- Please can you give us an overview of your career.
I had a great time at Oxford, but my Geography degree was not really a launch pad into the business world! I qualified as an accountant with Price Waterhouse before leaving to join the Corporate Finance team at a bank called Hill Samuel. I loved the experience as we were at the centre of large transactions and for very varied clients. My part of the business was sold to Close Brothers and I was initially Head of Leisure and Retail, then Head of Restructuring and Banking and eventually CEO of the business. I left Close Brothers in 2009 and set up a boutique advisory business, mainly giving advice to management teams during a transaction. I had also started picking up one or two non-executive director roles and this then became my primary focus. I have now chaired over 10 businesses including public companies, private equity backed businesses, management owned and even start-ups.
- Where is the most interesting place you have travelled to for work and why?
I used to travel with work a fair amount – but the one place that still excites me whenever I go is New York. I was seconded there for 18 months in the 1990s. We lived in an apartment on Manhattan and the noises, smells, sights, people and weather were all amazing.
- What’s the one gadget you couldn’t live without?
Would have to be my mobile phone – although my wife would probably say it was the TV control!
- What’s the best thing about your job?
Meeting lots of different people – getting to know them and working with them. I find people fascinating – everybody is so different yet deep down so similar.
- What was the last TV series you watched?
Happy Valley. I thought Sarah Lancashire was brilliant and having finished the final series it makes me want to go back and start from the beginning again.
- Tell us something that might surprise us about you?
Over the years we have had loads of animals – but at one point we had the largest rabbit in Britain. He was called Bodmin and I think you can still find him on YouTube.
- What’s your motto or personal mantra?
Procrastination is the thief of time – don’t put off things. Make a decision and move forward. Also, don’t bear grudges.
- What are you most proud of?
Undoubtedly my wife and family. We have four adult daughters and are immensely proud of what they are achieving – in very different areas: medicine, policing, army and teaching.