SUCCESSION planning and adapting to change were among the big topics in focus as The Heald hosted its inaugural Scottish Family Business Breakfast event yesterday.

The event, which took place at Drygate in Glasgow, provided the ideal prelude to today’s launch of the 2018 Herald Scottish Family Business Awards, held in association with Business Gateway. Entries are now being sought for 11 award categories.

More than 100 delegates attended the business breakfast event, where they heard from a host of leading Scottish family business figures. The panel included Deirdre Kinloch Anderson, senior director of kilt company Kinloch Anderson, now it its sixth generation of family management. She was joined by Andy McGeoch, chief executive of M&Co and Michael Kelly, director at packaging firm The UPAC Group. The panel also included Anne Marie Cairney, managing director of Victor Pizza Company, and Declan Maguire, managing director of funeral company Anderson Maguire.

The family business experts addressed a range of topics, including how businesses can foster the next generation of leaders and adapt to change.

Veronica Donnelly, partner at Campbell Dallas, said: “The challenges and insights discussed at the family business breakfast brought to life, first-hand, how a family business differs from a non-family business.”

Mr Kelly, who is a partner at law firm MacRoberts, said: “It was very interesting to hear the common themes that affect every family business and the useful advice on offer from prominent family business owners.”

Meanwhile, The Herald has again teamed up with Business Gateway to launch the Scottish Family Business Awards.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “Family businesses are the heart of the Scottish economy. Around two out of every three of Scotland’s companies are family owned, employing thousands and contributing significantly to the nation’s GDP every year. We are delighted to be title sponsor of The Herald Family Business Awards once again.”

The Customer Service Excellence Award is supported by TL Dallas. Managing director Bernard Dunn said: “What’s been fantastic about these awards is that a raft of new companies come into the awards process each year, drawn from all parts of Scotland – it’s a truly national event, for family businesses of all ages, sizes and sectors.”

The Outstanding Contribution Award is sponsored by Strathclyde Business School, whose director John Anderson said: “Family businesses make a significant contribution to the Scottish economy. They have strong loyalty to their local communities; a well- developed sense of social responsibility and create around them clusters of suppliers, customers and advisers as well as employees.”

The International Growth Award is sponsored by Burness Paull. Partner Grant Stevenson said: “At Burness Paull we recognise the importance of family business to the Scottish economy, and the role they play in representing Scotland on the global stage.”

Clydesdale Bank is sponsoring the Scottish Family Business of the Year (small/medium), which seeks entries from firms with 100 employees or fewer. Head of UK commercial banking Brian Colquhoun said: “The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards provides an opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate the success of family firms in Scotland.”

The award for Scottish Family Business of the Year (Large), aimed at companies with more than 100 staff, is supported by Craig Corporate. Chairman Tom Craig said: “We’re delighted to once again be a part of these important awards, which recognise the hugely valuable contribution of family businesses.”

The Rural Family Business (Large), supported by Campbell Dallas, is aimed at firms in rural Scotland with 100 employees or more. Partner Fraser Campbell said: “We are greatly looking forward to receiving a wide range of entries for this important sector following on from yesterday’s launch event.”

The closing date for entries is Wednesday, October 17, 2018. For details visit http://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/the-herald-scottish-family-business-awards/ or call Nina Holmes on 0141 302 6036.