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Merck wins family business award for excellence

Published on 05/10/09 at 03:52pm

The oldest global pharma company Merck has received a Family Business Excellence Award, after impressing judges with the 12 generations that have run the company during its 341-year history.

The 14th annual IMD Lombard Odier award, which aims to help companies share best practices, analyse the economic backdrop, and promote family businesses, was presented in Amsterdam on the occasion of the 20th summit of the Family Business Network-International (FBN-I).

Jon Baumhauer, chairman of the Merck Family Board, said: "We are very pleased to receive this distinguished award. Business comes first - the Merck family members, today totalling 217 members representing the 10th, 11th and 12th generations, see their role as that of trustee with a clear objective to pass the group to the next generation enriched and enlarged."

To receive the award candidates must achieve excellence in a number of criteria, such as global business scope, exemplary corporate governance, the involvement of multiple generations, and the clarity and sustainability of its social endeavours.

The Merck Group impressed the jury with four main factors:

* The long duration of its family's ownership - 341 years and 12 generations - and the ability to successfully overcome virtually all potential threats by using the opportunities of change;

* Its courage and pioneering spirit translated into successful innovation management;

* Its strong family values and focus on the younger generation with bonding activities to establish an owner identity as well as education processes to become responsible shareholders;

* The separation of the spheres of influence and governance between operating responsibility outside the family and supervisory bodies, which are family-controlled.

IMD is a leading global business school based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is recognised as one of the world leaders in executive education. For over 60 years it has worked with leading global companies to develop and retain management talent.

The IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award has been presented since 1996. The first winner was the Lego Group, Denmark. Other past recipients are the Henkel Group, Germany, and the Barilla Group, Italy.

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