• Service: Enterprise, Family business
  • Type: Business and industry issue
  • Date: 1/22/2013

The Familiebedrijven Award 2013 

The Familiebedrijven Award 2013
Family businesses, or ‘Familiebedrijven’, are the backbone of the Dutch economy and it’s for this reason that the first Family Business Awards in the Netherlands were initiated. Consider that:
  • 70% of Dutch companies are a family business*
  • Family businesses account for 50% of employment*
  • Family businesses are cost conscious and need less funding*
  • Family businesses are important for innovation*.

According to John Fentener van Vlissingen, Chairman and juror of the Awards, and owner of family business BCD Holdings:

“Family businesses contribute 52% to the gross national product. They have a lot of perseverance and patience, because they are focused on the long term. They create a lot of jobs, are the backbone of the economy.”

For these and many other reasons, the Dutch family business, and entrepreneurship in Dutch families, deserves more attention. As a partner in this great initiative, KPMG in the Netherlands was involved in selecting the six finalists.

A Family Business initiative

The team of Ernst Groenteman and Olaf Leurs, Partners from KPMG’s Netherlands firm, did desk research on more than 500 medium and large family enterprises and KPMG Professionals visited approximately 70 companies. Interviews took place with the management of the family business on the basis of a questionnaire with seven criteria:

  • Financial performance (efficiency and financing structure)
  • Continuity (thinking and acting for the long term)
  • Growth (in sales, profitability, and number of employees)
  • Internationalization (in many countries)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (role in community activities in CSR area)
  • Governance (how decorated in business, management and supervisory board composition, relationship and family shareholders)
  • Innovation (how innovative, patents, R&D costs, product launches, etc.)

From those, we made a short list of six finalists which we presented to the jury, who selected the winning family business. The nominees consisted of Royal Agio Cigars, Dutch Flower Group, Gassan Diamonds, Hurks Construction Group, Marker, and Van Wijhe Paint.

The winner was announced on 15 January 2013 on Big Improvement Day, with the first edition of the Family Business Awards recognising Gassan Diamonds.

Gassan Diamonds

Gassan Diamonds

The winner of the Family Businesses Award 2013 was founded in 1945 and now is the third generation of family at the helm. There are also already fourth generation family members working in the company, a sign of continuity in succession within the family.

The business is professionally governed with an external Supervisory Board, and Gassan has distinguished itself in its market through its customer-oriented character, good positioning, and a strong focus on international customers.

The company and the family understand the importance of innovation, product development, and correct positioning of Gassan as an entrepreneurial family business. The company recovered impressively from the economic crisis that struck in 2009, and their growth in turnover and results are impressive.

Gassan is aware of its social responsibility and contributes with sound policies in the area of corporate social responsibility.

Going forward, this will become an annual event, and KPMG in the Nethelands is excited to be involved in the initiative. For further information see

* From

Olaf Leurs

Olaf Leurs
KPMG Partner, and broad tax specialist with experience in both national and international tax practice. Client portfolio consists of a mix of larger family businesses and multinationals.

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