Family enterprise

Unlocking ambition in family-owned enterprises from one generation to the next.

little boy helping his father to plant the tree

At EY, we believe that family enterprises form the cornerstone of many world economies. Family enterprises often tread fine lines as they try to keep ahead of the demands of modern societies while at the same time, keep traditions alive. Growing a business is hard. Add to that the challenges of keeping the family harmoniously together while doing so makes it all the more complex.

EY’s long-standing relationships with family enterprises allow us to gain deep insights into the unique complexities in family enterprises and come up with innovative ways to help them succeed for generations.

The EY Family Enterprise Award of Excellence (formerly known as EY Family Business Award of Excellence) recognizes and award outstanding business families which have demonstrated the ability to successfully balance business and family issues, growing the business and taking responsibility for others by their philanthropic or social engagements.

The EY Family Enterprise Award of Excellence honors such exceptional family businesses. Here are Singapore past winners.

EY Family Enterprise Award Excellence 2023: Ho Bee Land Limited 

Ho Bee Land Limited (HBL) is a Singapore-based property developer and investor founded in 1987. Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange in 1999, HBL has a global footprint spanning Singapore, Australia, China, the UK and Europe. In Singapore, HBL is widely recognized as the pioneer developer of luxury homes in the exclusive residential enclave of Sentosa Cove. Other notable developments include The Metropolis at one-north, the largest Grade A office development outside the Central Business District to date, and Elementum, a cutting-edge biomedical sciences development slated to be completed by end 2023. In London, the company has a portfolio of eight investment properties, including The Scalpel, Ropemaker Place and 1 St Martin’s Le Grand. HBL is committed toward delivering quality homes and workspaces for its stakeholders and contributing to a sustainable built environment.

EY Family Business Award Excellence 2022: Agrocorp International Pte. Ltd.

Agrocorp International is an integrated agricultural commodity and food solutions provider. Established in Singapore in 1990, Agrocorp has offices in 15 countries with around US$3b in revenue. The company ships over 12m tonnes of product to its customers in Southeast Asia, South Asia, China, the Middle East and East Africa. Its product offerings include traditional agri-commodities such as grains, pulses, sugar, oilseeds, cotton, rice and edible nuts as well as a growing portfolio of nutritional products such as plant-based proteins, organics and specialty food ingredients. Agrocorp also has a growing food processing business with plants located in Canada, Australia, India and Myanmar. Agrocorp is committed to sourcing agri-food products with traceability, value, and providing innovative solutions to fulfil the needs of an ever-changing world while striving to always be the customers’ supplier of choice.

EY Family Business Award Excellence 2021: Goldbell Group 

Goldbell Group is Singapore’s largest player in leasing and distribution of commercial and industrial vehicles. Literally a driving force behind Singapore’s growing economy, Goldbell has been providing corporate financial services and industry-wide transport and logistic solutions – passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as material handling equipment – for over four decades.

With the vision to be a leading player in the future mobility landscape for smart cities, Goldbell’s Future Mobility division focuses on five main aspects

1. Advance its core business through deployment of innovative and functional technologies

2. Venture-invest into disruptive start-ups

3. Operate the MoveSG accelerator to catalyze the growth of future technology champions in the area of mobility, transport, and logistics

4. Build businesses of the future including a shared mobility technology company and an autonomous warehousing solutions company

5. Establish an AI Tech Talent Hub incorporated fund

EY Family Business Award Excellence 2020: Hong Leong Group

Founded by Kwek Hong Png in 1941, Hong Leong Group focuses on property development, hotels, financial services, and trade and industry.

Under the leadership of the founder’s eldest son, Kwek Leng Beng and a second generation of Kweks, the Group has grown into one of Asia’s most successful conglomerates. Kwek Leng Beng led the moves into the manufacturing and distribution industries in China and transformed Hong Leong into a global hospitality and real estate giant player. In 1980, Hong Leong Foundation was formed to help the Group fulfil its philanthropic mission.

Today, Hong Leong Group is worth over S$40 billion in diversified premium assets. A third generation has been taking on more corporate responsibilities to carry on the family legacy.

EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2019: Far East Organization

Far East Organization is a Christian Enterprise, which develops real estate and operates businesses by serving with grace, love, integrity and honesty.

Together with its Hong Kong-based sister company Sino Group, Far East Organizations is one of Asia’s largest real estate groups with presence in Sinapore, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong and China.

It was established in 1960 by the late Mr. Ng Teng Fong and has contributed to the transformation of Singapore’s urban landscape with over 780 developments.

As the largest private property developer and residential landlord in Singapore today, Far East Organization develops, owns and manages a diverse spectrum of real estate products in the residential, hospitality, retail, commercial, health care and industrial space segments. 

Eligibility criteria

  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership.
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Selection criteria

  • Company shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the ownership family (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service awards etc. 
Knowledge partners

EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2018: Sing Lun Holdings Pte Ltd

The Sing Lun Group is a diversified company with three core pillars:

Sing Lun Industrial – this pillar holds investments in manufacturing related businesses, including SL Global (the direct subsidiary of Sing Lun prior to the merger),  its investments in services maintenance for the major oil companies, as well as various businesses that relates to the company’s core competency in manufacturing.

Sing Lun Investments – this holds investments in private equity and financial assets. This pillar manages our long-term capital by investing in a globally managed portfolio of equities and fixed interest securities.

Sing Lun Real Estate – this pillar holds real estate development and investments projects that the family invests in for the long-term. 

Eligibility criteria

  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership.
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Selection criteria

  • Company shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the ownership family (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service awards etc. 
Knowledge partners

EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2017: Tolaram Group

Tolaram Group was founded in 1948 in Malang, Indonesia. Headquartered in Singapore, the Group has existing operations in Asia, Africa, and Europe with products exported to over 75 countries. With almost 70 years of entrepreneurship experience, the business has evolved from trading, to manufacturing, to brand-building. While they are established in several industries, they are now focusing on growing their fast-moving consumer goods and digital services businesses.

In 2015, Tolaram Group was reorganized as a trust with Ishk Tolaram Foundation becoming the majority trustee and 25% beneficiary. The Foundation represents the philanthropic endeavours of the family, focusing on issues related to education, employment, and healthcare in Indonesia and Nigeria.

Currently, the Group employs over 10,000 employees. Their culture is shaped by guiding values: Trust, Respect, Commitment, Courage, and Humility. These values stand at the core of everything they do and help to honor where they came from and what they learned along the way.

Eligibility criteria

  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership.
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Selection criteria

  • Company shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the ownership family (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service awards etc. 
Knowledge partners

EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2016: Jebsen & Jessen (SEA)

Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) is an industrial conglomerate. The Group began in 1963 as a distribution company that steadily grew into a full-fledged manufacturing, engineering and distribution group.  The core business units include: cable technology, ingredients, life sciences, material handling, offshore, packaging and technology.

Today, Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) has more than 50 subsidiaries and associate companies with operational entities in 9 of the 10 Asean member states. With a staff of 4,500, it serves over 20,000 customers in, and beyond, the region. Its network now spans 76 locations, including 24 manufacturing facilities.

Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) is part of a global family enterprise that dates back to a trading partnership formed in Hong Kong in 1895. Beyond the region they are closely connected to a network of sister companies in Australia, Europe and Greater China.

Eligibility criteria

  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership.
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Selection criteria

  • Company shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the ownership family (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service awards etc. 
Knowledge partners

EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2014: Eu Yan Sang International

Eu Yan Sang International Ltd (EYSI) is a trusted global integrative health care and wellness company with a unique heritage in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). EYSI is an industry leader, and one of the largest TCM groups in Southeast Asia.

EYSI advocates continual education and advancement of TCM, thus making it more accessible and relevant to modern consumer. Currently, the Group offers more than 900 products health foods and supplements and over 1,000 different types of Chinese herbs and other medicinal products. Manufacturing activities are carried out in two of its GMP-certified factories located in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

EYSI has an extensive distribution network comprising 282 retail outlets in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, comprising 257 company-operated outlets and 25 franchise outlets. The Group also operates a chain of 32 TCM Clinics in Singapore and Malaysia, and one Integrative Medical Center in Hong Kong.

Eligibility criteria

  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership.
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Selection criteria

  • Company shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the ownership family (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service awards etc. 
Knowledge partners

EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2014: B.P. de Silva Holdings

Founded in 1872 by Balage Porolis de Silva, B.P. de Silva had its early beginnings as a jewelry manufacturer and retailer on the banks of the Singapore River. Today, it has grown into a diversified conglomerate across a multitude of industries which stay true to the founder’s principles and reputation. A selection of companies include B.P. de Silva Jewellers for bespoke pieces; RISIS, known for gold plated orchids and sculptures; and The 1872 Clipper Tea Company which features the finest in Sri Lankan tea. Family owned and run after 143 years in the luxury goods business, they plan to continue the lasting legacy through building home grown brands.

Eligibility criteria

  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership.
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Selection criteria

  • Company shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the ownership family (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service awards etc. 
Knowledge partners

EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2013: Kewalram Chanrai Group

Kewalram Chanrai Group (KCG) has been in business for over 150 years. Initially finding success in India as a textile trader it soon expanded and by the 1920s, KCG had operations spanning Africa, Asia and South America. By 1960, the Group had diversified into department stores and textile manufacturing in Nigeria and the following three decades saw the foundation of a successful portfolio in Africa, with Afprint, a diversified textile company listed on the Lagos stock exchange and Olam, established in Nigeria. The 1990s saw the foundation of Redington IT products and the expansion of the KCG. Olam was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2005 and is today an STI top 30 company. Redington was listed in India in 2007 and is an IT products leader in many of its markets.

Today the KCG is a trusted global brand with several internationally renowned businesses in the automotive, IT, textile, agriculture and waste recycling sectors, and with many philanthropic initiatives, including Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, under its umbrella.

The Group has a turnover of US$1b with more than 5,000 employees spread across 17 countries and continues to maintain a substantial minority shareholding in the companies it has taken to market.

Eligibility criteria

  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership.
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Selection criteria

  • Company shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the ownership family (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service awards etc. 
Knowledge partners