West Midlands business leaders spotlight regional issues

West Midlands business leaders spotlight regional issues

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Author: Kara Shadbolt

National law firm Shoosmiths, NatWest, Grant Thornton and the University of Birmingham teamed up to host the West Midlands Business Leaders Dinner which took place in Birmingham on Tuesday evening (10 November).

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L-R: Andrew Mitchell, Dave Hillan, John Pienaar, Martin Letza & Professor Saul Becker

The event, held at Birmingham Town Hall, brought together business leaders from across the region from CEOs to senior management figures from both the public and private sectors.

More than 130 guests gathered to listen to keynote speaker, broadcaster John Pienaar, give his take on key issues affecting businesses six months on from the election.

The distinguished broadcaster touched on topics, such as the 'Midlands Engine' and potential implications of a 'Brexit' in a half hour speech, which was followed by a Q and A section from the floor.

Shoosmiths corporate partner and master of ceremonies on the night, Martin Letza, said: 'These dinners provide an excellent opportunity for the region's key influencers to come together and to discuss policies and issues that will have an impact on their businesses and the region's economy.'

'Our thanks to John for his thought provoking speech and to our fellow hosts for their part in organising this fantastic event.'

David Hillan, practice leader at Grant Thornton in Birmingham, added: 'Working with the leaders of some of the region's most dynamic businesses and forward-thinking public sector bodies we're constantly listening to their concerns surrounding barriers to growth and development. Whether it's access to finance, red tape, overseas trade issues or skills shortages, forums such as this, where we can come together to share our ideas and best practice, are incredibly beneficial.'

Professor Saul Becker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, head of the College of Social Sciences, said: 'It has never been more important for universities and business to work together...what matters is that universities are engaged, outward-facing institutions whose work makes a significant contribution to public life and economic growth.'

Andrew Mitchell, regional director of West Midlands corporate and commercial banking at NatWest, said: 'We are delighted to support the West Midlands Business Dinner which has brought together senior business figures from across the region. It's been an interesting evening of discussion on issues impacting our diverse business community and we thank all those who attended.'