Sir James Wates

Sir James Wates

In this bonus episode for Family Business Week I am joined by Sir James Wates, Chairman of the Wates Group and Chairman of the Institute for Family Business. We discuss what the IFB are hoping for with this weeks celebrations. 

We also discuss The Wates Principles and how they can apply to all businesses as a framework for growth and longevity. 

A really enjoyable chat with one of the UK’s leading business figures. 

About Family Business Week 

The pandemic has once again highlighted the vital role that businesses play in supporting their local communities, and it is these community-focused values that are at the heart of family businesses. Rooted in their local communities, family businesses provide a long-term, sustainable model which views business as a force for good.

Family Business Week 2021 is a week-long celebration of family businesses, particularly in relation to supporting local communities across all parts of the UK, and providing a platform to highlight the role of business as a force for good.

Led by the Institute for Family Business (IFB), the voice of the UK’s family business sector.

How to get involved

Whether you’re a family business owner, employee, adviser or a policymaker, there are plenty of ways to get involved and show your support for Family Business Week.

From sharing your story to inviting your local MP to visit your site for Family Business Friday, get involved and help us spread the message about why family businesses are important to the whole of the UK.

Please head to to find out more

Listen to the episode here:


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About Sir James Wates

Sir James Wates CBE has worked for the company since 1983 and has been Chairman since 2013. He was first appointed to the Wates Group Board in 1997. He is chairman of the Nominations Committee.

Outside of the company, Sir James is Chairman of the BRE (Building Research Establishment) Trust, Chairman-designate of the Institute for Family Business, and a Non-executive Director of Argent Services LLP.

Sir James Wates

In late 2017, our Chairman, Sir James Wates CBE, was invited by the Government to lead the development of corporate principles for large private companies. The resulting code  – now known as the Wates Principles was launched in December 2018 and provides a framework to help companies to meet legal requirements while promoting long term success. The Wates Principles encourage these companies to adopt a set of key behaviours to secure trust and confidence among stakeholders and benefit the economy and society in general.


Wates became the first company to embed these principles in its financial reporting, within its Annual Review of 2018. From 1 January 2019, all private companies will be required by law to do the same, to demonstrate how they have adopted the principles.