Nigel Toplis, managing director of Recognition Express and The Bardon Group, has been named as one of the top 20 faces of the UK franchising industry.

Leading franchise industry publication, what franchise magazine, has included Nigel in its 2017 list of influential individuals within franchising.

Said what franchise editor Jeff James: “We wanted to recognise those men and women who have been involved with the franchise industry for a long time and who work hard to help ensure franchising in the UK continues to flourish. Nigel has been flying the flag for franchising for over 20 years and generously shares his wealth of knowledge with others.”

Nigel established the Bardon Group in 2007 to create a specialist stable from which to grow and nurture franchise brands. He began his franchising career with Kall Kwik, the specialist high street print and design business, before joining Recognition Express in 2002. In January 2012, he took on the master licence for Kall Kwik from the US, thus returning to his franchising roots.

The Bardon Group comprises four diverse franchise brands: Recognition Express (branded promotional goods and clothing); ComputerXplorers (education technology for primary school children); Kall Kwik (print and design centres); and Techclean (IT system hygiene specialists).

As group managing director Nigel plays an active role in mentoring over 100 franchisees and licensees within the brands, spending much of his time on the road meeting with territory owners face-to-face, and supporting them in developing their businesses.

Said Nigel: “It’s obviously a great honour to be included among some really significant figures in franchising. With more than two decades in the industry, I am proud to have been part of the team that has grown a successful Group and to have helped hundreds of people set up a franchise. I’ve long-believed franchising can be one of the best routes to becoming a successful business owner, and take real pleasure in seeing franchisees prosper.”

As well as his role at the Bardon Group, Nigel is a fellow of Lancaster University, has written three books on franchising and has served as Chair of the British Franchise Association (BFA).