The chair of Birmingham Forward has described as a “fantastic vote of confidence” the decision by a number of blue chip firms to sign up as new patrons of the organisation.
Jaguar, KPMG and Blusource have become patrons of the professional support organisation, joining existing patrons Barclays Wealth, Birmingham City University, HBJ Gateley Wareing, Birmingham Metropolitan College and Sir Robert McAlpine.
Forward has had a challenging 12 months following the death of former chief executive Richard Brennan last year and the loss of a number of key staff including the shock decision by Barclays Wealth’s Graham Nicoll to stand down as chair because of work commitments.
However, new chair Jackie Hendley – who has been overseeing a root and branch overhaul alongside interim chief executive Mary Daunt – said the new patrons was a positive sign for Forward.
She said: “It is a fantastic vote of confidence in our organisation and to our members that such well-known and respected companies as Jaguar, KPMG and Blusource have decided to work with us and become patrons for 2011.
‘‘We are very excited to welcome them and we look forward to working closely with both our new and our existing patrons throughout the year.
‘‘Having spoken to our members and patrons, it is clear that Birmingham Forward will have a key role to play in the economic development of the city over the coming years, particularly in this new era of collaboration.”
Jaguar UK managing director Geoff Cousins said the patronage was an important move for his own business.
“Jaguar will now have closer relationships with more than 2,000 professionals at over 170 firms in the region,” he said. “Birmingham and the West Midlands are fundamental to the success of Jaguar and we feel this partnership will reap great rewards for both parties.”
Birmingham Forward is a not-for-profit membership organisation, established in 1990 that welcomes firms, partnerships and individuals from the business and professional services sectors.