The British Franchise Association (bfa) has announced the retirement of Sir Bernard Ingham as its President.

Sir Bernard revealed that he was to retire from the role, which he held for nearly 20 years, at the bfa’s Annual Conference.

Following a standing ovation from conference delegates, he delivered an entertaining speech on the advances that have been made during his tenure and on the future of franchising, which he described as being “on the cusp of something big”.

When asked to comment on his announcement, Sir Bernard said: “In my 18 years as President I have seen the bfa grow greatly in strength and confidence.

“The latest development is the clearest possible example of this – the appointment of franchise owners to take part in the governance of the bfa and the creation of the opportunity for them to elect their own representatives on the board.

“I do not think this would have been possible 18 years ago, if indeed anyone had then thought of moving in that direction. Now it means that the bfa is manifestly engaging with the franchising community as a whole – franchisors, associates in a variety of professions and services, and franchise owners.


“This is truly a demonstration of franchising’s maturity. I am confident that this collaborative approach to the development of franchising will bring greater recognition and success. I am proud to have had a hand in it.”

Sir Bernard will continue to be involved with the bfa as he has agreed to become patron to the Franchise Trust, a charitable organisation being set up by the bfa to support worthy causes and individuals in franchising.

Brian Smart, who has been Director General of the bfa throughout Sir Bernard’s Presidency, said: “We’re all very sorry to see Sir Bernard retire. He’s been one of franchising’s greatest ambassadors for many years and has had a major impact on the industry, the bfa and those of us lucky enough to have worked closely with him. I’m delighted he’s agreed to be patron of the Franchise Trust, guaranteeing his name remains synonymous with ethical franchising which he’s supported so steadfastly for so long. It’s a fitting tribute to everything he’s helped us achieve.”

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