News & Blogs

Awards Entry Deadline Extended!

You now have an additional two weeks to enter the 2023 Midlands Family Business Awards as the deadline has been extended to 5pm on Monday 20 March.

“We received so many requests for more time, we have pushed back our final entry deadline by two weeks,” explains Charlotte Perkins, Group MD at The Wilson Organisation who created and organise the Awards. “We want ensure that family businesses don’t miss the chance to showcase their achievements, so we’ve to given them a little more time to finalise their entries.

The entry process is really easy – simply head to and click on the ‘enter now’ link, register and start the online submission in up to two categories. Entries can be saved and revisited at any time before making the final submission by the new deadline of 5pm on Monday 20 March.

“Guidance on what the judges are looking for and the entry criteria can also be found on our website, and the Awards team are always on hand to answer any queries,” she adds, “from which category may be best, to when and where the judging days will be held.”

With 10 free-to-enter categories including Family Business of the Year, Fastest Growing Family Businesses, Employer of the Year, Best Small Family Business, Manufacturing Excellence, Construction & Property Excellence, Rising Stars, Sustainability, Digital Excellence and Director of the Year, there is a category suitable for every family business.

You can view the full line-up of categories to choose the most suitable for your family business. All our finalists will be entered into the People’s Choice Award – sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants and decided purely by public vote.

Main sponsor for the 2023 Awards is current Family Business of the Year titleholder The Wilkins Group. Category sponsors are Buckles Solicitors, Human Alchemy, Family Business Futures, Flame UK, PwC, Recruit 2 You, Shakespeare Martineau, Streets Chartered Accountants and Ward Recycling. Charlotte adds: “We are grateful for the support of all our sponsors, some of which have been with us from the start, for their incredible generosity. The Awards are firmly established as a highlight in the Midlands calendar and we hope that with the extra two weeks until our extended deadline, even more family businesses from across the region will take the opportunity to shout about their work and enter this year’s Awards.”

Six finalists in each category will be chosen to go forward and meet the judging panel, with informal interviews taking place in May. The Ceremony & Dinner dinner attracts over 300 guests – awards finalists, independent judges and sponsors, but due to demand tickets are not placed on general sale. So if you want to attend, you need to enter!

News & Blogs

Nottingham Business Leaders IT Security Conference 2023

Nottingham Business Leaders IT Security Conference 2023


We are delighted to be part of the Nottingham Business Leaders IT Security Conference, where Charlotte Perkins will be speaking on Cyber Insurance.

Relax over a buffet lunch and Network with fellow Business Owners and Directors at this exclusive event.

Cyber Security events often focus on frightening businesses into action. However Good Cyber Security can actually BENEFIT the business in many ways…..

  • Protect and Enhance Your Businesses Reputation – leading to increased business opportunities
  • Attract and retain high quality staff
  • Increased Productivity – viruses often slow down machines hampering workers
  • Improve customer confidence and trust
  • Reassure stakeholders and attract investment
  • Meet compliance requirements and reduce insurance costs

We’ll also show you real-life examples from local businesses who have experienced an attack first-hand. You’ll learn exactly what the effects of a cyber-attack really are.

PLUS our cyber security experts will explain:

  • A simple framework for cyber security explained without jargon
  • The steps you need to take to protect your business
  • The biggest single risk to your business, and what you can do about it
  • Why you should probably change your password today
  • How to ensure you have the right cyber insurance in place

Date: 29 March 2023 09:30 – 12:30
Venue: Attenborough Nature Reserve, Barton Ln, Attenborough, Beeston, Nottingham NG9

Places are limited and it’s free to attend so don’t delay – Register your FREE place today!


News & Blogs

The Midlands Family Business Awards returns!


Created in 2010 by Annabel and Charlotte, and still organised by Wilsons, the Awards remain the UK’s only independent, not-for-profit annual Awards for family businesses.

Returning after a three year break due to the pandemic, the Awards is now entering its second decade, we are looking forward to celebrating and recognising the success, achievements and innovations of the region’s family run and owned businesses once again.

With 10 categories to choose from, there are accolades suitable for businesses of all sizes, across all sectors and we look forward to receiving entries from the businesses we have met over the first 10 years, and introducing new family businesses to the Awards too.

Move Against Cancer is the chosen charity that the awards will be supporting this year, with all profits from the awards evening donated.

The black-tie awards ceremony is being held on 29 June and will be a summer event held at the stunning Kelham Hall near Newark.

Wilsons’ MD and Awards co-founder, Charlotte Perkins, said: “Myself and my sister Annabel are so pleased to be bringing back the Midlands Family Business Awards, after a three year break. It’s fantastic to have our current Family Business of the Year, The Wilkins Group, as our headline sponsor. Thanks to Justin and the Wilkins family, we’ll see them hand over the crown to their successor, which will be a very special moment to start our second Awards decade.

“We have taken the opportunity to mix things up a bit. We have always held the Awards Ceremony and Dinner in November, but decided that a summer event would give us the perfect opportunity to have our celebration in summer-style.

“Putting your family business forward for an award can reap a host of benefits and rewards beyond the trophy and title so I encourage as many as possible to get involved and submit an application.

“There are so many family businesses that are having a remarkable impact on the Midlands region and beyond, and we can’t wait to see what brilliant work they’ve been doing. I wish all the businesses who enter the very best of luck!”

For more information and to enter, visit



News & Blogs

Are you prepared for power outages?

The UK has one of the most reliable power networks in the world.  However, reduced gas supplies this winter could result in power  outages with very little notice – if any.

To help your clients prepare for this, we’ve here are a few practical steps that can be taken.

Power outages or planned blackouts this winter could have a range of impacts, including:

  • Immediate impact on trading and manufacturing
  • Increased safety risks to staff, customers and visitors
  • Potential damage to equipment or processes from uncontrolled shutdown
  • Disruption to telephony & IT infrastructure with potential loss of data
  • Reduced client support impacting revenue
  • Impact on fire and security protection systems
  • Increased crime

General Considerations

To plan effectively for this potential disruption you should consider the following:

  • Check published information about expected rolling blackouts in your area
  • Consider changing operational or opening hours to reduce the impact
  • Review, document and communicate your emergency plans and procedures and provide relevant training to managers and key individuals
  • Document individual roles and responsibilities in advance and communicate these to ensure emergency plans can be invoked quickly
  • Review and update business continuity and emergency response plans to cater for electricity supply outage
  • Pre-plan and document the following
    • Safe close down and start up procedures for equipment and processes
    • Safe exit from site for staff, visitors and customers
  • Review risks associated with slips, trips and falls which might be  increased due to reduced lighting when staff and members of the public are present on site
  • Consider if there are any  increased risks that need to be adequately controlled from liquid spillage due to shutdown, or the use of unfamiliar traffic routes that are not normally used
  • Complete risk assessments for keyholders attending the premises during a total power outage, as street lighting will not be operating

Planned preventative maintenance
Correct scheduled maintenance and testing of services and equipment in accordance with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)  recommendations or best practice will help to ensure resilience, safe shutdown/start up and safety.

Review and ensure maintenance is up to date for essential equipment, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Passenger lifts – including emergency lowering facility where applicable
  • Emergency diesel generators – including annual load bank test
  • Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)
  • Process equipment – including automatic switch-over to backup supply
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Utilities – electrical installations, boilers, refrigeration plant
  • Solid fuel boilers, wood burners, open fires including chimneys
  • Sprinkler systems including pumps
  • Intruder Alarms
  • Automatic Fire Alarms

Emergency temporary electrical supply

Fuel tanks for emergency generators should be kept topped up. Where a generator is not provided, consider hiring a temporary generator and providing a permanent or semi-permanent connection point and hardstanding to quickly provide a temporary supply for critical use.  Consider installing a UPS for critical equipment or IT to facilitate controlled safe shutdown.

Risk assessments should be undertaken for temporary generators or additional fuel brought on site, to ensure this is undertaken safely. Ensure procedures and training are in place to close down equipment or back up data prior to power outage and before any emergency generator or UPS system expires.

Critical or vulnerable equipment

Review, plan and document the safe and controlled shutdown   procedures for equipment, including the following:

  • Passenger Lifts – stop use in advance of planned power cut
  • Cold stores, freezers and refrigerators – minimise opening, and consider setting a lower temperature 12 hours in advance of a planned power cut
  • Ensure plant and equipment safe shut-down and restart sequences are documented and employees are trained in any monitoring or
    manual intervention requirements for processes, boilers or fired equipment (kilns, ovens, steam generators, reactors etc )
  • Switch off equipment and, where possible, disconnect to
    protect against a power surge on resumption of the electricity supply
  • Leave at least one light switched on to show when power has been
  • Consider how you manage the use of electric vehicles which cannot
    be charged during outages

IT & communications

Consider how you communicate across your
business when IT networks and mobile networks
may be affected

  • Computers and file servers – review data back-up requirements
  • Review data storage suppliers, including any that are cloud-based, to understand the impact on their service and their plans for resumption of service
  • Mobile telephone networks and landlines may be impacted during power outages
  • To increase resilience for key personnel, consider multi-network
    provider sims for mobile phones
  • Keep all mobile phones fully charged when mains power is available
  • Use power banks to keep mobile phones charged for longer
  • Have a battery powered radio and fresh supply of batteries to obtain ongoing information from local radio stations


Ensure emergency lighting systems are functioning correctly
and consider time taken for batteries to fully recharge on power resumption

  • Provide battery powered lanterns and torches with a supply of fresh batteries
  • Candles should be avoided due to the fire hazards they pose


Electrical power outages will impact heating even if the primary boilers are Mains Gas, Oil or LPG, as pumps or fans will be electrically driven

  • Use of temporary or portable heating should be subject to a risk assessment prior to use This should also consider safe storage of any additional fuel brought to site
  • Before using solid fuel fires, ensure chimneys are cleaned by an approved chimney sweep – make sure you use a fireguard to protect against flying sparks and hot embers and keep combustibles clear of solid fuel fires
  • Battery powered Carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed in rooms where combustion heaters or solid fuel fires or wood burners are used

Fire and security equipment

  • Fire and Intruder alarms – check the intended duration of supply with your service provider – this will be impacted by the age of the battery and may mean they need to be replaced
    • Intruder alarms should provide 12 hours battery life
    • Fire alarms should provide 24 hours battery life
  • Where offsite signalling is provided to intruder or fire alarms, contact your service provider to determine if this will still function, and for what duration, as these will vary considerably
  • Access Control – consider security implications as these may fail while open, leaving areas unsecured, enabling unauthorised access
  • Review the impact on other mains powered security related devices such as external lighting and CCTV Consider on-site security guard presence during prolonged power outage
  • Sprinkler system pumps – ensure where diesel back up pumps are provided that these are in working order with functioning battery start facility and full fuel tanks
    • Where the sprinkler installations only have electric pumps, these will not operate during power outages, so you should review the required additional measures detailed on the sprinkler test card
    • If possible, increase reserve stocks of diesel and update your fire risk assessments beforehand to ensure these are stored safely

Slips, trips, falls

  • Are employees using entrances/ exits they do not normally use, and does this present any risk that need to be considered?
  • How will you manage if there is reduced, or no, lighting whilst they are still employees and members of the public on site?
  • Make sure consideration is given to external and yard areas as well as internal areas
  • Consider areas of the premises that may be prohibited to staff during power outages – this could be yards & compounds, areas where machinery is located, areas where materials are stored on floors
  • Is there an increased risk of liquid/ spillages being present on the floor causing increased risk of slips due to plant and equipment shut down during outages – how should this be managed?

This is just general guidance and we ap[preciate every business is different, each with its own challenges and unique risks, so you need to devise a Power Outage Plan that works for you.

If you need any help or advice from your Account Executive or Insurer, just get in touch.

News & Blogs

The Rising Cost of Cyber

The Rising Cost of Cyber

12 August 2022

Only 43% of UK businesses have an insurance policy in place that protects them against cyber risks – shockingly only a tiny fraction (5%) of these have specific cyber policies catered to their needs.

The modern risks businesses need to protect against now, such as cyber, wouldn’t even have been considered by most businesses 20 years ago, yet over the last few years the products available have become quite sophisticated and more of our clients now consider this a vital part of their insurance programme. Cyber packages now can include threat warning intelligence, forensics, post-breach communications and data recovery.

The lockdown in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic challenged businesses with the need for their office staff to work from home, but it also brought new opportunities for cyber criminals.  The Cyber Security Breaches Survey is an influential research study for UK cyber resilience, their report details 39% of businesses suffering a cyber attack in 2021. More than half or those believed their exposure was heightened due to home working arrangements.

Ransomware and phishing attacks also increased during the pandemic with cyber criminals using this as a hook, and attacks are still on the rise. Ransomware was ranked as the top cyber exposure of concern in 2022 in the Allianz Risk Barometer. And just when we thought we were through the pandemic, Russia’s attack on Ukraine brought additional cyber concerns.

Cyber incidents can have a devastating impact on businesses, and few have the in-house resources to deal with an attack or breach. The disruption to day-to-day operations can be catastrophic, when combined with financial loss, reputational damage and fines some businesses may not even survive an attack.

But the insurance market is responding with more sophisticated offerings not only to protect businesses, but to deploy the resources required to get them back to business as usual too. As the cyber landscape continually evolves, so does the insurance offering. However, cyber insurers are seeing more claims as the number of incidents rise, along with the take-up of cyber insurance and this is having an impact on both premiums and availability. The recent surge in ransomware claims has driven up cyber insurance pricing by up to 92%.

Insurers are now more cautious about the risks they take – if your cyber security is poor and you are at a greater risk of attack, you may find it financially prohibitive to obtain cyber cover, or you may not find an insurer willing to take your risk. Insurers need to be assured that you are taking appropriate steps to protect yourself against cyber threats with Virtual Private Network (VPN) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) now a standard requirement.

To chat about how Cyber Insurance can help your business, contact Charlotte Perkins at [email protected], 0115 942 0111 or connect with Charlotte on LinkedIn

News & Blogs

Insuring the Intangible

Insuring the Intangible

4 August 2022


For over 100 years we have insured material assets such as cargo and property but as the world changes, so do the risks and insurance has evolved as much as the world we live in.

When Harold Wilson insured chemist Jesse Boot’s first Rolls Royce, car insurance was pretty cutting edge – little did he know we’d still be at the forefront of emerging risks a century later.

We work with many corporate clients and even social influencers where their brand, intellectual property and data is far more valuable to them than tangible assets. No longer do companies measure their value purely in tangible assets, such as property, equipment and stock.

For some businesses the value of their intangible assets such as brand, reputation, intellectual property and data has overtaken the value of their physical assets. Certain reports show intangible assets accounting for 90% of portfolios amongst Standard & Poor’s 500 companies, compared to just 17% in 1975.

The digital revolution is a major factor in this shift, especially over the last two years as so many businesses moved their operations online during the pandemic. This may well have been part of their future plans, but the necessity of lockdown accelerated this move. Not only were these businesses able to respond to the needs of their UK customers during lockdown and expand their existing customer base, but it provided the opportunity to expand their businesses internationally.

However, moving a business online and the necessity of home working not only brought opportunity, but increased threat due to network vulnerabilities and the rise in cyber attacks, ransomware and phishing attempts. Many businesses that moved swiftly to take their businesses online simply didn’t have the technical skills or time to access the specialist support required to minimise their vulnerabilities or have the specific cyber cover to respond should they suffer a breach. These risks included the threat to their intangible assets such as reputation and brand.

Some businesses that have historically operated on a traditional business model may not even consider the value of their intangible assets such as brand, intellectual property and data – and in that case they certainly won’t have estimated the cost of replacing or redeveloping these assets.

Even for businesses that acknowledge these intangible assets, establishing their actual value can be a challenge too. If a business has bought an asset it’s simple, but something that’s been built and developed by your business over time is very different – and that value will change over time too.

As a broker we have experience of helping businesses review their insurance programme to ensure they have in place the insurance solutions that work for their unique business, which may have changes significantly over the last few years. We not only guide them through the design of their insurance programme to identify their tangible risks, but the intangible too such as protection against associated legal costs, loss of brand equity and the theft of intellectual property. And then we explain it all to you in plain English, so you know exactly what’s covered.

If you haven’t arranged a review of your insurance programme, now is the time. Contact Charlotte Perkins at [email protected], 0115 942 0111 or connect with Charlotte on LinkedIn

News & Blogs

Global Risks – The Digital Pandemic

Allianz Risk Barometer, the annual corporate risk survey conducted among Allianz customers, brokers and industry trade organisations incorporates the views of 2,650 respondents from the UK and across the globe.

The Top 3 UK Concerns

The 2022 report highlighting the most important business risks for the next 12 months and beyond, established that Cyber was the new top concern for businesses in the UK and across the globe, with over 50% of UK respondents stating this as their most concerning risk.

Understandably, Covid-19 continues to cast its shadow particularly as the cyber risk is heightened by companies’ growing reliance on technology and the shift to remote and flexible working. This only increases the risks businesses face, in addition to the usual ransomware and other cyber-attacks that continue to disrupt businesses.

Business Interruption (BI) has dropped from the top spot to second place in the rankings this year, despite a year of unprecedented global supply chain disruption – only the third time in the 11-year history of the Allianz Risk Barometer that it is not ranked top. However, Despite the ongoing repercussions of Covid-19, the most feared cause of BI in this year’s survey is cyber!

Surprisingly Climate Change was the third ranking concern for respondents in the UK and received its highest ever ranking of 6th on the global rankings.


The top cyber exposure of concern was Ransomware, just ahead of data breaches. Ransomware remains big business for cyber criminals, with the commercialisation of cyber crime making it easier for criminals to exploit vulnerabilities on a massive scale. Now those criminals with very little technical knowledge can carry out ransomware attacks for as little as a $40 per month subscription, using cryptocurrency to help evade detection.

Another change in the way these criminals operate is the use of ‘double extortion’ tactics, combining the initial encryption of data with a threat to release sensitive or personal data. Encryption or deletion of backups, making restoration and recovery more difficult or even impossible is another disturbing and growing trend. This is only overshadowed by the recent alarming incidents where attackers harass employees to gain access to systems, as well as going directly to company senior executives to demand ransoms.

Cyber claims increased significantly over the past few years and remain at elevated levels, both in terms of claim numbers and claim payments. Ransomware tops the claims list too, with the number of claims received in the first half of 2021 higher than the total number for the whole of 2019. Extortion demands have more than doubled and BI losses have escalated as larger businesses and their supply chains are targeted.

It is important to remember that the rise in claims will be impacted by the number of businesses that now have cyber insurance, which has also risen significantly as businesses acknowledge their increased vulnerability – remote working, disruption to digital supply chains and cloud platforms ranked third and fourth as cyber risks of concern.

For those businesses that have yet to include Cyber Insurance as part of their programme, the cyber risk landscape has changed and insurer focus has turned to effective cyber risk management. Each proposal form is now assessed with insurers looking for proactive technology controls such as endpoint protection and multi-factor authentication in addition to regular backups, training, business continuity and crisis response plans. Cyber Insurance is now seen as part of a holistic approach to building cyber security resilience, combining with technology, training, monitoring and response testing. If cyber insurance is to be sustainable, this is the way forward.

No alt text provided for this image

Business Interruption

Business interruption ranks as the second most concerning risk, not just in the UK but globally, which comes as no surprise following a year of unprecedented global supply chain disruption following a pandemic and an increase in cyber-attacks.

Whether it’s a cyber-attack, a flood or fire affecting a critical business location or supplier, business interruption events can have a very costly and lengthy impact extending well beyond the organisation to suffer the incident and impact the entire supply chain. It may not be your organisation that’s directly impacted, but it may prevent you from being able to produce your products or deliver your services.

There are multiple triggers for BI and in recent years cyber and pandemic have risen to the fore – as mentioned previously the most feared cause of BI this year is cyber. However, it would be foolish to underestimate traditional causes of businesses interruption such as fire or flood. There’s little you can do to mitigate the risk of supply chain disruption, but like cyber you can manage some of the risk of traditional BI triggers and put in place prevention measures and resilience plans.

No alt text provided for this image

Climate Change

It was surprising to see climate change leap up the rankings to third place for the UK, climbing to 6th in the global rankings. However, this has been a recurring news item over the last year or so and the increasing pressure on businesses to act on climate change has increased noticeably.

In the UK there is a growing focus on net-zero and the government landmark Net Zero Strategy launched in October 2021, at the time the Allianz Risk Barometer survey was conducted, which may have had an impact on the ranking as it was at the forefront of respondent’s minds. The Net Zero Strategy sets out the policies and proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet our net zero target by 2050. The devolved administrations also committed to the Net Zero target as recommended by the Climate Change Committee.

The risks to businesses from climate change are also having an impact on Business Interruption, particularly in relation to damage and closures following extreme weather events. We have seen multiple ‘danger to life’ warnings issued for flooding in February across the Midlands, with devastation to businesses that had barely recovered from previous floods. This also has an impact on brand and reputation, alongside supply chain issues, that can have a long term impact even when the flooding has subsides and the business reopens.

No alt text provided for this image

So, what can you do?

The Allianz Risk Barometer has highlighted the current issues keeping business owners awake at night, both in the UK and across the globe. But the old saying ‘only worry about things you can control’ springs to mind – you can’t stop cyber attacks, container ships blocking the Suez Canal or flooding, but you can manage the risk to your business and put in place the insurance cover to protect you should the worst happen.

Identify the biggest risks to your own business, determine what you can control and create a plan to implement any changes you need to make to improve your resilience. If it’s within your control, tackle it, if not then insure against it.