74% 68%
Environmental impact 82% 66%
Social impact 86% 72%

Source Campden Wealth/Citi Private Bank Top 50 Global Challengers

Philip Watson highlights, “Strong CSR can help build the reputation of companies, as well as their controlling families and key stakeholders. Doing good for society and the environment, and philanthropy helps consumers associate and build loyalty with brands.”

About the research

In order to be considered for the list of Top 50 Global Challengers, companies had to have turnover of between $200 million – $6 billion, be at least 50% family-owned and have second generation family members or later involved in the business. The final qualifying and ranking criterion, sales growth, was calculated by taking an average of the two most recent years of annual growth.

Prospective family businesses for the initiative were identified in three ways:

• Direct entry by family businesses following the promotion of the initiative within the Campden Wealth community and publicity by CampdenFB.

• Nominations of family businesses from the advisory community that Campden Wealth has built up.

• Extensive secondary research on family businesses utilising Campden’s database of family businesses and institutional knowledge.

All the data on the profiled companies was either sourced from the family businesses themselves or through publicly available information. Much of the secondary data was obtained from the profiled companies’ websites with some level of judgement applied. While due care was taken, this data was not verified by the company, and therefore its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.


Campden Wealth
Dr. Rebecca Gooch
Citi Private Bank
Belinda Marks


Campden Wealth
Dr. Rebecca Gooch
Citi Private Bank
Belinda Marks