Wimbledon based natural medicine & healthcare manufacturer named ‘Best UK Family Business, London and Greater London Region, £25m+ turnover category’

Wimbledon based natural medicine & healthcare manufacturer named ‘Best UK Family Business, London and Greater London Region, £25m+ turnover category’

Nelson & Russell Holdings Ltd from Wimbledon, has been named ‘Best UK Family Business, London and Greater London Region’, in the £25m+ turnover category of the Coutts Prize for Family Business 2008/9. The company will now go on to compete in the £25m+ category at the national finals to be held in central London on 23rd June 2009.

Founded in 1860, Nelsons is a Global independent business which was acquired by the Wilson family in 1974, who brought to the company a long standing commitment to the principles and development of complementary medicine and to supplying natural medicines throughout the world. As a second generation business, with over 200 full time employees, today the business is led by two brothers, Robert and Patrick Wilson, manufacturing and selling, natural medicines and healthcare products such as Rescue Remedy®, Bach™ Original Flower Remedies, Nelsons Arnicare™, Nelsons Teetha™, Nelsons™ Homeopathy and Spatone™.

David Molian, Regional Chairman of the evaluation committee commented:

“As a successful second generation family business, which has displayed an impressive level of growth and produced a business which will flourish regardless of the economic cycle, the things that impressed the evaluation committee about Nelsons included:
• the emphasis placed on family values and the significant contribution the company makes to the community;
• the trusted relationship the firm has built with its customer base
• the exemplary product portfolio, leading in its field, and the focus on continuous innovation; and
• the way in which they have established the brand and are constantly looking for new opportunities to leverage it.”

Juliette Johnson, Senior Family Business Adviser, Coutts & Co added “We’re delighted to provide recognition to this special family business and showcase their achievements for the benefit of other family businesses. What really shines through is the strength of the family’s values. These influence how and why things get done and act as the glue binding the family and business together. These strong values, coupled with their conservative approach and long term planning, should give them the best possible chance to weather this current economic downturn.”

With the current economic downturn, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to survive, which therefore increases the value of recognising these family businesses and their work. The companies that scored most highly were the ones that were able to give examples of what they had achieved.

Mark Evans, Head of Family Business, Coutts & Co, commented: “Success factors that can help family businesses adapt to the current economic downturn are at the heart of the fourth Coutts Prize for Family Business. It will be equally important to take active steps to manage the family as well as the business to survive the current recession.”

The Coutts Prize for Family Business recognises the best run family businesses in England and Wales, and is the only regional and national awards programme in England and Wales celebrating the overall best performing small, medium-sized and large family businesses. The Prize, compliments Coutts successful Forum for Family Business Owners that is held throughout the UK.

The Coutts Prize recognises firms in three categories (£1m-5m, £5m-£25m, £25m+) that demonstrate a combination of high standards of family governance and corporate governance, a competitive market position, consistent financial growth, and a track record of charitable giving or involvement in local community. Entrants must be companies or firms where two or more family members together have control of over 25% of the voting shares and consider themselves as a family business.

More specifically, the independent evaluation committee was looking for examples of best practice including;

• the strength of the family’s values;
• the involvement of the family;
• communication and planning;
• the separation of ‘ownership’ and ‘management’;
• the use of external, independent advice;
• the development of a succession planning process;
• next generation development;
• conflict management; and
• philanthropy and charitable involvement.

The independent evaluation committee is overseen by Roger Pedder, former Chairman, between 1993 and 2006, of C&J Clark Ltd (Clark Shoes), one of the UK’s largest private family companies. It was established in 1825 and is in its sixth generation. Clarks is the leading shoe retailer and brand in the UK and has significant positions in North American, European and Far Eastern markets. Roger remains Chairman or Non-Executive Director of several private family and private equity backed companies and runs his own company, Fullzone Limited

The evaluation committee for the London and Greater London region includes: David Molian, Lecturer, Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurial Performance and Economics; Peter Bishop, Deputy Chief Executive, London Chamber of Commerce; Clare Brooks, Director, Network Development, Community Foundation Network; William Notcutt, Deputy Chairman, Notcutts; Farouq Sheikh, Founder and Executive Chairman, CareTech Holdings plc; Chris Swaffin-Smith, Principal, Family Business Reflections; Andrew Wates, Chairman, Wates Group.

Renowned cartoonist, Robert Duncan, will create a unique cartoon for each of the winners, to tell their own story. The cartoons are framed by second generation family business John Jones. Silver plaques are made by third generation family business, Piccadilly Jewellers of Birmingham.

Coutts Prize for Family Business, London and Greater London Region Winners

Turnover £1-5m
Turnover £5-25m
Turnover £25m+

J.J. Burgees & Sons Funeral directors
Durbin Plc Nelson & Russell Holdings Ltd

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