Family business champions back 2013 Awards | Wilson Organisation


April 29, 2013

Family business champions back 2013 Awards

Family business champions back 2013 Awards

Past winners and finalists in the Midlands’ only independent, not-for-profit awards initiative to recognise and celebrate family businesses, joined sponsors and supporters at launch parties for the 2013 Midlands Family Business Awards across the Midlands.

This year’s Awards, created and run by The Wilson Organisation, launched on the 25th April at a Breakfast Briefing at Birmingham’s Opus Restaurant and in Nottingham at an evening drinks reception at Waterstones Gallery.

Members of the winning teams from the headline Family Business of the Year Award 2012, Becketts Farm, and the 2012 Best Small Family Business, O’Keeffe Building Services, helped launch this year’s Awards, alongside representatives from regional business advisory firm Smith Cooper, sponsor of the headline category for the third year running.

Details of a new Retail Excellence category, sponsored by independent retail display, shopfitting and commercial interiors specialist, Triplar, a family-owned business established over thirty years ago, were revealed at the events.

Also unveiled were the new-look categories for Leading Adviser to Family Businesses, sponsored by Unum, and details of the new judging process for the Outstanding Contribution for individuals in a family business category, sponsored by Thomas Miller Investment.

Additional category sponsors for 2013, many of whom are returning for a second or third year are Barclays, Crouch Logistics, PwC, and Royal Sun Alliance.

Of the Awards, Holly Beckett of Becketts Farm based near Wythall, Birmingham, said: “The Family Business Awards are a wonderful initiative that celebrates and motivates such a wide range of businesses and their people. We were extremely proud to receive the headline 2012 Award and found the whole process insightful and worthwhile and I would thoroughly recommend it.”

Russell O’Keeffe added: “For O’Keeffe Building Services to win the Best Small Family Business 2012 Award was truly unbelievable and we have had lots of recognition following the win and enjoy telling everyone about our fantastic achievement.”

Speaking at the launches, Charlotte Perkins, MD of The Wilson Organisation, said: “Family businesses generate over £1 trillion each year in UK revenues and provide more than nine million jobs in the UK and the Midlands is home to an impressive and surprising number of these flourishing businesses.

“We are the UK’s only independent, not-for-profit Awards for family businesses and in 2013, we will continue to highlight and recognise the amazing work and contribution of the region’s family businesses.”

Awards’ Creative Director Hilary Campton of V Formation added: “The Awards have established themselves as a trusted brand amongst sponsors, supporters, and all the family businesses and owners involved. In 2013 the Awards will continue to spotlight and recognise the amazing contribution, innovation and commitment that family businesses and their owners make to our region, as well as see some exciting new categories and the return of some of our great independent judges and sponsors.”

Chris Taylor, Partner at Smith Cooper in Nottingham, said: “We’re thrilled to be headline sponsor of the Awards for the third year in a row. As a firm we believe that building great relationships is central to success and the bond we’ve created with the Awards means that it’s a highly anticipated event in all of our diaries! The entries we had last year were of such a high calibre and the Awards are growing year- on-year, so it’ll be great to see which businesses are entering this time round.”

Jeremy Cope, lead partner at Smith Cooper in Birmingham, added: “Family businesses are a vital part of the professional landscape in the Midlands and it is great to be a part of this initiative which champions the success of the region’s family owned and run companies, across a broad range of sectors. This is the third year that we’ve sponsored the awards and I am looking forward to meeting what will no doubt be an impressive shortlist, later on this year.” 

It is free to enter the Awards, and submissions for 2013 can be made from the 1st May – for more information on the categories, sponsors, independent judging panel and supporters, visit:

This year the Awards are raising funds for The Outward Bound Trust, an educational charity dedicated to unlocking the potential in young people through learning and adventure in the wild.

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)