Britain’s biggest private companies recognised

11th November 2020

Senior directors from 39 of Britain’s biggest private companies took part in the first of two of our Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 virtual networking events, co-hosted by our sponsors, HSBC and Linklaters. Renowned economist Lord O’Neill was guest speaker.

The annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 networking events bring together senior directors from the UK’s 100 biggest private companies by sales, and league table alumni. Pre-Covid-19, companies on the 2020 league table grew their sales by 8% to a combined £237bn, with ebitda profits up 7% to £28.2bn.

Guests and sponsor welcome

60 guests from 39 companies, with combined sales of £100bn, profits of £10bn, and employing 400,000 people, attended the interactive virtual event. They included senior directors from Arup, JCB, Mace, McLaren, Pentland, and Virgin.

The dinner was co-hosted by senior representatives from our Top Track 100 title sponsor HSBC, and main sponsor Linklaters.

Jonathan Graham, Head of Large Corporates at HSBC UK, welcomed guests and said: “I want to celebrate the success of British business. Clearly this year is a year like no other. Before we went into the second lockdown we were beginning to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, and a little bit more optimism.”

Iain Fenn, senior corporate partner at Linklaters, highlighted how the actions of Britain’s biggest private companies during the pandemic had been well received.

There is an element of public trust that has been created and if that is to be maintained private companies will need to be seen to be behaving properly, as well as actually behaving properly,” he said.

Keynote speech

Guests heard from Lord Jim O’Neill, renowned economist, vice-chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and former Treasury minister. He expressed optimism that a global economic recovery will take shape in the first half of 2021, and said:“We have developed a capitalist system over the past 20 years or so which has seemed to struggle with what has traditionally been described by economists as market failures. The scale of this crisis that we are going through has been so big that it has taught every single one of us, particularly in business, that we have a remit to serve broader societal goals.”

League table award certificate

All companies on this year’s Top Track 100 received a league table award certificate to recognise their success.

These were shipped with a goodie box, with gifts from our sponsors and Top Track 100 stalwart Harrods, which kindly provided champagne and wine.

Our sponsors

Recognising the achievements of all these companies is made possible by support from our sponsors HSBC, our title sponsor for a seventh year, and Linklaters, our main sponsor, also in its seventh year of sponsorship.

More information on the league table

The 2021 Sunday Times Top Track 100 league table supplement will be published with The Sunday Times on 4 July, with directors’ networking events in October and November.

For opportunities to meet and build relationships with the senior directors of Britain’s biggest private companies, see sponsorship opportunities for Top Track 100.

For more information about the league table and events programme, see:

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