Merchant industry speakers confirmed for BMF All-Industry Conference Forum

The BMF has announced the final lineup of speakers for the popular Industry Forum session at the 2021 All Industry Conference, taking place in Harrogate in June. Nick Roberts, CEO of Travis Perkins plc and Paul Bence, MD of George Bence Group complete the four-person panel and will each present their merchant industry view.  They join the previously announced duo, Andy Mitchell Chair of the Construction Leadership Council and Peter Hallitt, group trading director at Marshalls plc.

The Industry Forum brings together industry leaders from across the building materials and wider construction industry to address key issues of the day and lead the discussion with delegates.

bence Roberts

Roberts and Bence represent different ends of the merchant spectrum. While Roberts leads the UK’s largest supplier of building materials to the construction industry, Bence heads one of the country’s most successful independents, a family-run sixth-generation business based in Gloucestershire.

Bence’s first role within the family business transformed their struggling Obsidian Kitchens & Bathroom brand. The Group’s lightside business now encompasses multiple retail and trade showrooms. He took over as MD in 2010 and has directed similar growth across product sectors in heavyside, roofing and decorating. He is also Trading Director of K&B Showrooms within the Fortis independent merchant buying group, chairman of the BMF Kitchen & Bathroom Forum. A former BMF Young Merchant, he became the youngest member of the Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants when he joined in 2006.

Bence’s will draw on his experience of taking a single independent branch and delivering a multifaceted builders merchant with a clear product segmentation plan over the last decade.

The BMF’s sold-out, dual-centre All Industry Conference takes place in Harrogate and York from 17-20 June 2021. Further details are available on the Conference website,

Second stage registration will launch on Monday 1 February, when attendees will be invited to confirm delegate names, hotel choices and optional social activities.


About Catrin Jones

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