From facilitating the first Ford dealership in the early 20th century through to its current, extensive roster of manufacturers, Hendy Group has grown immensely since its inception in 1859. Driving the business through some of its most turbulent times in recent memory, Chief Executive Paul Hendy, and his son and General Manager Will Hendy, have seen Hendy Group’s team exhibit incredible resilience to continue the family’s legacy.

In this episode of It Runs In The Family, the father-son pairing share how they’ve structured themselves to maintain a degree of independence, stayed risk-aware without being risk-averse, and the importance of not forcing the next generation to take a role in the family trade.

This episode covers:

  • The simultaneous father-son and employee-boss relationships
  • Leading one of the business’ largest periods of growth
  • Being risk-aware, without being risk-averse
  • Encouraging family into the business without forcing them
  • Blending face-to-face and online channels
  • The interesting future of cars and electric vehicles
  • How the past year has cemented the value Hendy Group sees in their team

Episode Highlights


“Whilst we don’t have layers and layers of management, there clearly is a structure in place and I quite deliberately observe that structure, particularly when it’s for Will’s benefit, for him to be his own man and achieve things on his own with his peer group.” – 3:05 – Paul Hendy

“I don’t tend to dwell and reflect terribly often because one doesn’t get the time to do that, and we’re still in a growth phase. But as you say that, and you reflect on it, we’ve grown quite a bit in the last 20 years.” – 8:25 – Paul Hendy

“We have a bit of fun along the way, but we can make decisions as swiftly as anybody. And then if we set our sights on an acquisition or target, then it’s my job to go and get it.” – 15:05 – Paul Hendy

“I was never pushed into the family business. I think if I was, I would have done the complete opposite, like when you’re told not to do something you’re going to do it.” – 18:46 – Will Hendy

“We spend more time at work than we do at home. If we can’t enjoy it, love it, and have it become our hobby and passion, they can be long days. ” – 19:45 – Paul Hendy

“I felt quite fortunate because as of July, I started in my new role so I’ve had a really good opportunity to separate work and home. I’ve been in the office every day, which for me has massively helped because I don’t know how my sister has worked from home since then – I can’t do it. For me, I find that I can’t separate my day at all.” – 33:25 – Will Hendy 

“The easiest thing to do would have been to have walked away from the opportunity [for an acquisition in lockdown]. I knew deep down that I’d look back on that in 1-2 years’ time, and if it had gone to someone else you’d really be kicking yourself. So with that in mind, it was a case of ‘How are we going to get it done then?’” – 39:55 – Paul Hendy

“I did a year long CME course which is fantastic. I learned plenty, mostly from the customer’s point of view, and that whole experience and digital piece, which is obviously very, very relevant to now.” – 48:00 – Will Hendy 

“I think the thing that I’m really proud of with all of the children is the level of respect and how they communicate with their colleagues in the company. It’s genuine and heartfelt, and there’s no sense of entitlement, and that’s exactly how it should be.” – 56:30 – Paul Hendy

“The crucial piece is who you get around you, your support network, the team that you create and manage to motivate is absolutely crucial. It’s not about us. It’s NOT about us. It’s about that team being the best in the business, understanding our values, and everything that we stand for, executing it and delivering it. That’s what it’s about.” –  – Paul Hendy


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