HAMPSHIRE Chamber of Commerce has announced the line-up of speakers for its annual Talking Business conference, including the boss of the UK’s leading port operator, the founder of an award-winning personal lubricants firm and a lead generation specialist whose own company has increased turnover by 40 per cent every year in the past decade.

As chief executive of Associated British Ports, James Cooper’s responsibilities span the ownership and operations of Southampton docks and 20 other major ports across the country. Before joining ABP, his director-level roles included being co-head of UK Corporate Finance at BNP Paribas. He also led the transport sector team at Hambros Bank and was chairman of Red Funnel Group.

Fellow speaker Sarah Brooks is director and co-founder of The Yes Yes Company, a Petersfield firm that competes with major household brands to export intimate organic lubricants worldwide. The company recently won the Baker Tilly Customer Service Award at the Newsquest-backed South Coast Business Awards.

Joining them to speak is Paul Thomas, managing director of Portsmouth-based telemarketing agency Market Makers and its lead generation software arm, Lead Forensics.

For the past four years, Market Makers has been the only telemarketing firm listed on The Times Top 100 companies to work for. Talking Business includes exhibitions, networking and an expert panel who will debate topical issues.

Maureen Frost, deputy chief executive of Hampshire Chamber, said: “Our annual conference is becoming a real ‘go-to’ event on the calendar for the business community.”

The conference takes place on Wednesday, October 22 at British American Tobacco, Regents Park Road, Southampton. Additional car parking space is being provided at the nearby Costco.