Beech Tree Private Equity hosted a joint dinner with DLA Piper for West Midlands business leaders earlier this week. The guest speakers were Andy Street CBE, Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority (and former MD of John Lewis) and Paul Forrest from the independent research body, West Midlands Economic Forum.

First up was Andy Street who spoke passionately about what both local and national government are doing to improve skills, foster digital innovation, implement the digital and technology strategy in the Midlands and of course, how he sees Brexit playing out. As ever, Andy's enthusiasm for the region and its businesses was compelling and backed up by a range of statistics showing how far the West Midlands has progressed over the past 10 years.

Next up was Paul Forrest who shared his insightful views on the potential economic impact of various Brexit scenarios - not surprisingly, this sparked a lively and engaging debate amongst the attendees! A cross section of views were shared and debated throughout the evening, however the common theme was the need for our politicians to work together to find a solution that will give businesses clarity on what will happen after the 29th March as quickly as possible.

We saw no shortage of optimism from the business leaders in attendance who certainly reinforced our view point that no matter what happens with Brexit, ambitious business will continue to prosper, invest, innovate and grow over the coming 12 months, which is good news for Beech Tree as these are exactly the types of business that we like to invest in.