Henokiens is one of the very rare ‘companies clubs’… It was founded in France in 1981. Only family companies which are at least 200 years old can join this exclusive club. At the moment it has 34 members from seven countries. Its president Pina Amarelli says that its aim is to facilitate the sharing of information and experience between its members.
Henokiens is an organization which many companies would love to join. Because it is comprised of family companies which are at least 200 years old. This institution, which could be characterized as an association or a platform, has an interesting structure. The aim of the organization, which was founded in 1981, is to facilitate communication between long-established family companies and enable them to share their experiences. Henokiens President Pina Amarelli thinks that, as a result, companies can ensure that they also have a future. He says that networking between the family companies ensures that many problems can be solved.
We spoke with Amarelli about the services that Henokiens provides, the special characteristics of the organization’s members and its plans for the future.
How was Henokiens established? What was the reason for its foundation?
Henokiens was founded by Gerard Glotin, the former president of Marie Brizard, a French company which specialized in the alcoholic drinks sector. Glotin decided to establish this organization in 1981, when his company was celebrating its 225th anniversary. The idea here was to bring together centuries-old companies. The aim was to enable family companies to get to know and communicate with each other. Glotin thought coming together would be important in terms of the family companies ensuring they had a future.
Since it was established, Henokiens’s goal has been to bring dynamism to family companies. At the same time it works to ensure that the companies also have a future.
We try to ensure that the companies which are members of Henokiens establish good relations with each other. If communications between these companies increases, then this facilitates the exchange of ideas between them. It enables them to help each other with many different problems. Everybody knows that family companies have different problems to other companies. For this reason, communications between the member companies helps solve many problems which are unique to family companies.
Could you give some information about your members? Which sectors do your members usually come from?
At the moment Henokiens has 34 members from seven different countries: Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Northern Ireland, Spain and Holland. Our members are active in the jewelry, foodstuffs, trade, hotel, textiles and publishing sectors.
How do companies become members of Henokiens? What are the criteria for candidacy?
In order to be a member of Henokiens, companies have to fulfill four criteria. The first is that the company must be a minimum of 200 years old. We attach great important to companies which have operated successfully for many years.
The second criterion is that at least one of the company’s managers or members of the board of directors must be descended from the founder of the company. As a result we understand that the business is still in the family’s hands.
The third criterion is that the family must own a majority of the shares.
The last criterion is that dynamism is very important for us. We want the company to have demonstrated a successful financial performance in recent years. The company’s balance sheet must be in the black and its financial statements must be continually updated.