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Visionary business giant shares secrets of success

Friday, September 19, 2014 ‹ Back To Latest News List
A GIANT in the UK health sector will be sharing the secrets of his success with a group of influential business people in Wrexham.

Mike Parsons, the founder and former chief executive of Barchester Healthcare, will be a keynote speaker at the next meeting of the Wrexham Business Professionals.

He transformed Barchester from a single care home operator into a billion pound organisation with more than 200 care homes.

Mr Parsons will be the guest of honour at the meeting at the town's Ramada Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, September 24.

Wrexham Business Professionals is a group of professional firms of solicitors and accountants who collaborate on a non-competitive basis to promote the development of businesses, skills and employment opportunities for professional people.

Gill Atkinson, a founder member of the group and a director of Coxeys Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors, said: "We are delighted that Mike Parsons has agreed to address and inspire our members.

"Mike is an illustrious figure who has built a hugely successful business and guests will be able learn a great deal from him and hopefully apply those lessons, not only to making their own businesses more successful but also towards underpinning Wrexham's credentials as the commercial capital of North Wales.

"Together as a group, Wrexham Business Professionals represent thousands of businesses from North East Wales.

"We are harnessing our professional synergy so that we can provide the foundation for the development of skills to create a prosperous and sustainable future." Mr Parsons and his business are viewed by many as one of the health sector’s true "success stories" and an example of how future healthcare should function. He read economics at Sussex and Oxford Universities and became a management consultant. He subsequently took an MBA at London Business School and the Diploma in International Management at Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Paris and the Graduate School of Business Administration on Wall Street.

Mr Parsons formed Barchester Healthcare in 1994 after a career in advertising that saw him rise to the position of Chief Operating Officer for Saatchi & Saatchi’s international business.

He also spent two years in the USA where he researched various new business ideas including long term care. He was particularly impressed with many of the Assisted Living facilities he saw in the US.

After returning to the UK in 1992, he set up Country Life Care Centres which merged with Eskgrove in 1994 to form Barchester Healthcare.

Then in 1994 he opened Moreton Hill Farm Care Centre which was awarded the "Best Care Home of the Year" in 1994 - it won that award again in 2009 on its 15th anniversary.

Although he has stepped down as chief executive, Mike Parsons remains a non-executive director of Barchester.

Although Barchester became a multi-million pound company with thousands of employees, Mike’s approach to the care business can be judged from the fact that this year they were listed in the Sunday Times Top 26 big companies to work for and one of Britain’s Top Employers 2013.

In 2012, he picked up an "outstanding contribution award" from HealthInvestor when the judging panel described him as a "champion of high quality care and an influential spokesman for the sector."

The year before that he was voted the second most influential person in Healthcare in the UK at the HealthInvestor Power fifty and the year before that he was voted 'Care Personality of the Year' at The National Care Awards.

Last year he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious Wales Care Awards.

The invitation to Mike Parsons to address the Wrexham Business Professionals was made on the group's behalf by Mario Kreft, the proprietor of the Wrexham-based Pendine Park care organisation who is also the Chair of Care Forum Wales and the founder of the Wales Care Awards.

Mr Kreft, who is a long-time supporter of Wrexham Business Professionals and the pro-Wrexham business campaig, said: "Mike Parsons is quite simply a giant in our sector – but more than that a thoroughly decent man.

"What Mike did more than 20 years ago was to show true vision, he led the way in developing the care sector, he took a concept and with his formidable background with the likes of Saatchi & Saatchi, he developed a respected international brand.

"He found finance from all walks of life through his amazing contacts to produce this quality product which we all aspire to."