All in All: Mulliez Family Triumphs

Feb 27, 2020, 02:29 PM
Association Familiale Mulliez founder Antoine Mayaud extols the virtues of love and patience in the spectacular success of his family enterprise and foremost power in the French economy. Listen now!

Antoine Mayaud served as a board member of the Association Familiale Mulliez (AFM) from 1994 to 2010. In 1995, he initiated Affectio Societatis (affection + business), a project inspired by the metaphor of two horses plowing a furrow; both must advance at the same speed. If they don’t, one of two scenarios occurs: (1) the business is successful, but the family will tear itself apart; and (2) the family will remain civil but let performance collapse. In 2000, he took full-time charge of family counseling and Affectio Societatis. That same year, he led the launch of CreaAFM (Creadev from 2002), AFM’s first investment company. France’s Mulliez family, whose 740 family shareholders control more than 20 different consumer enterprises, are arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurial families the world has ever seen.

Over time the Mulliez family has nurtured an inimitable business model in which rising generations receive an in-house education and incentives to become and remain owners who can contribute in both conventional and unconventional ways. This is reflected in Affectio Societatis, a ground-breaking Mulliez family pact that has essentially locked in family ownership and managed the expansion of companies owned by the family. Today AFM controls a diverse constellation of brands. Hundreds of “associate” family members manage an international network that includes supermarkets, sporting goods stores, restaurants, and many other well-known brands. For decades, the enterprising group has taken family learning to extraordinary lengths.