The Latest Panel Evening - Glasgow
I was on the panel of a brilliant business event on Thursday in Glasgow, alongside professionals from Investec Wealth and Investment and our hosts, lawyers Burness Paul LLP. The stars of the show – as they usually are– were the business owners and entrepreneurs who have successfully sold businesses, and moved on. So it was that Hugh Graham and Fiona Roberts (formerly of Inverclyde Biologicals) and John Ward (who sold his business, Fasteq, in 2012) were able to provide exceptional insights into how it really feels to sell a business, and what that means emotionally as well as financially.
I love these kinds of events. Most of the evening is given over to an open Q&A session, which means a rare opportunity for business owners to ask direct questions and get direct answers to the big questions – in a relaxed, informal, open environment.
We asked some key big questions too, polling the audience members then and there. We’ll publish the full statistics later, but suffice to say we were all surprised that 48% said leaving the EU would be positive for Scottish companies, and 68% believed that Scottish independence would ultimately be negative for businesses.
From earn-outs to private equity, confidentiality to customer contracts and restrictive covenants, last night we had to field some searching and intelligent questions. The evening underlined the fact that while every business region is different, every business owner faces similar pressures and dilemmas.