My early training as a surveyor focused on economic development and urban regeneration. Influencing and planning for large-scale urban change – in places as diverse as Liverpool, Stratford and the Royal Docks –provided me with the opportunity to both develop and execute the delivery of masterplans. There is a real sense of achievement when you feel you've made a contribution to the way a place looks and feels, and the positive impact that can have on those who do and will live there.
Addressing economic and social issues led me to explore the role of businesses and business leaders within communities. Grant Thornton enabled me to take the time to look at early-stage investment in companies and this initially led to running programmes, such as Gateway to Investment in London. Building from there, we have developed major initiatives with government around the Manufacturing Advisory Service and the Business Growth Service. Currently, we have some 27,000 clients being supported on their growth journeys with amazing results. It’s a real privilege to work with government and our people on delivering such large-scale programmes and to work with vibrant entrepreneurial firms, supported by a broad network of coaches and sub-consultants across the UK.
As a member of the senior leadership team within the firm, I lead on our enterprise activities. The team's focus is on our work with clients internationally, ensuring we create strong partnership arrangements, and making and managing the firms investments. It is a diverse portfolio of activity, which is incredibly rewarding.
Outside of work, rugby, two boys (and various combinations of the two), mentoring young businesses all keep me busy, active and interested.