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Hard act to follow

Written by Pip Wilkins on Monday, 24 January 2022. Posted in Franchise

The chief executive of the British Franchise Association, Pip Wilkins, waxes lyrical about Andy Brattesani who is soon to leave his role after six years as Head of Franchising at HSBC Bank.

Hard act to follow

The chief executive of the British Franchise Association, Pip Wilkins, waxes lyrical about Andy Brattesani who is soon to leave his role after six years as Head of Franchising at HSBC Bank.

I’ve met many ambitious and committed people during my time as chief executive of the British Franchise Association (BFA), but few have displayed the level of dedication, insight and professionalism shown by Andy Brattesani. Andy has over 30 years of banking experience behind him, and has been at HSBC Bank since 2008, the last six of these as Head of Franchising.

This has meant I’ve worked closely with him in recent years and I can honestly say that his commitment to supporting the franchise sector has been nothing short of excellent. Andy really does put his people first and, under his tenure, the HSBC franchise team has won many leading awards. He’s going to be a tough act to follow.

His leadership throughout the pandemic has been brilliant with his franchise team organising and holding many virtual events. In the spring of last year he was instrumental in setting up HSBC’s £500m boost for the franchising industry.

For those who can’t remember, the banking giant launched an unprecedented £500m fund to help an industry which would not be where it is today without funding institutions such as HSBC UK. The £500m fund for franchise businesses was a significant investment aimed at unlocking the potential for thousands of people to grow in this diverse industry.

This £500m boost was introduced to help UK businesses rebound from the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, and HSBC stepped forward with this major investment – with Andy at the helm. And during his six years in the role, the HSBC franchise team have taken on 15% more customers, with an increased borrowing of 110%. They currently support more than 9,000 franchise clients across the nation.

I spoke to Andy just a few days ago and this is what he told me, which sums up his dedication to our industry: “I never tire of following the progress of franchisees. In my six years I’ve seen people grow their operations way beyond what I expected from them at the start, and in such a short space of time. I’ve witnessed many people start from the most humble of beginnings to create, in some cases, economic powerhouses that now employ thousands.

“During these six years the landscape has been overwhelmingly positive. The pandemic has only endorsed that feeling with the vast majority of franchisors, franchisees and suppliers working hand in hand to survive.

“I’ve seen big brands sell corporate sites to franchisees, while many established brands have turned their hand to franchising. New, modern niche businesses have also succeeded, leaving me with the feeling that the ‘national brand-local ownership model’ is certainly a winning combination – but only if recruitment is carried out thoroughly and professionally.” 

Among his many duties, Andy has also taken time out to be a judge in the annual Elite Franchise Top 100 Awards. During our most recent conversation, he also told me it was important to encourage young people into the industry, and that the best way to achieve this was to publically endorse the most successful individuals in franchising. In other words, boost their profiles as often as possible. Andy will certainly be missed, and his wonderful legacy will be celebrated for many years to come.

We, at the BFA, continue to work tirelessly to make franchising increasingly more accessible year on year. Recent years have seen a large increase in the number of women entering the world of franchising. I can honestly say that our most recent annual conference was the most diverse in our history, and I feel confident that this industry will reach even greater heights during 2022.

About the Author

Pip Wilkins

Pip Wilkins

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say we’ve got franchising royalty on board in the shape of Wilkins. The bfa chief executive boasts more than 15 years of experience in the franchise sector and is a regular event speaker both at home and abroad.

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