THU 4TH JUN 2020


Bringing the family business community together

The Great British Family Business Conference 2020

Date: 12th March 2020 Price: £0

Our flagship national conference that brings the family business community together foir shared insights, learning, networking and more besides.

Join us in London for our flagship national family business conference that is now in its eighth year and not only does it bring the family business together, it provides a great opportunity to discuss some of the unique challenges facing family firms and to hear insights from other family business people and their advisers who have already dealt with some of these challenges too.

The theme for the 2020 conference is Family Business With A Purpose.

As well as some great speakers providing great insights there are a selection of workshops, a mini expo during the networking breaks where you can sample some great British family business products and there is plenty of time for networking and discussion too.

Great speakers. Great insights. Great value.

We look forward to welcoming you to London in March 2020.


The Programme

8.30 - Registration and coffee prior to the conference commencing at 9.15

9.15 - Conference Introduction - Paul Andrews, Founder, Family Business United

Welcome Address - Family Business As A Force For Good

George Vestey is the Chief Executive Officer of Vestey Holdings, a fourth-generation, family-owned business, with origins stretching back to the 1890’s. Today, Vestey Holdings primarily invest in food companies operating in various segments of the industry and whilst their core activity is food they have also developed a pensions consultancy which provides strategic advice to family businesses on how to manage their legacy final salary schemes. As custodians of these companies, they’re not about the short term – their core aim is to build and improve them for future generations.

Opening Keynote - Over 200 Years of Tradition & Expertise in Textile Manufacturing

Alexander Johnston established the Elgin Mill on the banks of the River Lossie over two centuries ago, founding a legacy of fine craft and exquisite fabric. For this family business with over 200 years of tradition and expertise in textile manufacturing, luxury begins with outstanding craftsmanship using the highest quality, natural fibres. Their dedication, patience and love for their craft allows them to lead the world in cashmere and woollens, sourcing only the finest raw fibres available and supplying the world's top luxury brands.

Johnstons of Elgin has been awarded the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Manufacturers of Estate Tweed by HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothsay. The experience and tradition rooted in their history has been passed down through generations to ensure they are preserved and represented in the products made today.

Join us to find out more about the business, their approach to innovation and the way that the family is involved today with non-family CEO, Simon Cotton and Chairman and family member, Jenny Urquhart.

Research Findings - The Importance of Family Firms To The UK Economy

Highlights of recent research findings into the role that family firms play across the UK today, on a local, regional and national level.

Coffee and Networking

Family Business Insight - Innovating Tradition for the Future – Five Generations at Craven Dunnill

Simon Howells, Managing Director of Craven Dunnill will share the journey of a business that began back in 1872. This is a family firm that has a long-standing history and unrivalled reputation for the manufacture and supply of fine ceramic tiles. Based in the beautiful market town of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, they are relentless in their pursuit of excellence, with over 140 years experience in delivering complete customer satisfaction.

From its manufacturing background, which began at the Jackfield Tile Factory in Ironbridge, the company today is one of the oldest and largest independent tile distributors in the UK.

From its manufacturing roots, the Craven Dunnill Group has evolved and grown over the years, now with operating businesses in the retail and distribution of fine ceramic tiles, the supply of tiles for the commercial project sector, and specialist tile production. Among its premises, Craven Dunnill still operates the oldest surviving purpose-built tile factory in the World. Innovation and evolution is at the heart of the business and Simon will share an insight into how they are using technology to further the journey of the business.

Panel Discussion - Next Generation Insights

An interactive session with our next generation panel who will share their perspectives on joining the family business. Topics will include the pro's and cons considered even before joining the family firm, fears and the possible risks to personal relationships, steps taken before getting involved, taking on roles as the next generation, falling in love with the family business, making changes and the changing dynamics when involved on a daily basis.

Confirmed panel members:

Stuart McRae - Next generation Sales Manager at Golden Casket in Greenock, manufacturers and distributors of confectionery. Golden Casket is one of the largest and most innovative confectionery specialists in the UK. Their ‘Millions’ brand celebrated its 25th birthday in 2016 along with £onepounders which has grown and grown to have now over 65 different varieties in its range. Few companies can boast brands that have been around since the 1700s. It’s combining state-of-the-art working techniques with traditional skilled crafts, quality and value that makes Golden Casket unique.

Nancy Tillett - Next generation at Tilletts Clothing which was established in 2006. An independent family owned business providing quality clothes at affordable prices for the every woman. A mother and daughter buying team comprised of Melanie, Grace and Nancy; Tilletts whole ethos is 'Style With Confidence.'

From their humble beginnings at the Flagship store in Seaview Street, Cleethorpes, the Tilletts enterprise expanded by opening a second smaller outlet based in the Georgian market town of Louth. Going from strength to strength, Tilletts decided to branch out online, with their ‘Bricks and Clicks’ approach which has seen continual growth with customers ordering from all over the world including Australia and the USA. Tilletts have won numerous awards and nominations including a European Digital Award for 'Best Overall Company', 'Best Digital Marketing Campaign' and ‘Retailer of the Year’ in the Lincolnshire Tourism Excellence Awards.

Phoebe Bagnall - Potentially the sixth generation of Bagnalls who is currently considering her career path having just completed here degree and embarking on the next stages of her journey with PwC. Bagnalls is a long standing family business with over 140 years’ experience of delivering high levels of customer service. Their investment in people and commitment to being a responsible company means they meet the needs of a wide range of customers from historic properties through to utilities, providing services from painting and decorating to industrial coatings.

Lunch and Networking

Workshops - Each delegate can attend one of the following workshops that run concurrently and will involve family members in the discussions on topics that are of importance to family firms across the UK.

Workshop 1 - Seven Skills For Family Business Leaders

This interactive workshop is being facilitated by Vistage UK and will look into the future needs of family firms and the skills required of family business leaders.

Workshop 2 - Purpose and Values in Family Firms

This workshop is being facilitated by Hannah Harris of PwC. Joined by a panel of contributors the workshop will look into the broader issues around purpose and values in family firms.

Workshop 3 - Fraud, Cyber Security, The Dark Web & The Family Business

This workshop is being facilitated by John Cannon of TransUnion, industry leaders in the fraud and ID arena. Joined by a panel of contributors, this session will look at the topical issues surrounding the impact of fraud and cyber security on family firms.

Workshop 4 - The Family Business Leaders Forum

This workshop is being facilitated by Nick Heath of Seven Investment Management and David Dickson of Family Business Matters. Open to senior representatives of family businesses only the workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the challenges associated with running a family business today.

Workshop 5 - Building The Management Team For The Future

This workshop will look at the issues around building and strengthening the management team, the introduction and engagement with non-family managers/directors and the role and value that non-executive directors can bring to the family business.

Coffee and Networking

Closing Keynote - Meet the Millers - Creating A Sustainable Family Business

Nick and David Miller own and run the award winning 4th generation family run fish & chip shop located in Haxby, York and in 2018 were crowned the Small Family Business of the Year at the Family Business of the Year Awards and also took the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year title too. Millers truly believe in making fish and chips accessible for everyone. That’s why they make sure they’re catering for allergen-free diets, halal and vegetarian lifestyles.

As a fourth-generation family business with a 77-year history, they bring the tradition of great British fish and chips and fuse it with a new, innovative approach and in doing so enable the local community in Haxby and visitors from further afield to experience their delicious, traditional fish and chips.

Millers are proud ambassadors of the British fish and chip industry and their success as a fourth generation family business so come and will be sharing their journey to date and their plans for the future. A story not to be missed.

Closing Remarks - Paul Andrews, Family Business United

4.30pm Close of Conference



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