Black Country professional services firms back new family business group

LEADING professional advisers and banks from the Black Country are backing a new division of an organisation dedicated to supporting family and privately owned businesses.

The organisation, Families in Business (FiB) is headquartered in the West Midlands, and operates across the UK to provide a network of regional offices, providing support, consultancy and membership to family firms and their owners.
 
FiB’s new Black Country division launches this month with the support of its Approved Advisers in the region – accountants Crowe Clark Whitehill and law firm Higgs & Sons.
 
The network in the Black Country also includes Lloyds Bank, Pertemps Recruitment, and the local office of the Business Growth Fund. The partnership aims to provide a network focussed on addressing and supporting the specific needs of Black Country family businesses. It will offer advice on matters such as shareholder agreements, succession planning, skills retention and access to finance.
 
FiB is the UK’s only genuinely neutral organisation run solely for family businesses and which is managed by a team of professionals with on-the-job, first-hand experience of working in a family business.
 
A key aspect of the FiB’s programme in the Black Country is a new non-competing peer group, FiB Insight, which local family businesses can join to take part in a series of intimate meetings and exclusive events to discuss challenges and share best practice and experiences.
 
The region’s FiB group also launches with the support of local businessman Patrick Laight, founder of Willenhall-based logistics company Aspray24, who has been invited to take up the role of FiB Champion – a feature group of the family business organisation that includes established and respected leaders of family businesses. Other FiB Champions are Perween Warsi, of S & A Foods, James Timpson, of Timpson Ltd, Trevor Herbert, of Hobbs House Bakery, John Hardwick, managing director of Grafton International, Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, of PPS, and Josie Morris, of Wool Cool.
 
FiB CEO Dani Saveker founded the organisation in 2012 to ensure family businesses receive the support, resources and tools required to be a success.

She was formerly the fourth generation and chief executive in her own family’s Birmingham-based manufacturing business for seven years.

She said: “FiB exists to support family businesses from a position of knowing some of what they are experiencing and the challenges they are facing, which we can approach from a position of knowing, having ‘lived it’ for many years.

“FiB, its team and professional community are the UK’s only neutral support organisation with this type of first hand working knowledge and our team is therefore uniquely-placed to truly empathise with and relate to the family businesses and their advisers that we are working with each day.”
 
Johnathan Dudley, Office Managing Partner at Crowe Clark Whitehill, said: “As an accountant whose family owned and ran their own business, I am all too aware of the need to address the ‘non-financial’ as well as the financial issues that surround family businesses, which is why Crowe Clark Whitehill is delighted to be working with FiB and our fellow professionals to provide support and practical advice to the region’s family businesses.

Andy Ball, Business Relationship Director at Higgs & Sons, added: “We are excited to be working with Dani, her team, and the region’s professional advisers to further our support for family businesses across the region.”