Judging Round-Up – Week One

We have come to the end of our first week of judging! Thanks to our brilliant finalists in our Fastest Growing Family Business and Director of the Year categories for attending our judging days this week. Click here to see our full list of finalists. 

We would also like to say thank you to our category sponsors, PwC and Goldfish, for hosting the judging days and to our fantastic judging panel for their time and expertise. You can find out more about this week’s judges here:

19th September - Fastest Growing Family Business judging panel

Hussein Lalani

Hussein founded the family business 99p Stores in 2001 alongside his father and brother, starting with a single store in Holloway, London. A further three stores were opened later that year and in 2002 they decided to expand the business throughout the UK. By 2010 they were operating 129 stores serving 1.5m customers each week and grew to over 250 stores many acquired following the collapse of the Woolworths chain. In 2015, anticipating the decline of the discount retail sector, the family sold the business to competitor Poundland. 99p Stores are previous winners of the Fastest Growing Family Business category of the Awards, having taken the title in 2012. 

William Dowsett, PwC

Will leads the Private Client practice in the Midlands and joined PwC in 2008 after starting his career at Arthur Andersen. Will advises high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs on how they can achieve the optimum tax structure for their business interests and investments, as well as how they plan for future succession. Will has over 14 years experience, working with a broad range of clients ranging from some of the wealthiest families in the UK to entrepreneurs who are just starting out.

Dhiren Katwa, Asian Voice

Dhiren is Senior News Editor and columnist at Asian Voice, the London-based national newspaper. Dhiren advises various government departments on diversity, and frequently contributes to local and national newspapers including The Sunday Times and The Guardian. A trustee for charities Birmingham Rathbone and National Blind Children’s Society, he has numerous charitable interests. Dhiren was the youngest and only British Asian speaker at the inaugural World Public Relations Festival in Rome in 2003.

Richard Strain, PwC

Richard is an experienced Business Development Manager within the financial and professional services sector, working with private and family owned businesses across the Midlands region. He builds trust with clients and ensures that PwC’s service offering and propositions will enable them to develop, grow, access new markets and achieve their ambitions. 

20th September - Director of the Year judging panel

Ian Fisher, Goldfish

Ian took over his family’s business ‘Bonningtons’ in 2000. Over 15 years he has grown the business from £1 million to £30 million. Ian has been able to adapt his business to the changing times, whilst opening offices in the Far East and India. In 2010, Bonningtons opened its new 250,000 square feet distribution centre in Nottingham. Ian plans to push sales to £50 million in the next few years. He won Director of the Year in 2015 and recently launched Goldfish, a luxury travel company.

Annabel Prow, CEO, The Wilson Organisation

Annabel joined The Wilson Organisation, a third-generation family business, in 2002 and became CEO in September 2009. Annabel is responsible for existing client relationships, all financial and compliance matters and Wilsons' relationship with its providers. She is a member of The Wilson Organisation board. Annabel and her sister Charlotte, MD of The Wilson Organisation, launched The Midlands Family Business Awards in 2010 to highlight the successes of the region's family businesses and build links and contacts with other family businesses. 

Matthew Palmer, PwC

Matt is a Director working with fast growth and privately-owned businesses. He specialises in working with clients on optimising processes for efficiency and effectiveness. Matt also advises clients on aspects of risk, governance and controls as well as leading the audits of clients of all sizes in a range of industries. He has extensive experience working with listed businesses in the UK and Australia, thereby being well placed to support preparations for capital market exit strategies.

Rob Parkin, RattrayParkin

Rob started his career at Arriva as a graduate trainee before entering recruitment with Badenoch & Clark as they began their operations in the East Midlands in 1998. Rob moved on to ABPM in 2001, managing their regional operations across the East Midlands, before joining Nick at Nicholas Andrews in a variety of regional management positions. He was then promoted to National Head of Operations when the business re-branded as Manpower Professional. Along with Nick, Rob left Manpower Professional to establish RattrayParkin in early 2009. Their client base encompasses all sectors within commerce and industry and includes all types of organisations from FTSE 100 listed plc's and internationally listed corporations, to VC backed and privately-owned businesses.

Our 2023 Winners

The results are in...