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Nelsons wins UK family business prize

The achievements of family businesses were recognised last night when the annual Coutts Prize for Family Business was awarded. Natural medicines manufacturer Nelsons was named Best UK Family Business in the £25 million plus category. The company, in its second generation of current family ownership, develops and supplies complementary medicines globally.

"Winning this prestigious award is incredibly important to us as we pride ourselves on being a family-run company, with a long heritage, that combines traditional values with a modern global outlook," said Robert Wilson, Chairman of Nelsons.

"One of the keys to our success in these difficult economic times is that, as a family business, we manage our affairs with a much longer-term view. After all, we are custodians of this business for the next generation. Whilst growth is important, long-term survival of the business is paramount to us. This attitude flows through all aspects of our business.

"In our factory, we have families who have been with us for three generations and the staff here work hard to develop natural healthcare products that we are all proud of. It is our firm foundations, enterprising approach and the dedication of our staff that ensure this company goes from strength to strength. "

The award is judged on several different criteria including strength of family values, next generation development and conflict management. Judges highlighted the close link between corporate and family governance and the pace of growth of Nelsons as just two aspects that gave the company the edge.

Judge Jonathan Hagger said: "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, there were many things that impressed us about Nelsons."

Nelsons was established in 1860; however, the current family did not enter the business until 1974, after the descendents of the founding family were tragically killed in an aeroplane crash. Dick Wilson was then asked to take over the business, which is now run by his two sons, Robert and Patrick (pictured).

The next issue of Campden FB will feature an extended interview with Robert Wilson. Click here to subscribe.

Click here to take the new Campden FB/Mishcon de Reya survey on the impact the current economic turmoil has had on families in business and attitudes to the future of their businesses.

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