Registration is from 9.30am. The conference programme will run from 10am until 4.30pm, followed by networking and drinks

Keynote: Ian Payne MBE, chairman and founder, Stonegate Group

Ian has guided Stonegate through a number of major acquisitions, including Be At One, Walkabout and the £2.9bn deal for Ei Group in 2020. In this keynote Q&A, he will share anecdotes from his nearly 12 years at Stonegate, and before that Laurel and Town and City Pub Company. He will discuss progress on the company’s managed pub conversions, the growth of its Craft Union business, and why Stonegate is investing in the future with an extensive capex programme.


Q&A: Chris Jowsey, chief executive, Admiral Taverns

Marking almost one year on from the news that Admiral Taverns was to acquire fellow community pub operator Hawthorn, Jowsey will discuss the challenges and successes of the integration process, its plans for the business and wider estate investment, and the strengths of its community-based pub model.


Peter Hansen: Landscape and deals session

It has been a turbulent two years and given the economic headwinds, 2022 is shaping up to be another challenging year for the sector. Peter Hansen of Sapient Corporate Finance will discuss the impact of the economic environment on the M&A market and which parts of the market will be less affected and which parts will be hit hard. Will it be a busy year for M&A?


Jonathan Neame: When recovery meets volatility

The fifth-generation family member to be involved in the Kent pub and brewing business, Jonathan Neame believes there has rarely been as much challenge and uncertainty in the pub sector as there has in the last two years. He sees Shepherd Neame as well placed to recover, but he argues that the volatility is set to continue, with price, wage and supply chain inflation presenting many hurdles for pubs in the years ahead. He is confident that pubs will remain central to British life, but the offer will have to continue to revolve to remain relevant and competitive. This will create challenges for some and also new opportunities. Pubs will need to find new ways to manage the cost base and to retain value for money for the experience.


Investment panel: Mark Derry, Peter Borg-Neal and Jason Katz

Investors have continued to back growth in the pub and bar sector, after a pause in deal-making during the pandemic. In this panel we will explore how strong concepts and high performing management teams are attracting financial support from private equity, family trusts and their own customers at the likes of Brasserie Bar Co, Inn Collection Group and Oakman Inns.

  • Mark Derry, Brasserie Bar Co
  • Jason Katz, Kings Park Capital, backer of Inn Collection Group
  • Peter Borg-Neal, Oakman Inns


Peter Marks: A new chapter at Rekom UK

Peter Marks will discuss the development of the late-night bar and nightclub operator, formerly known as The Deltic Group, since its acquisition by Rekom in December 2020. He will share how the business is tapping into its Scandinavian parent company’s portfolio of brands with the introduction of several new concepts to the UK, and how a strong culture has been central to the resilience and success of the group as it recovers from Covid-related restrictions.


Jonathon Lawson: Delivering value, staying true to values

Liberation group has emerged strongly out of the pandemic, accentuating its inherent strengths in the last couple of years. Chief executive Jonathan Lawson will explain how the Channel Island and South West pub group and brewer has invested in response to accelerating customer trends and behaviours. Drawing on insights from a career at Vision Express, Greene King and Sainsbury’s, he will also share how the group has remained committed to delivering value for money to customers during a cost-of-living crisis, whilst remaining true to its values.


Insight session: Katie Prowse, Lumina Intelligence

Katie Prowse, senior insight manager at Lumina Intelligence, will map out the current state of the pub market and assess its recovery so far. She will reveal, from consumer research, how the rising cost of living has impacted consumer behaviour and, drawing on Lumina’s revamped Menu Tracker, how operators are adapting menus to mitigate these challenges.