Shaper: Mark Adlestone

Show aired on 18th March 2017


Mark Adlestone

Mark Adlestone is Chairman of Beaverbrooks the Jewellers. Mark joined the Company in 1979, became Joint Managing Director in 1990, sole Managing Director in 2000 and Chairman in 2012. Beaverbrooks currently has 69 stores nationwide, trading in the middle to upper market, and stocking watch brands such as Omega, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Bremont and Tudor.

Beaverbrooks is particularly proud of its culture, which encourages managers to truly listen to, care for, support and develop its people. The company donates 20% of its net profit annually gives each person two days per year of paid time to work for a charity of their choice.

Since the year 2000, Beaverbrooks has donated more than £10 million to over 400 charities.

In October 2015 Mark was presented with the OBE by HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace for ‘Services to Business and Charity in the North of England’.

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The business was started in 1919 by my grandfather, Isaac and his two brothers, Harry and Maurice…it was just after the First World War and things were tough.

I think probably the salient question is why did I go to Oxford to read jurisprudence in the first place..?

We made a conscious decision that we would give 20% of our post-tax, pre-distribution profits to the Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust, so this year that will be £1.2 million.

We are trying to make a difference to the community around us, to the world around us to some extent, and whilst our purpose is enriching lives, we mean it, we truly mean it.

The purchasing of diamonds… it’s really old fashioned, the values are very old fashioned. It’s based on trust, you shake hands when you buy a parcel of diamonds. There is no contract. It is beautifully old fashioned.

It’s the people within the organisation that keep me motivated, that’s my passion, that’s my number one passion and I love the fact that we are excellent at developing people from within our organisation.

I want to try and create or ensure that the business, as much as is possible, maintains its culture. I am going to say in perpetuity, I mean that sounds ridiculous but that’s sort of what really inspires me and drives me and motivates me.

For capitalism to be successful it needs to be more than just about money. It needs to be about morality.