Keith Bradshaw – chairman and 50 per cent owner of the Listers car dealer group – makes a virtue of being fiercely and proudly independent.

While the big automotive companies slug it out to deliver shareholder value in a competitive hot house, Listers – as an independent family company and not a PLC – can rise above it all.

With 40 outlets across the country, Listers has a turnover in excess of £620 million and delivers nearly £7 million in profits. The company is one the largest privately owned motor groups in the country, employing more than 1500 people. It is co-owned by Keith Bradshaw’s partner and public face of the group, Terry Lister. Listers runs an extensive portfolio of award-winning franchises, including BMW, Audi, Honda, Lexus, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Chrysler.

Keith Bradshaw is 66 and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. After qualifying as an accountant in Birmingham in 1966 after attending Handsworth Technical College, he spent time in West Africa before returning and setting up a number of private companies, the foremost of which was BP Nursing Homes Ltd which became Takare PLC and which was sold to BUPA in 1998 for close on £300 million.

He is non-executive chairman of property company Nurton Developments, run day-to-day by his son David who is managing director. His brother, also David, is Nurton’s development director. The company has a policy of brining unloved and neglected buildings back to life.

Nurton has become one of the region’s leading developers of industrial, office and mixed use retail and leisure space. It has a residential offshoot – Urban Cube.

Nurton’s flagship property is the landmark Priory and Cannon office block with the new name of Two Colmore Square, which has undergone a £25 million transformation.

Keith Bradshaw is also a limited partner in Alchemy, with a portfolio of more than 25 varied venture capital investments, and also Laney Headstock, which produces a range of musical instruments and sound reinforcement products, and has recently taken virtually all production offshore to China.