1 March 2011 By Northern Lights
One of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, Jan Fletcher OBE, is to advise the banks and government on the reality and cost of bank finance for UK businesses. She is joined by fellow entrepreneurs James Caan and Shaf Rasul, from the TV and online versions of Dragon’s Den.
Chairman of Harrogate-based Montpellier Estates, Jan Fletcher said: “The Secretary of State, Vince Cable asked me to be part of his Entrepreneurs’ Forum last year. This is to provide informal and personal advice on new business and enterprise policies.
“We met him in London at the end of January and I voiced my concerns over bank financing. I just don’t think that what we are hearing from the banks is being reflected on the ground. I raised a number of issues and have consequently been asked to meet the chief executives of the UK’s leading banks and join this small banking finance advisory group. I am delighted to do this on behalf of Yorkshire and the country’s hard-working business people.”
The issues Fletcher has been asked to consider include availability of finance to SMEs, costs of business finance and bank/business relationships. She is currently speaking to business leaders and organisations to gather their views to take back to the government over the next few weeks.
Jan Fletcher has extensive corporate finance experience in diverse sectors including retail motor, property investment and development, radio franchising, periodicals, building societies, financial services, estate agents, brokers, restaurants, opticians and natural health products.
Montpellier Estates is shortly expected to receive new planning permission for City One, the 2m sq ft mixed use site in Leeds and one of the most strategic city centre sites in the UK.
Fletcher’s latest venture, Rougemont Estates, syndicates commercial property investments for high net-worth individuals, trusts and pension funds. Last year it received FSA approval, completed a number of multi million pound deals and is working on a £100m property portfolio.
The Bee Health supplement business received Halal approved status and continues to expand into 57 Muslim countries worldwide. Fletcher also owns two of Yorkshire’s best loved restaurants – the Drum and Monkey, Harrogate and Bryan’s Seafood Restaurant, Leeds.
As non-executive director of Skipton Building Society for ten years, she was integral to their highly successful acquisition programme including Pearson Jones, financial advisers; two financial services businesses – Euro Direct and Call Credit; Wise Deal, brokers; and two estate agencies – Connells and Rightmove. She was appointed a board member to many of these and was actively involved in their strategic financial development.
In 1994 Jan Fletcher was named Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year and became Yorkshire Woman of the Year in 1995. In 1997 she was awarded an OBE for service to industry and in 2009 was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Bradford University School of Management – a top 10 UK business school.
She was responsible for establishing, and was the founding Chairman of, Marketing Leeds a company formed to promote Leeds and the city region.