Business maverick set for growth summit

Maverick entrepreneur Sir John Timpson will be offering insights into his unique management style to the South’s business leaders at the Solent Business Growth Summit 2017.

The event, staged at the Ageas Bowl’s Hilton Hotel, near Southampton, on Tuesday, October 31, promotes business growth in the region and is backed by four of the area’s big firms.

Keynote speaker Sir John, 74, knighted in this year’s Birthday Honours, is chairman of the UK’s leading high street service retailer, independent, family-run Timpson Group, which operates almost 2,000 stores.

Straight-talking Sir John, the Daily Telegraph’s business agony uncle, will tell his breakfast time audience how his ‘upside down management’ style has helped the company achieve a £350m turnover from a core of shoe repairs and key cutting.

The 7.30am to 10am summit, aimed at senior management and business leaders interested in economic growth, will include an update on regional trends and issues for businesses.

Hosts for the fourth annual event are four companies with a strong operational presence in the city region – Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank, accountancy, investment management and tax group Smith & Williamson, commercial property consultancy Hughes Ellard and law firm Trethowans.

Successful author Sir John said: “I may be labelled a maverick, but I prefer to call my style simple common sense.

“This philosophy has served me well during a long career and I hope to pass on some useful hints to the cream of the South’s business leaders”

Sir John, knighted for services to business and for fostering 90 children with his late wife Alice, is renowned for his exceptional treatment of staff and his policy of hiring ex-offenders.

His books include Ask John, Upside Down Management, How To Ride A Giraffe, High Street Heroes and his latest volume Keys To Success.

The event will also hear from Irene Graham, the inaugural CEO of the ScaleUp Institute, a private sector led, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping the UK become the best place in the world to grow a business as well as start one. It also focuses on enabling our existing high growth businesses to ‘scaleup’ even further.

Irene, a former senior banker at Standard Chartered Bank, will be speaking on ScaleUp Institute initiatives across the country, providing insight from the latest analysis of growing businesses in the UK, with a focus on the importance of local areas in supporting business growth, the regional market and the future.

The previous three summits have featured as keynote speakers businessman Gerald Ratner, food and reggae star Levi Roots and Team Sky cycling founder Fran Miller.

Places are still available for the summit, also including an 8am breakfast, a Q&A session with Sir John and optional time for networking.

Anyone interested in attending should contact Samantha Trivino at Smith & Williamson on samantha.trivino@smithandwilliamson.com or via phone 023 80827656. Places are limited and registration closes on October 27.