Family Business United
Chief Executive Officer
Family Business United was created by Paul Andrews who is passionate about the family business sector and champions the sector on a global level. It is an unparalleled rallying point and voice for the family business community and an invaluable source of insight into the sector providing resources for family businesses whatever their size, sector or age. Paul continues to champion family firms across the UK and beyond and is recognised for his passion, drive and determination to put family businesses on the map, celebrating their success and providing innovative events and resources to help them continue for generations to come.
James is Marketing Director at Perkbox, Europe’s fastest growing employee experience platform, where he leads a team of 30 marketers based across the UK, French and Australian markets. Prior to joining Perkbox, James forged a successful career in B2B tech marketing, running successful campaigns across a range of channels and industries over almost a decade. James strives to drive growth by creating moments that inspire organisational change.
Head of Purpose & Partnerships
Gemma joined Forest Holidays in 2016 and leads the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, bringing over 15 years’ experience from the commercial and third sector. Gemma has been instrumental in establishing and coordinating a framework supporting the company’s social, economic and environmental ambitions. Embedding the company’s purpose in the Forest Holidays brand architecture and helping drive the strategic direction of the business. Her experience in building corporate and strategic partnerships has increased corporate income and built a portfolio of vital collaborative projects for the business. Gemma’s diverse skills have led to her appointment as trustee for mental health charity, Derbyshire Mind.
ECI is the UK’s leading growth-focused private equity firm. I head ECI’s business services team. Investing in a range of high growth tech enabled, media, and business services companies. Current portfolio companies include, Investis Digital, Edenhouse Solutions, Make-it-cheaper and Mthree.
Executive Director of People and Technology
Leading culture and business transformation programmes at Network Homes, a Wembley-based housing association. In 2019 Network Homes achieved a ranking of 39 best not-for-profit companies to work for in the Sunday Times Top 100. We also achieved 5 HR Excellence Awards this year, including the Gold Award, Best HR Team and HR Director of the Year. I’ve worked in the social housing sector for 19 years in 3 housing associations. Prior to that I held senior HR/OD roles in The Bank of New York and Kent Police.
Simon Duffy MBE - Simon is the Founder of Bulldog Skincare. Launched in 2007, today the brand is available in major retailers across 28 countries. Bulldog has won multiple grooming awards and key business awards. In 2016, Bulldog was acquired by Edgewell Personal Care. Simon is also a Non-Executive Director at the fine wine merchant, Corney & Barrow, and a Visiting Fellow teaching entrepreneurship and innovation at the New College of the Humanities.
Global Sales Director
Jim Eastwood was appointed Travel Counsellors Global Sales Director in 2017, and since then has spearheaded continuous, double-digit growth in the company’s international corporate and leisure travel sales.
Eastwood joined Travel Counsellors from Groupon, where he held senior leadership roles, culminating in vice-president of sales for the UK and Ireland. In his five years at Groupon, Jim was instrumental in driving growth in its UK and Ireland business, maintaining its status as the largest market outside of the US.
Jim was delighted to lead Travel Counsellors in winning the Growing Business of the Year: Larger Company (Turnover £50m+) category in the 2018 Growing Business Awards.
Planet Organic & Beluga Bean
Renée Elliott founded Planet Organic, the UK’s first organic supermarket, in 1995, changing the way the UK thinks about food. She’s worked with the Soil Association since 1999 as a crusader for health in the community. And she’s has written four internationally-acclaimed cookbooks.
Renée works as brand ambassador for Planet Organic and is an inspirational speaker, delivering over 40 speeches, interviews, fireside chats, podcasts, panels and judging in person, on-line and on TV each year. She has achieved multiple awards including the 50 Most Impactful Social Innovators, Britain’s Most Inspiring Foodie Ladies, Britain’s 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women and London’s 1000 Most Influential People.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Winner of the Growing Business Innovation Award 2018, Anthony has always been obsessed with creative problem solving. As the founder and CEO of parking technology company JustPark, he is on a mission to solve the parking problem - making life easier for millions of motorists and leading a £50bn industry into the digital age at the same time.
Anthony is also an angel investor and advisor to multiple technology start-ups spanning the education, property, media and transportation sectors.
Starting in business just before his 15th birthday, Stephen Fear went on to create a multi faceted global business based on property investment and development. Fear celebrates 50 years in business during 2019 and has been featured in the Financial Times and several other international newspapers and magazines. In 1983 Fear created a research facility based in the UK which monitors and predicts changing global events specifically for the exclusive use of Fear Family Investments and their partners. Fear was awarded a Doctorate in 2013 for his services to enterprise.
Emma Jane Flynn
The Supper Club
Emma Jane Flynn
Emma-Jane Flynn is Managing Director at The Supper Club, whose purpose is to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset in all leaders, because they believe where entrepreneurship thrives so too does innovation, employment, and wealth creation. The Supper Club is a membership club exclusively for fast-growth entrepreneurs and since 2003 has enabled thousands of founders and CEOs to realise their growth ambitions. They do this by enabling them and their team to overcome challenges, create value, and drive scale through practical peer group learning, curated connections and entrepreneurial insights and they do this at all stages of the entrepreneur lifecycle, from scale to sale and beyond.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
“Andrew started in business even before he left school. While other children were delivering newspapers, Andrew had bigger ideas - buying education software before selling it on to his cousins in Australia, pocketing a whooping 10% profit in the process!
Since then, he’s built and funded multiple businesses having raised over $30m+ from various backers including angel investors and private equity partners.
A finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and an alumnus of the Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace programme, Andrew still loves being involved with start-ups - whether his own or helping others with theirs.”
The Office Group
Chief Executive Officer
Charlie is Co-CEO of The Office Group (TOG), which he founded in 2003 with Co-CEO Olly Olsen. They had a shared vision to challenge the traditional serviced office market with a design led offering that addressed the changes that were emerging in how people were working.
Charlie is responsible for the growth and real estate side of the business, identifying and acquiring new buildings and leading the delivery of the schemes. Charlie and Olly continue to work closely together to ensure that the individuality and design, both form and function, remains paramount to the success of each building.
Today, TOG leads the way in shared and coworking spaces with 50 buildings (43 buildings in London) with further growth internationally.
David is a highly experienced Non-Executive and Executive Director who has spent over 30 years on public company boards. He spent much of his Executive career in senior financial positions, firstly with EMAP where he served as Group Finance Director and then with Reuters Group plc, where he was Chief Financial Officer.
David is currently Chair of the private equity-owned digital communications company InvestisDigital. He has also held Chair positions with Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror) and Creston plc. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Standard Life plc, Ocado plc, Carphone Warehouse, and New York-based Instinet Group.
Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank
Head of Growth Capital
Darren has led mezzanine businesses at L&G Ventures and Barclays, giving him over 20 years experience in subordinated debt and a high profile in the market. He is a regular speaker at international conferences on mezzanine debt.
Darren joined Santander in 2011 to create and lead the Bank’s Growth Capital proposition which is aimed at supporting high growth SME’s though development capital and M&A projects. To date, the team has completed very nearly 200 investments, supporting 130 businesses who are in the process of creating well over 7,000 new jobs through their growth. Total new debt facilities committed through the programme are now approaching £600m.
Red Paddle Co
Chief Executive Officer
After achieving his childhood dream of becoming British Windsurfing Champion in 2007 John turned to the emerging sport of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) as a way to translate his competitive nature into business success. Red Paddle Co was born in 2008. John identified that bulky glassfibre boards created a major barrier to entry. John developed Red Paddle Co to provide an inflatable board that could be packed down into a small bag while at the same time delivering a real authentic on water experience. Through constant innovation and a focus on the user experience Red Paddle Co has grown into the World’s Number one Premium inflatable SUP brand
Jake & Nayns
Jake’s background has always been in sales. Having such a strong drive and an enormous passion for food that opening his own business was always his plan. Boasting Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fortnums and Selfridges as some of his first customers! The business grew quickly and was complimented further with the addition of Jake’s wife and brother making it truly a family business. The business has continued with it’s evolution and now Food Attraction Ltd, that Jake run’s supplies over 5,000 stores with our new brand, Jake and Nayns, of hand held street food and is growing rapidly. They were never going to come quietly onto the scene and are proud to say that their brand is disrupting and changing the face of the Food To Go sector forever.
Business in the Community
Race Equality Director
Sandra is Business in the Community’s Race Equality Director. Before joining Business in the Community, Sandra worked in the Cabinet Office advising on diversity and inclusion. In January 2012, Sandra was awarded an OBE for services to Black and Minority Ethnic People.
In 2015 Sandra spearheaded the largest ever survey on race in the workplace with 24,457 responses. In January 2016 she was invited to join the Royal Society Diversity Committee. The Race at Work 2018 Scorecard report, one year from the government review into Race in the Workplace, provided the evidence to establish the Race at Work Charter and Ethnicity and Pay consultation announced by the Prime Minister in October 2018.
In 2019 Sandra was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for Services to Equality and Diversity.
Jim has have worked in a variety of consumer-facing growth businesses - retail, healthcare, hospitality and media. These include the quoted book chain Ottakar’s plc, the music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, Reader’s Digest UK, Sofa.com and now YO! Sushi, a £300m turnover hospitality group with operations in the UK, US and Canada.
Since 2006, Edward has mainly worked in the private equity arena and have developed a number of strong relationships with leading firms - Hg Capital, Graphite, 3i, CBPE, Mayfair Equity Partners and Better Capital. Edward has worked on a number of successful business sales at excellent exit values.
Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank
Managing Director Structured Finance Group
“Sean Longsdale joined Santander in June 2012 to build the Structured Finance business in the Corporate & Commercial Bank. Structured Finance now incorporates five separate teams involved in supporting companies undertaking M&A; IPOS; Private Equity/ leveraged finance or project finance, as well as the Growth Capital team who focus on high growth SMEs.
Sean has a particular passion for supporting high growth businesses and entrepreneurs, to deliver their visions and ambitions. From leading Santander’s Trailblazers Research to spearheading Santander’s priority of helping high growth businesses – Sean is focused on finding the right funding solutions for high growth businesses in all stages of their development.”
Orlando Martins founded ORESA in 2008 and developed a system to deliver winning strategies and exceptional people for rapid scale-ups, SMEs and global corporations. ORESA’s clients have included some of the fastest growing UK businesses, including Boohoo.com and JD Sports Group, whom he has represented since their early stages – proving our business forges relationships, not just transactions
Orlando’s career includes co-founding a property-technology company and owning a restaurant. His personal inspiration comes from the philanthro- capitalists who believed that when companies grow, the ripple of jobs and investment results in increased hope and prosperity throughout the community.
Co-Founder and Chairman
Rebecca started her career in Magazine Publishing setting up and running sales teams for Gruner and Jahr (part of Bertlesmans) before moving into the not for profit sector to run Corporate Fundraising teams.
In 2002 she Co-founded Go Ape with her husband Tristram. Her role within Go Ape has included leading the Marketing, PR, Corporate and Customer Care teams.
In the last few years her role as a non-exec has evolved in to Brand Adviser for the leadership team. Rebecca and Tristram visit all 34 Go Ape courses each year to help reinforce the connection with Go ape Values.
Virgin Experience Days
Simon is Chairman of Virgin Experience Days and Scott Dunn. Previously he chaired Riviera Travel, Oak Furniture Land and the Berry Bros. & Rudd Family Board. Prior to becoming a portfolio Chairman, Simon was Group CEO at Laithwaite’s Wine.
Simon is also Chairman and Publisher of the Académie du Vin Library (Wine Publishing), a Trustee of the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) and a Member of the White Horse Federation (a Multi-Academy Trust).
Partner - Head of Consumer
George Moss is a Partner and Head of the Consumer sector at ECI Partners. As a growth-focused investor, it is an exciting time to be investing in this sector. The increase in use of online distribution, outsourced business models and creativity in branding and customer proposition is helping to create successful and profitable consumer companies with big growth ambitions.
ECI has a wealth of experience in supporting the management teams of consumer businesses and are proud to be sponsoring this category again. Some current ECI Consumer investments include; The Travel Chapter, the leading UK premium vacation rental platform, Encore Tickets, the global theatre ticket distribution platform, and MPM, the high-quality, natural pet foods company for discerning cat and dog owners.
Bridges Fund Management
Chief Executive Officer
Philip is the co-CEO of Bridges, which he co-founded in 2002 alongside Michele Giddens and Sir Ronald Cohen.
Philip oversees Bridges’ investment activity across all its strategies and geographies. He chairs the Investment Committee and has overall responsibility for Bridges’ portfolio and exit strategy. He has personally led Bridges’ successful investments in The Gym Group, The Office Group, The Hoxton, Simply Switch and Viva Gym, among others.
He is also a regular speaker about investing for impact and the value of purpose in business.
Department for International Trade
Head of DIT London Export Champion Network
Ben has been a Civil servant for 20 years. He started his career in the DWP before moving to the DIT last year. At DIT Ben is the Head of DIT London Export Champion Network. The main function of Ben’s role is to manage and coordinate a community of 42 high exporting businesses, with the main objective to give peer to peer support to potential exporters.
Centre of Entrepreneurs
Chief Executive Officer
Neeta Patel is Chief Executive Officer at the Centre for Entrepreneurs, a Non- Executive Director at the Allianz Technology Trust, a board member of Tech London Advocates and an advisory Board member at City Ventures, City University. She is also a mentor-in-residence at London Business School and a board advisor to a number of startup ventures.
Neeta has held senior positions at Legal & General, FT.com (the Financial Times’ news portal), and the British Council. She worked in private equity prior to her current role and she also co-founded a Fintech venture (which failed!). She is an active supporter of entrepreneurship in the UK.
Founder & Managing Director
Justin oversaw electronic derivative trading solutions at BNP Paribas and at ICE Creditex. He then created multiple B2C platforms that have completed millions of transactions and is an active angel investor. His focus is finding industry-changing solutions and putting the right teams together to deliver.
Institute of Export
Director of Commercial Operations
Samantha is Director of Commercial Operations at the Institute of Export & International Trade, the UK’s only professional body representing international trade.
With a strong background in marketing, project management and operations across various industries including media and financial services. Today, Samantha’s focus is on promoting the Institute as the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.
Samantha holds a BA (Hons) Business Economics from the University of Liverpool as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing.
Director of Business Improvement & Innovation
The Gym Group
John Treharne is a former accountant and England squash player who’s experience in the fitness industry spans 29 years.
In 1991 John started his first gym business, Dragons Health Clubs, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1997, with 22 clubs. Dragons was sold in 2000. He then lent his expertise to premium gym chain Esporta, before he concentrated on the launch of The Gym Group in 2008.
Under John’s leadership, The Gym Group pioneered the low cost gym model with contractless, 24/7 operations and online sign-up. In November 2015, The Gym Group became the first UK health and fitness group to debut on the London Stock Exchange in over 15 years. In February 2016 the business was named as a finalist and Ruban d’Honneur recipient in the 2015/16 European Business awards. John stepped down as CEO of The Gym Group in September 2018, but remains on the board as Founder Director.
Today, The Gym Group is nationwide with over 170 sites and a roll-out programme of 15-20 new gyms each year. It has had over 100 million gym visits since launch in 2008 and over 15 million gym visits in 2018, and has a membership of over 800,000, which would fit into Wembley, Twickenham, the Bernabeu, the MCG, Old Trafford, Croke Park and the Nou Camp combined.
Chief Executive Officer
Radha Vyas is the Co-founder of Flash Pack, an award-winning travel company rehabilitating the outdated image of the group holiday. Flash Pack connects busy professionals travelling alone to enjoy extraordinary holidays together. Now with a global community of solo travellers and 400% YOY growth, Radha has seen her business flourish from a back-bedroom startup in 2014 to a thriving brand.
Creative Industries Federation
Community Membership Manager
Aby is Community Membership Manager at the Creative Industries Federation, a membership body which represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries. Aby focuses on understanding the unique context of creative SME’s, micro-businesses and freelancers so that the Federation can provide relevant support, guidance and advocacy.
Aby has over ten years’ experience working for member organisations. Her wide-ranging career has seen her work with individuals and SMEs from a diverse range of sectors, from technology businesses through to canine professionals. Aby has a long-standing passion for the creative industries and loves working with smaller businesses to help them thrive.