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Banca March - Crecemos con valores, crecemos juntosNews

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11/07/2019

12th Annual Conference of Banca March Chair of Family Business analyses challenges facing Spanish agrifood family businesses, with featured guest Grupo Jorge

  • Sergio Samper, CEO of Grupo Jorge, offered an overview of the history and the business and family diversification of the company he runs.
  • Rafel Crespí, Director of the Banca March Chair of Family Business, presented the results of a comparative study of a sample of Spanish agrifood companies in relation to their European peers.
  • Javier Parreño, Head of M&A at Banca March, discussed the challenges that the Spanish agrifood sector needs to overcome to enhance its competitiveness.

The 12th Annual Conference of the Banca March Chair of Family Business took place at the Mallorca Chamber of Commerce today. The event was inaugurated by Rafel Crespí, Director of the Banca March Chair of Family Business, Esther Vidal, Chair of the Balearic Islands Family Business Association (ABEF), Maria Llompart, Vice Chancellor of Economy and Infrastructure at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), and José Luis Acea, CEO of Banca March. This year, the key speaker at the event was Sergio Samper, CEO of Grupo Jorge, a family business with a history spanning over 80 years and a domestic and international leader in the pork meat sector and in renewable energies.

Banca March CEO José Luis Acea emphasised that the business philosophy of shared growth with customers, employees, shareholders and society as a whole has inspired Banca March – the only wholly family-owned bank in the Spanish financial sector – since it was founded in Mallorca in 1926. “We are immensely proud that there is a Chair of Family Business bearing our name at the university in our place of origin; this clearly exemplifies how we at Banca March perceive our responsibility and commitment to Mallorca, to the Balearic Islands, and to society. It is difficult to predict the future, but there's one thing I am certain of, and that is that family businesses will continue to be what they have always been: an undeniable driver of economic growth and of job sustainability and an excellent example of how to adapt to new, challenging market conditions. Family businesses are beacons of stability, quality and social commitment,” said the CEO of Banca March.

Rafel Crespí, Director of the Banca March Chair of Family Business, presented the results of a comparative study of a sample of Spanish agrifood companies in relation to their peers in Germany, the UK, France and Italy. The results of the study show that Spanish agrifood companies are smaller in terms of number of employees and that the difference is particularly significant when it comes to non-family businesses. Average costs per employee are lower for Spanish companies in the sector than for their counterparts in the other four European countries. These average costs are also lower for family businesses than they are for non-family businesses, both in Spain and in the rest of Europe. “Over the period studied (2009-2017), accumulated growth in the added value generated by family businesses in the sector stood at close to 3%, versus 2% for non-family businesses. This difference is largely explained by a substantially larger increase in the number of employees at family businesses over the course of the period,” explained Crespí.

Javier Parreño, Head of M&A at Banca March, discussed the key challenges that the Spanish agrifood sector needs to overcome to enhance its competitiveness: “The agrifood sector is not the most active sector in terms of M&A-based growth. At Banca March, we believe that the best way to step up growth in the agrifood sector is the institutionalisation of family businesses. What does that mean? It means growing resources through institutional investors. This is the perfect way for small and medium-sized enterprises to secure the capital they need to further develop their business operations,” Parreño explained.

To put the finishing touch to the event, Sergio Samper, CEO of Grupo Jorge – one of Europe's largest meat companies, which exports to over 80 countries including China, Japan and Canada – offered an overview of the group's history from the moment it was founded back in the 1940s right up to the present day. Samper emphasised the crucial importance of business and family diversification when it came to growing and expanding the company's operations. “Thanks to our forward-thinking approach, Grupo Jorge now has three clearly differentiated, profitable divisions: Jorge Pork Meat, which comprises four pork meat facilities in Aragon, Catalonia and Extremadura; Jorge Energy, which operates in both the wind and photovoltaic segments of the energy sector; and Jorge Green, which provides land for the integration of farms, wind farms, solar photovoltaic plants, fine wood plantations and organic cereal crops.”

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