Family firm is planning for bright future after taking national plaudits

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 Jan 2018

A HESSLE-based family firm has topped a successful 2017 by taking centre stage at a national conference in recognition of its good business practice.

Srategic planning firm Agencia marked its 20th anniversary last year with a major national award  at the National Family Business Conference. 

The company joined major players, including Pimlico Plumbers and Pentland Brands Ltd – stable for such labels as Ellesse, Lacoste and Speedo – on a platform that has previously featured the likes of Fortnum  
& Mason, Morrisons and Stagecoach.

Managing director Helen Gibson and her sister, Joy Allen, the company’s head of HR and corporate services, shared the lectern at the event in Canary Wharf, London, and outlined the Agencia approach to the challenges facing family businesses.

Agencia operates throughout the UK and internationally, devising and delivering health and justice improvement programmes that transform lives and communities. 

Read more: Award-winning family firm plans ethical business growth

In July, it was voted the Best Small Business in the UK at the National Family Business Awards. 

Ms Gibson said: “By focusing on succession planning at the right time, we were able to take the business forward to our 20th anniversary this year. 

“Joy’s appointment was crucial because HR is such a key element of talent development. 

“But the conference was not just about sharing our experiences with others, it was also a fantastic learning environment as we heard the stories of other family businesses and made a lot of new contacts. 

“It is a very honest forum in which people open up about the difficult situations that they have faced in their business and personal lives, which are  intertwined more than ever in a family business. 

“That, in turn, means the conference and the individual delegates can be a great source of moral support and encouragement.”

Read more: Agencia Consulting celebrates national award win with plans for further growth

Ms Gibson was a key part of the succession process when she left a career that included spells in the Cabinet Office and with PA Consulting to join her father Andrew Gibson at Agencia in 2009. 

She became managing director in 2012 and was joined early in 2017 by Ms Allen, who had held senior HR posts with RBS, NBC  Universal and retirement  solutions heavyweight Hornbuckle.

The firm says it is now planning for further expansion this year, in the region and further afield in Europe, with a new brand and exciting new projects at their offices in Hessle, 
 Scunthorpe and Sarajevo.

Helen said: “It has been quite a year for us. 

“It’s been incredibly special just to get to 20 years, because that’s not something we would ever have taken for granted. 

“We also won the award and we celebrated in style with colleagues and contacts at The Deep and in Sarajevo.

“Next we will roll out our new brand and our new-look website and use that to tell more people about the work that we do. 

“We have a three-year strategy to take us to 2020. 

“It’s about building on what we have in our core markets and taking it to more places.”

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