Alex Polizzi to head Awards judging panel | Wilson Organisation


July 19, 2013

Alex Polizzi to head Awards judging panel

Alex Polizzi to head Awards judging panel

TV presenter and passionate supporter of family businesses Alex Polizzi is to lead the search to find the Midlands Family Business of 2013.

The TV personality and successful business woman, who fronts the BBC series The Fixer, will lead the judging panel for the 2013 Midlands Family Business Awards’ headline category, sponsored by Midlands’ business advisory firm Smith Cooper.

Alex Polizzi has a reputation for providing robust business advice as host of The Hotel Inspector and more recently to family businesses in The Fixer, which recently aired its second series on BBC.

Commenting on judging the Awards, Alex Polizzi said: “I’m a passionate advocate of family businesses, as I know how well they can work when they’re done properly. I’m a product of a family business myself and have enormous cause to be grateful to my grandfather for setting me off down this path. It’s lovely to have a chance to celebrate success stories in this time of economic uncertainty and show that a good business model will always thrive under any circumstance.”

Charlotte Perkins, MD of The Wilson Organisation, a third generation family business and organiser of the Awards, added: “Alex is a passionate supporter of family businesses, and proactively utilises her extensive first-hand experience of being part of a family that runs a number of successful businesses, to provide support and relevant advice.

“We are simply thrilled that Alex is to join the Awards’ independent judging panel this year, and the Awards team are looking forward to working with Alex to find the regions’ very best family business.”

Each of the Awards’ ten categories has a panel of independent judges led by a senior family business figure, and this year also includes David Robinson, the President of Speedo International, John Horrell MD of Dodson & Horrell Limited, Parveen Kumar Mehta of Minor Weir & Willis Limited, Mark Samworth of Samworth Brothers, 99p Stores’ MD Hussein Lalani, Justin Hall of H J Sock Limited, Kate Manners, MD of David Manners, Sarah Holmes of Merrythought Limited, manufacturer of hand-made teddy bears, David Evans of Manor Pharmacy, and Jonathan Burch, director and investor in Weldon, a hardwood flooring family business.

The not-for-profit Midlands Family Business Awards are the regions only truly independent initiative for family businesses. Since their launch they have raised more than £15,000 for Midlands-based charities supporting young enterprise and young people. This year the Awards are raising funds for educational charity The Outward Bound Trust.

Additional category sponsors in 2013 are Barclays, Crouch Logistics, PwC, Royal Sun Alliance, Thomas Miller Investment, Triplar and Unum.

All Awards winners will be announced at a prestigious black tie dinner in Birmingham on the 14th November. For more information visit:

Alex Polizzi comes from a long line of hoteliers – her mother is the hotel designer Olga Polizzi; Sir Rocco Forte is her uncle and Lord Charles Forte, of Trusthouse Forte and Savoy fame, was her grandfather. She set-up and runs Millers Bakery with her husband Marcus Miller, a 27,000 sq.ft operation, supplying most of the five star hotels, restaurants and burger joints in London. Before taking over and stamping their mark on Hotel Endsleigh, Alex and Olga Polizzi had already launched the highly praised Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes, Cornwall. Rocco Forte Hotels now has eleven hotels across Europe, with another three opening next year.

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

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Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)