The National Family Business Conference 2017, EY, London

Understanding the different characteristics of the generations is fundamental in ensuring the business is founded on values which will be sustained across the generations for a healthy, profitable, sustainable family enterprise. In addition, these differences affect the individual’s decision making process and approach to business, family, wealth, community, ethics, work, risk, entrepreneurship and indeed all facets of the family and business.

Family-owned businesses are some of the most successful companies in the UK and employ over 9 million people. As they grow, it’s important to manage the dynamics between family members and for non-family employees to share the same values and passion for the business.

Whether you’re a husband and wife running a small local brewery or a fifth generation national building firm – we all have to face similar issues including: growth, succession to the next generation, hiring and firing staff, negotiating, leadership and much more. Our events bring you together with like-minded entrepreneurs to share and explore plus make fantastic connections.

Learning Zones

These more intimate break-out sessions are a unique opportunity to delve deeply into the topics that concern family businesses in today’s world. Hear live case-studies from family business leaders who will be sharing their experiences, and take away golden nuggets of advice to help your own business grow and thrive.

Click here to view the full morning and afternoon learning zones

Book tickets here

Our Family Business Speakers

Andy Rubin MA MBA CCMI is Chairman of Pentland Brands Ltd, a director of Pentland Group plc and non-executive director of JD Sports Fashion Plc.

Pentland is a UK based, private family owned company operating in sports, outdoor and fashion. Andy is the third generation to lead the family’s brand management business. Pentland owns global brands Speedo, Canterbury, Berghaus, Ellesse and Mitre and is the global footwear licensee for Lacoste and Ted Baker. The Group is the majority shareholder in JD Sports Fashion plc, an international multichannel retailer in sports, outdoor and fashion operating over 1,200 stores and numerous online businesses.

Young Philip Sidney will be the 16th generation of Sidneys to take on the Penshurst Place estate. He shares with us the history of the family and its stewardship of the estate, and how the links between past and present influence the family’s decisions about the future of the business in the 21st century.

Penshurst Place has been owned by the Sidney family since 1552; after passing through the hands of two of Henry IV’s sons, followed by Henry VIII who used it as a hunting lodge. Given to Anne of Cleves as part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII, it was then briefly in the hands of Sir Ralph Fane and was finally gifted by Henry VIII’s son, Edward VI, to his loyal steward and tutor, Sir William Sidney.

Trotters was born 27 years ago, when Richard and Sophie were determined to create a great store experience for children: fun, friendly and memorable. The ethos is still very much the same today. With six stores in London and a website selling worldwide, their two eldest children work in the business alongside them. Natasha is their COO, and William heads up their own branded shoe business, Hampton Classics.

In 1987, with just £2 capital, Rami founded shipping company Sea, Air & Land Forwarding and in 1995 founded Sun Mark, which exports British supermarket products to over 100 countries worldwide. Sea, Air & Land Forwarding received The Queen’s Award for Export in 1999, and Sun Mark won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Today, he heads up two of the UK’s fastest-growing companies.


In 1997 Andrew Gibson founded Agencia, a leading management consultancy firm in Hull. His daughter Helen, joined the company in 2009 and has led the company as its Managing Director since 2012.  Helen works across the full portfolio of the organisation’s activities in a range of strategic and operational consultancy roles.  This includes offering particular expertise in research and evaluation, stakeholder engagement, strategy/policy development and organisational development.

This includes offering particular expertise in:

  • Research and Evaluation
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Strategy / Policy Development
  • Organisational Development


Joy joined her father and sister in the family business this year as Head of HR & Corporate Services, and brings significant knowledge of strategic and operational HR to the team. Her HR experience has been built through her previous roles with RBS, NBC Universal and most recently, Head of HR at Hornbuckle.


Edwards, burning passion for providing prepared ready meals just as you would expect it to taste at home is the driving force behind a company that has grown a turnover of £50M. With a large kitchen in Kent, a kitchen making puddings in Somerset, and a network of over 80 shops nationwide, COOK remains a family-owned business with a strong vision to be ‘a force for good in society’.

In 2016, Edward’s sister Rosie became the Managing Director of COOK, bringing her passion for workplace culture to their thriving team. Rosie has actively created and supported various campaigns and schemes to encourage staff to get more involved with the business and ethos in which they thrive from.

Based in East London our family started Mr. Singh’s from the shed at the bottom of our garden.  We hand picked chillies and made 1000’s of bottles and have grown to now sell nationwide. At The BBC Good Food Show 2008, the Singh family hand cooked and sold out of over 1000 bottles of sauce – with magic in the air, the legend of Mr. Singh’s was born.

Scott Mullins is the operations director of Pimlico Plumbers, the UK’s largest independent Plumbing and home services company.  Scott is the eldest son of the Mullins plumbing dynasty, founded by his father, Charlie Mullins, in 1979, and has himself been part of the company for more than 20 years.

Sanjay joined the Arora Group as a Director to oversee all the group’s new acquisitions and to manage the current portfolio of hotels. He began his career at KPMG in 2013, working in a variety of positions in Business Development and Corporate Finance. Sanjay holds an MBA from Regents Business School in London and a degree in Business Management from Royal Holloway, University of London. His interests include playing Golf and Tennis and working as an Ambassador for the Lily Foundation.
James has worked in management consultancy, venture capital, start-ups and the renewable energy sector. James is proud to be a fifth-generation family member to have worked at Symm & Company. James is passionate about unlocking the potential of those within the business for the benefit of clients, colleagues, and shareholders.

He is a keen sailor and recently became a beekeeper.

Previous Speakers

John Timpson, Timpsons

Sir Ken Morrison CBE, Morrisons

Charlie Mullins OBE, Pimlico Plumbers

Judy Bell MBE, Shepherds Purse

Sir Brian Souter, Stagecoach

David Kerfoot MBE, Dep Lieutenant North Yorks

Penny Power OBE, The Business Cafe

Atul Pathak OBE, Appt Corporation

Helen Thomas, Westons Cider

Ross Warburton, Warburtons

Caroline Notcutt, Notcutts

David Jamilly, Theme Traders

Kate Hobhouse, Fortnum & Mason

Peter Thornton, Thorntons

Victoria Christian, Clive Christian

Sophie Mirman, Trotters

Reena Hammer, Urban Retreat

June Kenton, Rigby & Peller

Nicholas Wainwright, Boodles

Hannah Caan, Hamilton Bradshaw

Chris Bailey, NG Bailey

Jason Wourha, East End Foods

Sanjay Arora, Arora Hotels

Jennifer Kerfoot

Gary Grant, The Entertainer

Barbara Gray, Claritystamp

Dennis Ott, Matthews The Printers

Michael Ziff, Barratts Shoes

Tom Hart-Dyke, Lullingstone Castle

Coby Bull, Joel & Son Fabrics