- For nine years now, this prestigious prize has been awarded the most exemplary family businesses in Belgium by EY, in collaboration with FBN Belgium, Guberna, BNP Paribas Fortis and Mediafin.
- The jury, chaired by Guido Vanherpe, CEO of La Lorraine Bakery Group, sees Decospan as a very mature and powerful example of family governance for other family businesses.
- The two other finalists were Reynders Label Printing and Wanty. Decospan succeeds Spaas Kaarsen, last year's laureate.FEops follows in the footsteps of Deliverect, the 2021 winner also from Ghent.
EY has organized the ‘Family Business Award of Excellence®’ since 2014. The award highlights family businesses that excel in corporate governance, within the family and the business, in their vision and the upholding of family values and in the transmission of entrepreneurship between generations. Communication, sustainable growth and social engagement are also key criteria which the jury takes into account in conferring the award.
The jury, made up of representatives from the Belgian business and academic worlds, judged that Decospan responded best and in the most balanced way to all the criteria. The jury also praises Decospan for the strong strategic model it has developed, in which a healthy no-nonsense management of the company mixes with passion for the product and the well-being of the employees.
Eric Van Hoof, partner at EY and Family Business Leader: « With the Family Business Award of Excellence®, we want to give family businesses in our country an extra stage and incentive, because they form the backbone of our economy. They have one recognizable characteristic, and that is that they are focused on the long term - across generations. This certainly also applies to the other 2 finalists Reynders Label Printing and Wanty”.
Guido Vanherpe, CEO of La Lorraine Bakery Group (winner 2016) and president of the jury explains the choice : «Decospan is a striking example of a family-run business that has succeeded in realising a long-term vision across the generations with great passion and ambition. It has also created a clear and structured system of governance at a crucial time in the business, with independent directors and an independent chairman of the family board. This has helped unleash a new way of thinking in the different branches of the family. Decospan has also made a bold choice to lay down the governance system for 10 years, which has helped secure the future of the business.
Decospan’s third generation has made another bold choice in having the business continue to grow in line with the vision of the second generation. They have shown respect for the choices of the younger members of the third generation, who were deliberately given the time to prepare themselves outside the business before deciding to join it. Decospan has developed a strong strategic model in which healthy, no-nonsense management of the business combines with passion for the product and the welfare of the employees. It has also succeeded in developing intensive digitisation and innovation policy around a traditionally made product, future-proofing the business for the long term. Decospan is an extremely mature and powerful example to other family businesses.”
Decospan has been a family business for three generations with an insatiable passion for wood. The family business, now the European leader in wood veneer processing, was founded in 1978 as a spin-off from Menotex, which produced linen sheets. Urbain Desmet, one of the shareholders, took over at this time one of the activities of Menotex which consisted of the finishing of flax sheets placed with a thin layer of wood. Today, Decospan is a market-oriented lifestyle company with 900 employees and a turnover of more than 200 million euros. The company specializes in the production and sale of wooden flooring and veneer products such as wall coverings, kitchen fronts and furniture parts. It wants to be an actor who thinks with the prescriber, the subcontractor and the customer to develop global solutions based on this magnificent renewable raw material.
List of Belgium ambassadors of the ‘Family Business Award of Excellence®’
Decospan is the newest award winner on the already impressive list in recent years, joining Spaas Kaarsen (2021), Cartamundi (2020), Duvel Moortgat (2019), Sipef (2018), Vandersanden Group (2017), La Lorraine Bakery Group (2016), Reynaers Aluminium (2015) and Cosucra (2014).