After graduating in History at Oxford, I trained as a chartered accountant with Deloitte in London and stayed for 16 years, doing mainly public transactions in the UK, Western Europe and extensively in the USA. I then joined Charter PLC, a troubled engineering and manufacturing group, to assist the chairman with the turnaround. After an initial spell helping with a strategic and operational review, I spent a year as CFO of the largest operating business, ESAB Global, based in Gothenburg, before taking over as CEO. Following six years of stabilisation, then rapid growth, I joined Melrose PLC as CEO of one of their troubled portfolio engineering businesses, Bridon, which we eventually sold to Ontario Teachers. I stayed on as CEO but left when the business was merged with a larger group. I undertook my third turnaround CEO role at Whittan Group, where the private equity group, Bregal, are the owners, and I have recently taken over as chairman of that business. In addition, I spent three years as a member of the audit and risk committee of the Church Commissioners and I am also a trustee for the Jubilee Trust.
I once heard the William Tell overture played by the band of the former royal yacht Britannia on the bathroom suite extracted from the yacht when it had ceased duties, in the long gallery of Windsor Castle!
Why did you decide to become a trustee for Premier and why is this important to you?
I have been a longstanding listener to the Premier podcasts by John Lennox, Alistair McGrath, Tom Wright etc which I have found very helpful. When I was asked to join as a trustee, it seemed to me to be a good opportunity to give something back to an organisation from which I had benefited in my own journey of faith.
Why is this important to you?
I believe that the space occupied by Premier is really important. The ability to put some of the leading Christian thinkers of our time on air, and to do so often in a challenging but civil debating environment with leading atheists is unparalleled as far as I can see. As post-truth seems increasingly to dominate politics, the arts and indeed most walks of life, Premier is in my view one of the few channels to get across mainstream Christian apologetics and a genuinely Christian worldview.
What would you want with you if stranded on a desert Island?
My wife, a bible and a satellite phone!
If you could invite anyone (past/present) to be at your dinner party, who would you choose and why?
I would probably go for Nelson Mandela. I would be fascinated to understand his journey from terrorist and freedom fighter to a leader who could speak in such a balanced way and act as sponsor of the Truth and Reconciliation commission.
Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your way acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3 verses 5-6