De Agostini Group wins the 2018 IMD Global Family Business Award

  • 23rd Annual IMD Global Family Business Award, sponsored by Pictet
  • IMD recognized De Agostini Group for its ability to evolve from its traditional cartography business into a diversified, leading-edge conglomerate with a global reach
  • Award is regarded as the most prestigious for successful global family businesses
  • Learn more about the IMD Global Family Business Center here and De Agostini Group here

Lausanne, Switzerland 11 October 2018 – De Agostini Group, a firm first established in Rome in 1901 and now headquartered in Novara and Milan, was awarded the 23rd annual IMD Global Family Business Award, sponsored by Pictet, at the 29th Summit of the Family Business Network International (FBN-I) in Venice, Italy.

Awarded by IMD, a top-ranked global business school, the prize is regarded as the most prestigious for successful global family businesses. The award recognizes firms that are exemplary in uniting family and business interests, combining tradition and innovation with clear corporate social responsibility imperatives.

De Agostini Group is an outstanding family business that has for years successfully blended an enduring entrepreneurial spirit with a strong commitment to family values, expressed in particular in the sustainable approaches to its various business activities,” commented IMD president Jean-François Manzoni. “De Agostini’s efforts at becoming a truly global investment holding based on numerous partnerships and M&A activities was remarkable, turning the traditional publishing house into a leading global powerhouse while maintaining family cohesion in the face of a radical professionalization and the development of comprehensive family governance structures. De Agostini Group is a most worthy recipient of this year’s prize.”

IMD recognized De Agostini Group for its ability to evolve from its traditional cartography business into a diversified, leading-edge conglomerate with a global reach. This was accomplished by professionalizing its corporate and family governance and a careful preparation of the next generation family members to become responsible owners.

De Agostini offers inspiration to its peers on how to combine business and family goals”, said Rémy Best, managing partner of the Pictet Group. “I am pleased to extend our congratulations to the De Agostini family members for winning the award and to welcome them to the accomplished club of Award winners.”

"Receiving this prestigious global award, on behalf of the Drago / Boroli family, is a source of a great satisfaction and pride to the family and to the management of the firm,” commented Marco Drago, 3rd generation family shareholder and chairman of De Agostini. “It is a source of tremendous motivation to go forward into the future and to stay true to our founding principles,” added Stefania Boroli, 4th generation family shareholder and an investment manager in DeA Capital Alternative Funds SGR.

The news about winning the IMD Global Family Business Award reached us during the annual shareholders’ meeting. It was a very emotional moment that made us, the family shareholders, feel even more connected,” said Paolo Albertini, 4th generation family shareholder and a legal counsel at De Agostini Editore. “Our family has traditionally stayed discreet despite our very successful business. To be recognized as a business is a pleasure, but to be recognized as a family is a true honor for all of our family shareholders,” said Nicola Drago, CEO De Agostini Publishing S.p.A.

This year, the IMD Global Family Business Award celebrates its 23rd anniversary and pays tribute to an extensive list of outstanding recipients. Previous winners include world-class family-owned companies such as LEGO, Ayala Corporation, S.C. Johnson, Hermès, Barilla, Yazaki Corporation, Merck, Firmenich, Bel Group, Bavaria, Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise and, most recently, Pentland Group.

All these successful family businesses serve as a reminder that the family business ownership model remains the most widespread in the world. As major sources of revenue, jobs and tax contributions, family businesses are key players in the global economic system and serve as models for long-term growth, profitability, stability and survival through periods of crisis.

The award trophy is crafted in aluminum, held between two glass plates fixed on a partially transparent base and presented in an elegant pear wood case bearing the shape of a tree – a symbol of family businesses. It was generously donated by the Scheufele family from Chopard and was crafted in Geneva.



Lucy Jay-Kennedy
IMD Business School
Communication and Media Relations
Tel: +41 (0)21 618 08 11

Frank Renggli

The Pictet Group
Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 (0) 58 323 14 73

Charlotte Sevenet

Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 (0)22 719 36 75

Rosa Maria Gulotta

De Agostini
Institutional & Media Relations
Tel: +39 (0) 335 600 0004

About the IMD Global Family Business Award

The IMD Global Family Business Award was created in 1996. The aim of the award, which provides a unique platform for sharing best practices and analyzing the economic backdrop, is to promote family businesses by highlighting the exceptionally high standards they are capable of and the many forms they may take.

About the Award partners

IMD business school initiated the IMD Global Family Business Award in 1996 to annually recognize an outstanding company that has successfully blended family and business interests. In 1999, the Scheufele Family from Chopard joined forces with IMD and has since contributed the beautifully crafted trophy.

Since 2018 Pictet joined to further develop this highly acclaimed and prestigious award for large, old and global family businesses.

About the Winner

De Agostini Group, a 3rd to 5th generation family enterprise, was established in 1901 by cartographer Giovanni De Agostini under the name “Istituto Geografico De Agostini.” In 1919 it was purchased by partners Marco Adolfo Boroli and Cesare Angelo Rossi, who kept the original name of the business. In 1946, Marco’s two sons, Achille and Adolfo Boroli, consolidated De Agostini in the Boroli family’s hands. Currently the business belongs to over 60 family shareholders, all direct descendants of Marco Adolfo Boroli, bearing mostly the last names Boroli and Drago. Their control of the De Agostini Group is organized through B&D Holding S.p.A., their family holding company. De Agostini Group is headquartered in Novara and Milan, employs over 14,000 people worldwide and generated a turnover of about EUR 4.8 billion in 2017.

For over 80 years De Agostini remained in the original cartography, publishing, graphics and printing industries. Since the late 1980s, 3rd generation chairman and family leader Marco Drago has taken De Agostini on a global expansion path through diversification, turning it into an international powerhouse with four major business sectors. De Agostini Editore is a publishing house which operates in 30 countries with publications in 13 languages, organized into separate business areas: De Agostini Publishing (partworks), DeA Planeta Libri, joint venture with Grupo Planeta, De Agostini Scuola and Digital De Agostini. De Agostini Communications is the media and communication sub-holding comprising the Group’s interests in broadcasting, content production and distribution for television, new media and cinema, through Atresmedia, in partnership with Planeta (listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange) and Banijay Group. IGT – a business sector of which De Agostini owns over 50% – operates as a leader in lottery, gaming and services and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Finally, DeA Capital, the latest addition to the De Agostini portfolio in 2006, is a financial investment company, listed on the Milan stock exchange, active in private equity and alternative asset management with a platform focused on private equity investments, real estate and NPL in Italy.