28 November 2014

The Leap: The Power of Partnerships

On 24 November, Mishcon de Reya hosted the second event in The Leap series: the Power of Partnerships. Over 100 people, made up of entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate advisors, came to Mishcon's offices to listen to Lord Bilimoria, Founder of Cobra Beer, and Jens Thorpe and Lawson Muncaster, co-founders of City AM, talk about what makes a dynamic duo in business and the role partnerships have to play in Britain's economic future.

Mishcon's Director of Business Development, Elliot Moss, and co-founder of Seven Hills, Michael Hayman, co-hosted the interactive event. Elliot  interviewed Jens and Lawson, who established a very successful partnership and created City AM ten years ago and have been running it ever since. They attribute their success to the complete commitment of both parties, stressing the importance of looking at things collectively and presenting a united front. They said that their 50:50 partnership is  the key to avoiding disagreements because both people are equally invested and any conflicts must be resolved.

Afterwards, the event's key note speaker, Lord Karan Bilimoria, told the audience how he made Cobra Beer the success it is today. Unlike Jens and Lawson, Lord Bilimoria's business became much more successful after his 50:50 partner asked to be bought out, though he says he could not have initially set up the business without him. Once his business partner had gone, Lord Bilimoria felt it was important to invest in a team, and he embraced his suppliers, 'treating them as partners', which included inviting them to Cobra's AGMs. He almost lost the business three times, but claims the support of his accountant, advertising agency, suppliers and family is the reason Cobra Beer is where it is now.

Lord Bilimoria outlined his belief that partnerships are the most natural human model for businesses - 'we are gregarious by nature'- though partnerships do not need to be 50:50. Instead, he said that the whole business hinges on the trust of different people, and that integrity is what will see the business through its ups and downs.

The first Leap event, 'The Game Changers' took place in September and examined the hurdles and opportunities facing fast growth companies and the people that lead them.

Mishcon will be producing a report based on its findings from The Leap series early next year. Mishcon's Head of Corporate, Nick Davis, commented:

"The Leap events have exploited an opportunity to learn from a variety of entrepreneurs who have successfully navigated a changing and turbulent business environment to achieve significant growth. We are committed to supporting our clients through this critical stage in their businesses and are delighted that so many have come along to the events to take advantage of the insights of these inspirational business leaders."

To see the write up in City AM, click here.

To read up about the first Leap event, click here.

If you have any further questions about The Leap series and the forthcoming report, please contact Rebecca McAra.