The world’s 500 largest family-owned businesses increased their revenues by 10% amid the ongoing global economic slowdown

  • The 500 largest family businesses create 8 US dollars.02t and hire 24.5 m people in 47 jurisdictions

  • Almost half of the presented companies are located in Europe

  • More needs to be done to close the gender gap as women hold only 23% of board seats

LONDON, January 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The 500 largest family businesses in the world are vital to health and are growing faster than the global economy. Collectively, they create 8 US dollars.02t of income and employees 24.5 m people worldwide in 47 jurisdictions, high enough to be the third largest national economy by income, behind only the US and China. These and other findings are published today in the journal EY and University of St.Gallen Family Business Index 2023which is a ranking of the 500 largest family companies in the world by revenue, and is published every two years.

EY - Building a better working world (PRNewsFoto/EY) (PRNewsfoto/EY) (PRNewsfoto/EY)

EY – Building a better working world (PRNewsFoto/EY) (PRNewsfoto/EY) (PRNewsfoto/EY)

Longevity and stability continue to be key elements among companies included in the 2023 index, as more than three-quarters (76%) have been in existence for more than 50 years and almost one-third (31%) are more than a century old. This is further reinforced by their board structures, with almost one quarter of all board seats (23%) held by family members and almost half (45%) having family members as CEOs.

While most of the companies in the index are based in Europe (46%), the US is the leading single jurisdiction (24%). All in all, exactly half of all companies in the index are located in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA), with 34% in America Asia-Pacific housing 16% of companies in the index. Contribution of Asia-Pacific has been continuously growing since the first edition of the index in 2015, from 12% to 16% this year. Meanwhile, in terms of industrial sectors, consumer-based family businesses lead the index (37%) thanks to their dominant share in the Americas. They are followed by companies in advanced manufacturing and mobility (29%) as this sector is the leader in EMEIA and Asia-Pacific.

Although successful family businesses are known for being agile, innovative and purposeful, there is still a way to achieve gender equality. Globally, about 6% have a female CEO, and women hold only 23% of all board seats. North America and Europe they stand out on the index with female CEOs, but still only around 7%. When it comes to the distribution of board seats among family members, Europe leads with women occupying 25% of family board members, well above the global average of 20%.

Helena Robertsson, head of global family businesses at EY, says:

“Family-owned businesses continue to demonstrate an impressive ability to adapt quickly and I applaud them for their continued transformation and innovation. As we anticipate a potential slowdown in global economic growth in the coming year, these companies’ long-term perspective and desire to enhance their legacy will be key drivers for maintaining resilience and ensuring a strong succession plan. I especially look forward to seeing how the next generation will further focus on investing in technology and diversifying boards, while maintaining significant contributions to the global economy.”

Thomas Zellwegerprofessor from the Center for Family Business at the University of St.Gallen, says:

“The overall composition index is stable, with only 7% new entrants this year, which proves the resilience of family businesses. Growing prominence Asia-Pacific companies is also striking and a sign of the economic power these family businesses have in the region. It will be interesting to watch how these long-established companies continue to adapt and thrive in the light of social, environmental, economic and technological changes. The role of the next generation in meeting these challenges will be absolutely critical.”

Notes to editors

About EY

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Working across assurance, advisory, legal, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers to the complex issues facing today’s world.

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This press release is issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

About the EY family business

As trusted advisors to ambitious family business owners, including more than 92% of the world’s top 500 family businesses, EY teams have the experience and knowledge to help the entire family business – the families, their family business and their family office – pursue opportunities for growth while preserving values ​​and building family heritage. Drawing on more than 100 years of experience supporting the world’s most entrepreneurial families, EY Family Enterprise experts are experienced in identifying and helping to optimize the drivers that influence the growth and longevity of family businesses, preserve wealth and culture, and consolidate multigenerational legacies. Visit

About EY Private

As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private experts have the experience and passion to support private companies and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private Teams offer diverse insights derived from EY’s long history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private businesses, including private equity managers and investors and the portfolio companies they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices and entrepreneurs. Visit

Lauren Mosery
EY Global Media Relations
+1 732 977 2063
[email protected]



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