Fastest growing family businesses | Wilson Organisation


May 20, 2014

Fastest growing family businesses

Fastest growing family businesses

Midlands-based family run or owned business that have experienced strong, sustained growth can turn the spotlight on their success in the regions only Awards dedicated to family businesses.

The Fastest Growing Family Business Award is one of ten in the 2014 Midlands Family Business Awards, the regions only not-for-profit independent Awards for family businesses and their owners.

Sponsored by Shakespeares, the second largest law firm in the Midlands, the Award sets-out to recognise the family business achieving significant growth and any challenges it has overcome along the way.

David Stevenson, partner and head of the commercial services division at Shakespeares, explains: “Family businesses are one of the most powerful segments of the Midlands economy.  This award recognises those family businesses that have demonstrated strong and sustained growth.”

Duncan James, partner and head of the corporate team at Shakespeares, adds: “The Award judges will be interested to learn how  the family values and the family members have guided the development of the business, alongside its management structure, how decisions are made, and plans for sustaining positive performance in the future through current and future generations.”

Past winners include 99p Stores and the current holders of the Award are Nottingham-based Halsbury Travel (pictured), a specialist in providing tailor-made tours for schools and adult groups.

The 25-year old family run business, which has two generations now working in it, won the 2013 Award in recognition of a rapid growth in demand for its services. Each year the company carries in the region of 40,000 passengers on over 650 UK and international tours. It has experienced year-on-year double-digit growth in market share, and both repeat business and new customers have each grown by over 20 percent.

Highly Commended in the category were online lighting and electrical retailer Love Shopping Direct and student training provider PET-Xi.

Family businesses can enter free of charge and submissions can be made via the website:

2014 is the fifth year for the not-for-profit, independent Awards. They are organised by Wilsons. For more information about Shakespeares, visit:

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.

Registered Office:
Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

Registered in England Number 862690 - Members of British Insurance Brokers Association

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