Prepared Exclusively for FFI Members
Congratulations to the 2020 Achievement Award Recipients
May 15, 2020
FOF May 15, 2020 cover

n 1992, to further enhance its multidisciplinary and global approach to family enterprise advising, consulting, and research, FFI began to establish awards for professional achievement. Today there are four: Richard Beckhard Practice Award, Barbara Hollander Award, Interdisciplinary Award, and International Award. These prestigious awards are the pinnacles of achievement in the field, and we are pleased to announce this year’s recipients. The awards will be formally presented as part of the FFI annual global conference in late October.

Richard Beckhard Practice Award
Kathryn McCarthy
Kathryn McCarthy is currently a family wealth and family office advisor. She is a director of the Rockefeller Trust Company (NY) and serves on its Audit Committee. She was the founding President of Marujupu, LLC, the family office of the Sulzberger family, owners of the New York Times. Kathryn is also a frequent lecturer at academic institutions including Columbia University, New York University Graduate Schools of Business, and Imperial College. In October, she will co-present the session “Blind Spot: Family office and investment governance” at the FFI Global Conference.
From the nomination
Very few professionals in the field have contributed more than Kathryn McCarthy to both clients and advisors alike. Kathryn is the consummate professional advisor, confidante, and thought leader of her time. She has pushed the field to advance, and yet, quietly, humbly operates to advise her clients who are facing challenging situations. Operating under a veil of confidentiality, Kathryn has led from behind and helped an entire generation of women advisors and executives step up to the plate. She embodies the exemplary practitioner honored by the Richard Beckhard Practice Award.
Kathryn McCarthy headshot
Kathryn McCarthy
The Richard Beckhard Practice Award was established in 1992 to honor a founding FFI member and distinguished practitioner in the family business field. It recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of family business practice.
Barbara Hollander Award
Rania Labaki
Rania Labaki, PhD, is an associate professor of management at EDHEC Business School and director of the EDHEC Family Business Centre. Her interest ranges from finance in family firms to the play of emotions in family relationships, particularly as emotional patterns are passed through generations. She is also scholar at the Cornell Smith Family Business Initiative, advisor at Lansberg Gersick & Associates and IFERA board member. She is an FFI Fellow, a 2012 recipient of the FFI Best Unpublished Research Paper Award and a 2015 recipient of the FBR Best Article Award. In October, she will co-present the session “Ethical Dilemmas of Family Business Members and Their Advisors” at the FFI Global Conference.
From the nomination
Rania Labaki is an impressive scholar and “doer” in the interdisciplinary study of family business and the professional roles that serve family enterprises. Her work across academic institutions has demonstrated her interest in pioneering new pedagogical methods and developing new academic programs, as well as her belief in educating family business stakeholders to better serve their businesses.
Rania Labaki headshot
Rania Labaki
The Barbara Hollander Award was created in 1995 to honor the late founder and first president of FFI by perpetuating her profound interest in family business and her love for education and learning.
Interdisciplinary Award
Andrew Hier
FFI Fellow Andrew Hier is a senior advisor and partner at Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise and a fellow at Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise. Both organizations comprise Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, a global organization devoted to helping families achieve multigenerational success for their families, enterprises, and financial wealth. He is a facilitator in two programs at the MIT Sloan School of Management and served as a facilitator and guest lecturer at Harvard Business School. He is also a member of FFI GEN faculty, teaching “Tools for Positive Change in Family Business Systems: Analysis and application.” Earlier in his career, Andrew was CEO of a global apparel company.
From the nomination
Andrew Hier has advised family business throughout the world since 2003. He is a lawyer by training, pursuing a deeper understanding of family dynamics. He has a focus on all aspects of governance relating to ownership, family, business and wealth, with a particular interest in ownership strategy, ownership councils and ownership agreements. Andrew Hier’s deep technical background and unique communication skills lead to integrated results for the families he works with. He has a unique and deep collaborative perspective on all the complex issues family businesses face. He is forward thinking and a lifelong learner. He has provided tremendous service to FFI over a long span of years.
Andrew Hier headshot
Andrew Hier
Established in 1999, the Interdisciplinary Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the advancement of interdisciplinary services to business families.
International Award
Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practice (STEP) Project
The Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Project is a collaboration of scholars worldwide studying the successful entrepreneurial practices of family businesses over time. It involves rigorous qualitative and quantitative research. Active dissemination of evidence-based knowledge is performed through publications and summits with families.
From the nomination
STEP has generated an admirable impact to our global family business community over the past 15 years. A case in point is the 2019 STEP global survey, which was administered in 18 languages to over 1,800 families in 37 countries. Over the years, 157 research cases have been written, which offer educational contents for programs for families and advisors. All these efforts shall continue to raise the understanding of family businesses and their contributions to the global economy, and drive practical insights to help solve pressing issues of families and their advisors. At the FFI Global Conference in October, STEP academic director Andrea Calabrò will launch the STEP 2020 Global Family Business Report from an academic, consulting, and business family perspective.
STEP Project for Family Enterprising logo
STEP Project 2019 Global Family Business Survey cover
STEP Project 2019 Global Family Business Survey
The International Award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding achievement in furthering the understanding of family business issues which occur between two or more countries.
Thanks to the 2020 Achievement Awards committee
Denise Federer, Alberto Gimeno, Daniela Montemerlo, Preston Root, Panikkos Poutziouris, chair
May 18
The Power and Limitations of Natural Governance
Presenter: FFI Fellow Ken McCracken
May 25
Changing Demographics in Family Businesses: Highlights from the STEP 2019 Quantitative Survey
Presenter: Andrea Calabrò is the global academic director of the STEP Project
Working remotely? If like so many others, you are getting used to working virtually, this is a great time to enroll in the FFI GEN program.
Previous Edition
FOF May 08, 2020 cover
We are pleased to provide you with an advance look at the June 2020 issue of Family Business Review (FBR).

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