Sir James Wates Becomes IFB Chair
1st April 2021
The Institute for Family Business is pleased to welcome Sir James Wates CBE as its new Chairman.
The Institute for Family Business is the UK’s family business organisation, championing and supporting the millions of family-owned businesses operating in communities across the country. Its members include some of the oldest and most well-known family companies in the UK. IFB’s members represent a strong collective voice, with a combined turnover approaching £100 billion, employing over half a million people.
Sir James is the Chairman of the Wates Group, one of the leading privately-owned construction, development and property services companies in the UK. He is a champion of responsible and purpose led businesses, and led the development of the Wates Corporate Governance Principles for Large Private Companies. He also recently served as Chair of the CBI Construction Council and co-Chair of Infrastructure Exports UK.
Speaking about his appointment Sir James said:
“I’m looking forward to taking on the chairmanship of the IFB. Family-owned businesses are an incredibly important part of the UK economy, and the organisation delivers value for members by being a unified and strong voice which influences the direction of government policy and therefore shapes markets. The IFB’s advocacy work has become a major strength which we can build on further to the benefit of all family-owned businesses in these challenging economic times.”
IFB Director General Elizabeth Bagger said:
“Family businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, employing more than 14 million people and generate almost a third of UK GDP. For 20 years the IFB has been supporting business families to overcome the challenges they face on their journey, so these important businesses can continue to thrive and grow for generations to come.
“Family businesses are too often overlooked in the national conversation about business in the UK. We find family firms on every high street, in every community, in every industry – but their contributions and responsible approach to sustainable growth and innovation do not get the recognition they deserve.
“We are delighted to welcome Sir James Wates as our new Chairman, as we commit to building the voice and recognition of the UK’s incredible family business sector. As we look to rebuilding after COVID, it’s essential that the role of family businesses is central to the Government’s future plans.”