Rachel is a Business Angel who has invested in over 10 businesses in the last 4 years and been involved in the successful growth of many more as a Non Executive Director or Board Advisor. Her career started at Coopers & Lybrand, now PwC and over the last 20 years she has gained experience in corporate tax, corporate finance, HR & management consulting and executive recruitment. In addition she has been involved in two business start ups; a small manufacturing business in the mid 1990s which she exited with a 4 times return on investment after 4 years and more latterly GatenbySanderson. She co-founded GatenbySanderson, a search & selection company specialising in senior public sector appointments, with a previous PwC colleague in late 2002. Using her previous experience of starting a business, within 7 years it was a national market leader in its sector with a reputation for excellence and had reached a turnover of £23m and £4m PBT before she exited in early 2010. Rachel also dedicates time and funding to a number of not for profit organisations and has recently been appointed to the Board at the University of Bolton.
Richard founded Esteem Systems in 1985 which he grew to a £30m IT infrastructure & Managed Services business. He sold Esteem to a BI/MBO team backed by Primary Capital in late 2004. Since then Richard has immersed himself in a variety of voluntary and commercial roles. He has been in the IT industry for 30+ years and now has various property and commercial interests including: Non Executive Chairman of and investor in Liquid Accounts (on line accounting software), NED/Investor Numecent (Cloud Paging software), NED of NYnet (Broadband provider) and NED/Investor in the Arena Group (print, copy & EDM solutions). He is also former NED Chair of Total Commerce Management (e-tail ISV) the business was sold in September 2010, a former member of the CBI Council for Yorkshire & the Humber, a former Town Councillor and a former governor of two of the region’s leading independent schools.
Former Master Cutler and President of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. Richard qualified as a chartered accountant, chartered marketor, and chartered director. After leaving the accounting profession, he became finance director of Bridon Wire, worked in business turnarounds, and chairman and chief executive of the Dyson Group PLC. Since then he has been mentor and coach to, for example, the executive boards of Yorkshire Water, Scottish Water, and Ofwat. He now co-facilitates a ten-day leadership programme, chairs and coaches technology companies, and coaches a number of executives and charities. He is a visiting Professor of Sheffield Business School, an Honorary Fellow of Sheffield Hallam University, and holder of the University of Sheffield’s Centenary Medal.
Richard started his career in the family textile business Centaur Clothes and during that period he bought a small car dealership selling 80 new and used cars. When he sold Nidd Vale Motors, the company was selling 5000 vehicles pa with an annual turnover of £70m. At the time of the sale he de-merged 3 Mercedes dealerships which subsequently achieved sales of £30m before it was sold. Over the last few years Richard has devoted huge efforts to charitable causes and is Chairman of the Yorkshire branch of the Prince's Trust as well as managing a portfolio of properties and private company investments. Richard is also non executive chairman of Skelwith Group and NCI PLC.
With a background in consulting, in 1992 Rob joined his father in law’s business, Matthews Foods and grew it to become the largest independent margarines and spreads manufacturer in the UK with £40m sales. In 2005 Rob sold Matthews to Kerry Foods. It was this experience that Rob has used to focus on buying and nurturing smaller food businesses supplying retail and food manufacturing customers in the UK and abroad. Typically each is a specialist with strong customer value propositions delivered through committed teams and effective manufacturing capabilities. His most recent was the development of New Ivory to a £22m turnover chilled protein sauce specialist renowned for its market leadership through culinary expertise and the style of its customer relationships. This was sold in September this year to Solina Group, a French food ingredients group. With Harrogate based Confection by Design and The Serious Sweet Co, Rob is now focusing his efforts in confectionery, having a developed an acute sweet tooth and love of fudge, toffee, honeycomb, nut brittles and butterscotch!
When Robert took charge of the Brocklesby business some 10 years ago, its turnover was £2m. Now the business has diversified into Adams & Green (animal feed ingredients) and has a JV with Greenergy Fuels and its combined sales are approaching £45m.They take waste oil from food manufacturers and process it into a bio diesel feedstock that ultimately gets blended into diesel for motor vehicles. Adams & Green takes crude oils such as rape, soy and palm and blends them into products that are used in animal feed manufacture; this business has grown from sales of £4m three years ago to sales of £25m this year. In addition they have a 50/50 joint venture which refines poorer quality oils into bio diesel.
After leaving university, Robin embarked on his sales career at Rank Xerox as a graduate trainee, learning the ropes from the ground up. A self confessed entrepreneurial sales professional, Robin has spent the vast majority of his career taking early stage companies to market, building substantial recurring sales revenues along the way. Having made many recruitment and process mistakes, Robin has created an economical and highly effective method for building sales teams. A method that he feels can be applied to most organisations. Robin has operated mainly in the IT sector starting with Boxing Orange, then Webscreen Technologies and most recently RandomStorm Limited which he formed in 2007 with Andrew Mason to supply network security services to a large cross section of companies both public and private. RandomStorm achieved meteoric growth in sales and was sold in early 2015 for £10m.
Russell started his first estate agency in 1976 based in Leeds City Centre. After 3 years he was the first agent to move out to the suburbs and over the next few years opened 3 more branches. In 1987 he sold out to Royal Insurance, who owned William H Brown, and became their regional MD responsible for 65 branches, gaining much experience in running a bigger businesses in the process. Russell left in 1990 and in 1991 founded Manning & Company covering North Leeds, and in 2000 merged with Staintons to form Manning Stainton. The business now employs over 200 people, operating from 18 Sales and Lettings branches, and 3 specialist departments, including Mortgages, Conveyancing and Auctions, across Leeds, Harrogate and Wakefield. The Company, which has an annual turnover of over £10m, is widely recognised as one of the top 20 leading independent agencies in the UK and has won a multitude of National Awards including Northern Estate Agency of the Year 3 years in a row.