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Webinar 3: Legacy exits: passing on your business to the next family generation

29th April, 12 o’clock

Here we discuss how to plan to successfully pass your business on to the next generation.

Our guest speakers:

Hannah Barlow is one half of a brother/sister team at Dunsters Farm, a third generation, family run foodservice based in Bury, Greater Manchester. Despite having grown up around the business, spending plenty of time after school and in the holidays helping out, it wasn’t until 2014 that her and her brother, Tom, made the move to join their parents in the business.


Unlike many next generation family members, Hannah and Tom has never been expected to join the family business. Instead, their parents had actively encouraged them to head for careers they were passionate about.


Prior to joining the family business, Hannah had headed up a Marketing and Communications Team for a national Social Care Organisation for over ten years, a role she thoroughly enjoyed. However, with changes underway at Dunsters Farm and her parents starting to look at exit plans, the opportunity arose for Hannah and Tom, to join the business.


The challenge of taking on a successful business that has been trading for decades, together with transitioning from second to third generation has kept the duo busy for the past six years. The introduction of new technology and the restructure of the team, together with a lot of hard work, has seen the business achieve its ambitious growth targets however with the government enforced restrictions hitting their customer base hard in March 2020, the business was forced into survival mode.


The past twelve months have been some of the most challenging in the company’s 60 year history, however they also provided new opportunities and the business is now looking forward to more big changes planned for the coming 12 months and beyond.

Bevin Mahon is the Owner and Managing Director of Dental Tech, a multi-award-winning second-generation company that is changing how denture and dental services are accessed across our nation. 

Bevin is also a passionate leader and supporter of entrepreneurship.  Bevin has a vision to improve quality of life of the aging population through Dental Tech’s portable/online/bricks & mortar clinics offering denture and dental solutions so people can eat, chew, speak and socialise with dignity and confidence in the comfort of their own homes and nursing homes. 

Now with this as the core vision Dental Tech are undergoing a complete Digital Transformation changing their entire process from traditional to Scanning the mouth and 3D Printing their dentures, reducing time taken to make the dentures as well as reducing waste, improving quality and most importantly for the first time ever being able to supply a spare denture at the click of a button.

Andrew McLaughlin CIMA qualified Accountant and ACT qualified Treasurer, Andrew, took over his father’s software house, MIS Group, in 2018, alongside twin brother, Chris.

Leading on finance and strategy across the group, Andrew has already implemented numerous strategic and operational transformations. These include:

launching new businesses to expand into growing markets, support the transition of existing businesses into SaaS providers, and provide proof of concept for innovations in technology;

implementing a new IT strategy to enhance business continuity and disaster recovery, eliminate legacy systems and offer a modern approach to flexible working;

implementing new finance and HR systems and management frameworks, and re-working internal processes to enhance efficiency and visibility.

He is now focusing on facilitating a cultural shift, set to propel the companies forwards in their renewed directions.

This follows an accomplished career in management accounting and finance director roles within multi-national corporations Logica, Capita and Cannon.

Viewed as a highly competent problem solver, during a ten-year tenure at Logica, Andrew worked within numerous finance positions before securing the role of acting Finance Director in the Netherlands. Working in operational and head office finance roles, he was instrumental in supporting the organisation through several rounds of redundancies and multiple acquisitions, mergers and a takeover by CGI.

Andrew then moved to Capita, where he worked as the Finance Director of their managed services business, and later their technology solutions business where he led on a strategic acquisition. Then headhunted by Canon to work with their outsourcing and information management business across EMEA, he supported a reorganisation of the business, including strategic acquisitions and divestment.

Matt Carr Matt Carr is a co-owner and director of third generation family firm Carr’s Pasties Ltd of Bolton, Greater Manchester - working alongside his brothers Joe and Liam. Matt joined the company in 2013, having pursued a career in the construction and technology industries.    Since 1938, Carr’s Pasties have been supplying delicious, freshly baked food to the good people of Bolton and beyond.  By instilling family strong values in the way the Carr people go about their business - with customers, suppliers and a dedicated workforce of nearly 100 people, they are proud to have been a part of Bolton life for so many years. 

The business is now in high growth mode with many exciting opportunities, including expanding the current service nationally and an exciting venture into Ireland in 2021.  The overarching challenge across all opportunities is to continue to grow sustainably whilst raising productivity and retaining the culture and values that makes Carr's Pasties such a fantastic business to work in. 

The succession plan from the second to third generation in 2013 was very successful in terms of the result – yet everyone agrees that more preparation would have been useful. With the benefit of hindsight, it has been made clear that the term “exit strategy” can have multiple meanings for family businesses, and although everyone agrees it is never too early to start discussions, they can be tricky and therefore easy to postpone.   

Matt lives with his wife and three children in Sheffield, making for a challenging commute – he says that the beauty of the Peak District and the best job in the world waiting for him every day softens the blow somewhat. 

“The more you plan your business exit, the better rewards will be. But business owners often confuse an exit plan and an exit date and they are not the same thing.”

Christiane Hutchinson, CEO, Biramis Management Partners

“A plan for a successful business exit should always include a plan to ensure that a proposed buyer can quickly and successfully conclude its due diligence. The reward for that will be a better price and a much quicker, cheaper and
painless sale process”

Neil Keenan, Head of Corporate, ByrneWallace LLP

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