Where it all started
One business family’s dream led to thousands having a forum to share, learn and grow as a family
Who we are
Business Families Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to support, help and empower business families to ensure their sustainability and harmony for generations to come.
Phillipe de Gaspé Beaubien
Co-founder, Business Families Foundation
What we stand for
Business Families Foundation believes in inclusive learning, staying close to your roots both in values and legacy and creating supportive lines of communication for the success of the next generation.
Chairman of Loram 99 Corporation
Board member for Business Families Foundation
What we do
Business Families Foundation delivers relevant, interactive and engaging education on important topics relevant to business families around the world both online and through face-to-face settings. The foundation also nurtures a network of partners that help make our learning accessible globally and trains academics & advisors to better cope with business family issues.
Olivier de Richoufftz
President, Business Families Foundation
The Business Families Foundation board of directors elect Margaret-Jean Mannix and Alex Adelaar as co-chairman of our Foundation in the fall of 2017.
Business Families Foundation launches The Intrapreneurial Initiative – A 16 week program designed to help re-energize family enterprises by empowering the rising generation to create something they are fit to lead.
From November 19-20, Business Families Foundation hosts the first ever Vision 2040 Think Tank, challenging experts, academics and families to look ahead 25 years in celebration of the foundation’s 25th anniversary.
Business Families Foundation welcomes a new President and begins producing short, interactive and relevant education by topic of interest accessible on the go through monthly subscription. In the fall of 2014, BFF hosts a second Family Business Academy in Montreal.
In this year, Business Families Foundation reaches learners in over 30 countries around the world and the BFF team grows internally. New course modules are developed and more partnerships are created with organizations that have the same interest in supporting the growth and harmonious success of family businesses worldwide. The first Hub was created in Asia and a BFF Academy hold in Singapore
Business Families Foundation hosts the first Family Business Academies in Montreal and Mexico City, bringing together people in a face-to-face learning context. Peer forums, speaker series and multiple day workshops result in powerful learning not only for business family members but also for advisors they work with.
The first Family Business course from Business Families Foundation is made available online. Users are able to access learning now anywhere they have an internet connection and can learn at their own pace while tracking their progress throughout.
In this year, Business Families Foundation helped establish the first non-Canadian business family centre at Universidad Virtual del Technologico de Monterrey, in Mexico. In collaboration with its new partner, BFF developed a course specifically designed for students and academics studying entrepreneurship or developing their understanding of the business family unit.
The Gaspe-Beaubien founders were also joined by other families in North America, Mexico and Asia that supported and helped shape the initiative, including the Mannix family, the Garza Laguera family and the Tanoto family. Thanks to their help the Family Business Fundamentals were developed in a unique learning format where theory met practical video case stories for families to interact and engage with throughout their learning.
For many years, Phillipe and Nan-b, along with their trust advisors and other family business experts interested in the field began developing a unique approach focused on enterprising families helping one another to discover techniques for achieving a sustainable business family unit. As a result, the first Family Business Roadmap was released.
Business Families Foundation began forming partnerships with universities throughout Canada to develop that helped develop training and educational programs and encouraging applied research in the under-explored field of family business.
Throughout the years, over business and during social occasions, Phillipe and Nan-b would share experiences with their peers, exchange ideas and coach each other through challenging situations. They decided to officially create a formal setting where business families could gain the help, support and encouragement they needed to stay focused, happy and harmonious generation after generation. Although the process had begun many years before, Phillipe and Nan-b officially initiated the Montreal Institute for Family Enterprise, which later in 1999 became Business Families Foundation.
It was in these years that Phillipe and Nan-b had the opportunity to reflect together on the business family unit and decided to become a “learning family”. Their children had each started to play a role in the business in different ways and the lines between family matters and business issues constantly seemed blurred. Although all the while a happy family, Phillipe and Nan-b realized that their business ventures might be unique, but the trials and tests they faced as a business family were incredibly similar to those of their peers.
This decade presented the de Gaspé Beaubien family with big changes as they took Telemedia public, and adapted to the business implications. The late 80’s also presented them with tough decisions on how to let their three children become involved with the company, when and under what circumstances.
Seeking solutions, they traveled the world to hear best practices in owning, running and transferring a family owned business.
His determination and perseverance continued to grow the strength of Telemedia in the Canadian communications industry. In the mid 70’s his wife, Nan-b, chose to leave her aspiring career in psychology to join her husband and support him in numerous roles.
Together, as a team they began to truly shape their dream of having a successful business that they would live and work passionately for, while providing for their children and loved-ones.
In the footstep of his predecessors, entrepreneurs for the past 3 centuries, Phillipe de Gaspé Beaubien took on the endeavor to own and run his own business after having been the director of the World Expo 67 in Montreal.
In the late 60’s he worked to position himself in the radio and television industry so that at first he had a piece of the ownership which would develop into an opportunity to own and operate Telemedia.
Meet our founders
Nan-B and Philippe II de Gaspé Beaubien
As the founders and funders of the Business Families Foundation (BFF) and co-chairs of the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, Nan-B and Philippe devote their time and energy to the advancement of family enterprise. Pioneers in their field, they continue to break new ground supporting global enterprising families, women’s issues, public health and environmental causes. True to their mission, Nan-B and Philippe are focused on involving their own children and grandchildren in their Foundation as they transmit their values, wisdom and lessons learned to multiple generations of business families worldwide.
Philippe founded Telemedia in 1968 and the company soon grew to become a leader in the media communications industry in Canada. Involved in publishing, radio, TV, satellite broadcasting and cellular telephones.
However, it was through their work together going beyond the quantitative and purely business aspects of their company that the de Gaspé Beaubiens came to appreciate the importance of transmitting the right values, establishing a “soul” to their company and managing their employees to develop an ownership mentality. Telemedia was named one of the best 100 Canadian employers for three consecutive years, and Nan B and Philippe continued to grow the business before eventually turning over control of the company to their three children.
Family: the central and defining organization for sustainable success
Having successfully lived the experience firsthand, Nan-B and Philippe decided that they had vision and wisdom to share with others in similar situations. They had developed and refined a philosophy extolling the family unit as the organization central to creating sustainable enterprise and bettering one’s community. In fact, family enterprise had such power to impact the community at large and the greater social fabric of a nation that familying became a full-time pursuit.
In the early ‘90s, Nan-B and Philippe founded and funded the Business Families Foundation (BFF), a pioneering non-profit devoted to helping family businesses address and resolve their issues. It empowers enterprising families to understand and address ongoing challenges by offering specialized education on family-owned businesses, providing a network of regional educational hubs on a global basis.
Imparting knowledge, wisdom and serving others their special passion is devoted to helping the next generation of women family members succeed and thrive. Through BFF, Nan-B and Philippe travel the world as educators and speakers, presenting on various topics and helping establish additional partnerships with like-minded organizations. They have given workshops at many international events including the world Economic Forum at Davos; YPO-WPO, Universities, and numerous national and international organizations such as banks and accounting firms. Bringing together professionals, academics and experienced family entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge, Nan-B and Philippe partner with top universities worldwide to advance the cause of family enterprise.
Decorated with numerous individual honours belying their continuous complementarity, Nan-B and Philippe are proud to have had their partnership recognized with awards including:
- Philanthropy Merit Award from the Quebec Chamber of Commerce
- Canadian Business Hall of Fame (where they were the first to be inducted as a couple).
- Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia
- Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame
- Citizenship Price from the McGill Faculty of Management
Meet the board of directors
Margaret-Jean Mannix & Alex Adelaar
Co-chairs, Business Families Foundation
Currently, she is Chairman of Loram 99 Corporation where her responsibilities tend to the strategic planning of the family office and the family council. With ongoing involvement in her own family business since 1995, she has gained valuable experience managing teams and adapting to cultures around the world when exploring opportunities for growth. Outside the family business, she has also held positions at Global Private Banking and The Royal Bank of Canada as well as continued her ongoing education at Loyola University’s Next General Leadership Institute.
Patricia Annino & Robert Carr
An Accredited Estate Planner (AEP), an acclaimed author and renowned lawyer, Patricia Annino has been inspiring men and women on the topics of wealth management and retention for over 20 years. She chairs the Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group at Prince, Lobel and Tye LLP and is also a member of the firm’s Media and Intellectual Property Group. Additionally, she is committed to her community and is a member of multiple boards and foundations that give back to causes including special education, health and alumni associations.
Minu & Sajen Aswani
Sajen Aswani is a third generation member of a family-owned enterprise, Tolaram Group. His role has developed his knowledge and understanding of food manufacturing, paper and textile, marketing and distribution, financial services and real estate developments in six countries. Asides from his leadership in the family business, he also serves as Director of FBN Asia, as a member for Resource Panel, SINDA and as a member of the Nanyang Business School Industry Advisory Council.
Sumitra Aswani & Pramod Nair
Sujata & Sach Chandaria
Sach Chandaria is a 5th generation member of a large family that has interests in a diverse group of businesses across base materials processing and manufacturing, media, technology and electronics. The family began from modest origins in East Africa almost a hundred years ago.
Sach and his family’s core focus is on nurturing entrepreneurial talent in sectors with global dynamic growth potential. A core part of their philosophy is also to reinvest the majority of wealth created through these activities into philanthropic objectives.
Sach was born in Kenya and grew up mostly in North America. He is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland prior to which he spent time in Singapore, Shanghai and Nairobi. He completed his Masters in Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA and has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
John A. Davis
Trained in business management, psychology and economics, Professor Davis consults to family companies and speaks globally on a wide range of family business topics. He has been recognized as one of America’s leading wealth advisors and is the Founder and Chairman of Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise. With many academic degrees including a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, he has been part of the university’s faculty since 1996 and has contributed to writing several books, journal articles and cases over the years.
Robert Frances & Mary del Papa
The Founder, Chairman and CEO of the PEAK Financial Group Inc. PEAK administers $8 billion in assets and looks after the needs of over 150,000 Canadians through its 1,500 financial professionals and employees.
Beyond his firm’s activities, Robert dedicates much of his time to the finance community and industry. Robert is an active member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), of which he held the position of International Chairman of the Board from 2011 to 2012. Robert is recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for services and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award.
Robert and his wife, Mary, are the proud parents of four children.
Paulina Garza Lagüera Gonda & Mauricio M. Brittingham
Paulina Garza serves as a Director of FEMSA and Coca Cola FEMSA. She leads her Family Council and Board, and participates in the administration and investment committee in the family office. She holds a Business Administration degree from ITESM (Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey). Currently, she lives in Vancouver, Canada with her family.
Ronald Mannix & Diane Deacon
A third generation family businessman, Ron Mannix is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, sportsman and family man. As the founder of Coril Holdings Ltd., he has a vast knowledge of global investments, railroad equipment and the service business, real estate ownership and advisory services. He also has extensive experience as a director in multiple foundations and business organizations such as the Bank of Montreal, Canfor Corporation, Manalta Coal Ltd. and The Coal Association of Canada.
Brigitte & Antoine Mayaud
Antoine Mayaud is a 3rd generation member of AFM (Association Familiale Mulliez) whose business interests include Auchan supermarkets, one of the world’s principal retail distribution groups. Antoine founded the Association’s ‘intrapreneurship’ program, CreAdev, which promotes and supports entrepreneurial spirit in young family entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is at the root of the family business model and has been instrumental in developing the AFM portfolio and creating long-term value, in both new ventures and established companies.
Smitha Raju Grandhi & G.B.S. Raju
Mrs Smitha Raju Grandhi is currently a non-executive director of India’s GMR Estates and full-time director of GMR Bannerghatta Properties. She is also on the Board of Directors of the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the GMR Group. The foundation is actively engaged in education, health, hygiene and sanitation, community development and empowerment. Mrs Raju currently serves as one of the Directors of Parampara Family Business Institute. She is Secretary of the GMR family council and is one of the chief architects of the design of the family constitution, a one-of-its-kind in India’s family business history. Mrs Raju is a graduate in electronics and communication engineering from University of Madras and has a Masters degree in software engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago), USA. She is currently pursuing her double Masters in special education and inclusion from Northampton University, UK.
François de Gaspé Beaubien
François de Gaspé Beaubien is the youngest son of the de Gaspé Beaubien family. Before becoming Chairman & CEO when he fully acquired Zoom Media in 2003, François was co-CEO and co-owner of Canada’s largest consumer magazine and radio company Telemedia (sold in 2002). He is the Executive Chairman of Ayuda Media Systems, builders of BMS (Billboard Management System), the globally utilized software that caters to all out-of-home operational needs, including digital. François is a Board Member of TAB (Traffic Audit Bureau), Chair 2012 Conference Committee, and a Board Member of Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA). He is a graduate of Harvard Business School with distinction (1989) and Haverford College BA with Honors (1985) Phi Beta Kappa. Enterprising and visionary, François also assists other members of his family with various business projects and is a Board Member of the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation.
Tinah Tanoto & Sukanto Tanoto
Tinah B Tanoto is the Deputy CEO of RGE International, a global resource-based Group with corporate offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Beijing and Nanjing. Before joining her husband’s family business, she worked from a very young age for her father’s company and collaborated with her three brothers other the years. In addition to her many business implications, Tinah B Tanoto has also contributed to society philanthropically as a supporter of the Tanoto Foundation’s donations for education, health case, poverty alleviations and disaster reliefs.
Meet the Team
Olivier de Richoufftz
With over a decade of experience with organizations supporting business families as well as growing and solidifying their networks, Olivier de Richoufftz is well seasoned in the important issues business families face from generation to generation. An MBA from HEC Paris, paired with his extensive experience in marketing, sales and development for organizations such as Euro Disney Resort and the France Tourism, bring strategic perspective and innovation to his Presidency at Business Families Foundation.
An extensive background in International Development and Development studies cause Thomas to have in-depth insight and understanding of the education and management process of content related projects. His many travels around the world have enhanced his cultural sensibility and been applied in his work with organizations such as the Institute of Social Studies and even in his current philanthropic contributions in working with Hockey Helps the Homeless in Montreal.
Olivia is an energetic, open-minded and efficient young professional, with a Bachelor of Commerce, Major in Marketing from Concordia University. With a background in photography, she has a creative eye, extreme attention to detail and a passion for telling stories through her work.
Background in International Development with a passion for creating positive change both locally and globally. Chris has in-depth knowledge and experience working with charitable organizations with a focus in sponsorship and corporate partnerships. Throughout his career in both the private and the non-profit sectors, Chris brings a wealth of knowledge working with businesses, both small and large in scope.
Intrapreneurial Initiative, Quebec