Executive director, Chess Telecom
Career so far
I am a dealmaker with experience of more than 100 transactions (M&A, IPOs, JVs including cross border) as corporate advisor and within the industry. I am on the board of listed and unlisted companies. At Chess (a telecoms reseller), I have led the growth in turnover from £4m to £45m as a result of my bank-supported acquisition activity.
What was your first job and were you any good at it?
I was a waiter at a yacht club. I was hopeless (I am clumsy) and got sacked (with my three friends) after five complete days’ service.
Who was your top teenage pin-up?
The girl on the tennis poster with her skirt up at the back (who was that girl?). My colleagues won’t know this about me but… my passion is not IT/telecoms; it’s modern British art.
What is your favourite snack?
I thought snacks were out? Anyway, cashew nuts and minimum 50 per cent cocoa chocolate.
What has been your career high point to date?
Growing Chess from £4m to £45m.
Has 2013 been good, bad or ugly?
For me, good. Chess has the formula for success and we are growing consciously and carefully. What do you say when asked at a party what you do for a living? I tell them what my daughter tells people: that I sit around chatting, drinking cups of coffee, going for piggy lunches while my secretaries and PAs do all the work (not true, by the way).
If I wasn’t working in the channel I would probably be…
A dealer in modern British art.
What will be the channel’s biggest challenge in 2014?
Understanding all the technology options and being able to train and keep their customers happy.
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