CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER:
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MOD, WHITEHALL, LONDON)

Initially contracted for 4 months as a trouble-shooter to save £18.4 Billion MOD transformation programme: this programme was failing due to lack of senior cooperation and poor focus on risk; I visited each of the [largely antagonistic and uncooperative] 23 major stakeholders to identify their core issues to identify synergies and opportunities for economies of scale if they were to operate on a combined basis.

Following a hallowing experience where my initial plan was decimated by the above 23 acting in concert; the second version received critical acclaim from the same stakeholders and was later accepted at the highest levels within the Treasury and Downing Street. The MOD subsequently extended my contract by another 40 months to drive implementation.

I subsequently planned and delivered 51 M&A projects with 21,000 staff working across 44 locations; I led all planning, valuation, restructuring, regulation and integration factors leading to a mix of privatisation and outsourcing by way of both PPP / PFI programmes; I subsequently wrote the initial ITN, undertook stakeholder convergence and finally took offering prospectus to the  global markets; obtained BAFO of £14 Billion offer from preferred bidding consortia: achieved £4 Billion savings for the MOD.

Business Leadership & Operations Management

Successfully integrated a complex mosaic of antagonistic stakeholders reluctant to lose authority and resources arising from integration of cherished traditions; achieved by mix of diplomatic negotiation, promotion of benefits and enforced behaviour.

Developed a multidimensional financial, operational and reputational risk assessment tool for high value programmes/finance; triangulating risk, probability and impact, underpinned by Monte Carlo analysis.

The result was the rationalisation of 51 replicated training sites and functions into six. My role required me to:

  • Manage and coordinate 700 programme staff (mix of civil servant, senior military & consultants) with Whitehall based PMO of 23.
  • Lead on the identification and integration of diverse language, culture, training and IT systems into a common framework mutually acceptable to the Royal Navy, Army, RAF, Police, Intelligence and Logistics functions of the Ministry of Defence.
  • Chair influential £2 Billion ‘Risk and Change Management’ Board; successfully created change plans, influenced/shaped progress; identified and managed pre-close risk portfolio of estate, FM and plant.
  • Deputy Chairman of ‘Estate Management Board’ responsible for £1 Billion of renovation and construction of office, teaching/training, hotel and sports facilities.

New Business Development & Marketing

Led successful £1.8 Bn negotiations to fund international/3rd party ‘Income Generation’ needs with BAE Systems, Raytheon, QinetiQ, Carillion, Lufthansa, Thales, VT, Serco as well as the Pakistan, China and Saudi governments.

Key Engagements & Relationships

Negotiated alongside DCDS(Pers), to:

  • Obtain Treasury & Downing Street permissions to commit MOD to £14 Billion spend of ‘new money’.

Achieve £1 Billion design, build and FM services agreement with bidders, reducing FM costs by 18%.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE:
CLARIDGE MANAGEMENT

International consultancy Claridge deliver a multitude of projects found by the Senior Partner. This boutique dealmaker/rainmaker firm specializes in conceptualising opportunity and delivering projects informally arranged between political, commercial, military and other leaders.

I was brought in to provide strategic and operational rigour to genius Executive Chairman / rainmaker (Howard Ash) who was overwhelmed with opportunity arising from his global network of political and business leaders; using our (mutually very extensive) contacts we focused upon opportunities in ‘waste into energy’, photovoltaic, IT, health / probiotic foods, Homeland Security and Defence: channelling knowledge and value.

Howard Ash stepped down to become the Non-Executive Chairman to ensure I became the primary driving force behind growth of this boutique dealmaker/rainmaker firm.

  • Held full P&L accountability.
  • Managed all aspects of internal and external operations.
  • Assisted with new business development, sales and marketing.
  • Responsible for IT, financial planning / reporting, operating / capital budgeting, customer relations.
  • Provided managerial oversight to large, complex engagements.

Business Leadership & Operations Management

  • Authored and executed business plan, built organizational structure; contributing vision and leadership;
  • Contracted as CEO to create EU’s first commercial supercomputer’, achieving 120 teraflops power, used hardware and software loaned by Apple with cloud configuration minimising infrastructure and running costs; accessible in 61 cities across 19 nations;
  • Assembled a team of consultants with senior / hands-on experience in marketing, branding, risk and product management with industry expertise in construction, oil, insurance, Defence, Homeland Security, banking and hospitality.

New Business Development & Marketing

Contracted to launch extremely low cost concentrated photovoltaic product as ‘Chief Operations Officer’ and prepared £20m offering prospectus for UK and EU investment markets;

  • Led successful $300m negotiations with Albanian officials for construction permission and licenses to operate hotel, casino and racecourse with integrated marina;
  • Contracted with Chinese/Beijing firm to export bean-concentrate health food into US and UK;
  • Promoted waste-into-energy into China (26 cities) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
  • Negotiating Israeli laser mine detector for sale to UK and US forces; arranging UK to test during mine clearance operations in the Balkans;

Key Engagements & Relationships

Personally targeted and secured 30% of firm’s clients following the Chairman’s liaison with business and political connections. New clients include Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President of Albania, NATO, HP, Microsoft, WFEL Ltd, UK MOD, UK Home Office, DTI, NATO, US State Dept., DoD/Pentagon, others.

  • Determined market opportunity, go-to-market strategy and development priorities; realigned focus of marketing and development plans to maximize perceived value / willingness-to-pay.
  • Seconded to NATO (Iraq) to develop 16-nation support plan to buttress local forces as US withdraws.
  • Developed Iraq Offset programme to support economic development and inward investment
  • Obtained rapid agreement for bilateral UK-USMC language training using contacts within FCO and GCHQ in order to rationalise the delivery of ‘hard to learn’ languages using my concept of ‘Operational Capability Language Training’ (I am pleased to report that this concept was fully developed by genius Katherine (Kathy) Girling; this capability-led approach is now used by UK and US Special Forces and other western intelligence services).

Developed and delivered training programme for ‘Offset Trading’ [new concept] to Consensus Business Group in order that Vincent Tchenguiz could setup global bourse for Offset Trades.

SINOBRIDGE

Sinobridge is a CNY 120 million (UK£12 million) training consultancy once owned by the Chinese government and now in private ownership by a member of the ruling family; Sinobridge hosts Chinese officials, from all provinces and major cities on formal and informal visits to the UK (when Chinese officials reach a certain rank they are encouraged to come to the UK for 5-6 weeks in order to develop an understanding of British and European culture in order to better understand western business methods).

Since 1998, I have hosted c120 senior officials each year, advising them on UK and EU business culture, economic and industry trends, European leadership style and British management processes.

In May 2011 I was appointed Non-Executive Chairman (May 2011); my duties are largely ceremonial.

In October 2015 it was unexpectedly announced that I was a ‘Friend of China’ by the Chinese ‘Ambassador to the Court of St James’ (London) during the state visit of the President of China, Xi Jinping, to the UK, after I had trained his key staff in British etiquette and table manners immediately prior to their state dinner with HM Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron at Buckingham Palace.

ARMY RESERVE (PREVIOUSLY THE ‘TERRITORIAL ARMY’(TA))

A long-term second and parallel career conducted mostly at weekends and evenings as a means of keeping fit, developing leadership skills and having an active social/business network; now working with 300+ senior business/TA officers and 800+ defence/MOD staff.  Attend winter/summer Royal Balls at Buckingham Palace and attend royal garden parties, embassy/consulate events and much else.

After just 34 months in the rank of Major I received promotion to Lieutenant Colonel; following promotion I was frequently asked to trouble-shoot across Whitehall – assisting the Ministry of Defence, HM Treasury, FCO and Cabinet Office:

  • Twice commanded 200,000 Iraqi Police, Intelligence (iCIA), National Police, Border Police, Iraqi Ministry of the Interior and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, with the authority of the Iraqi Prime Minister (xxx) and General David Petraeus.
  • Directed 4,500 staff within 16 Air Assault Brigade as the J3 Operations Officer.
  • Successfully commanded 450 soldiers in the Netherlands, winning international war-games.
  • Led Army international desk (Whitehall) for Central & Eastern Europe (CEE / CIS nations); managing all Defence Advisors attached to 59 embassies and consulates; successfully introduced new secure communications system.
  • One of few Reservists to hold highly sought after (by Regular Army officers) NATO appointment as the Liaison Officer [Ambassador] representing the 3-star General that commands the NATO ‘Allied Rapid Reaction Corps’ (ARRC) to the 1st US Armoured Division.
  • Held J4 Logistics appointment for two years with 16 Air Assault Brigade (the UK’s premier rapid deployment force of attach helicopters and the parachute regiment) successful coordinating fuel, food, water and medical supplies supporting 38 helicopters, 400+ vehicles, an air-mobile hospital and 10,300 men and women.
  • Successfully led TA element of Pan-Army “Review of Soldier Career Training & Education” (ROSCTE), reducing war-related casualty/injuries with renewed focus upon skills needed for Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Spearheading development of a national IT skills-tracking system (Forge), linked to ARTD, Schools, DETS(A), Land and all TA units to Company/Squadron level; recording the delivery of individual and collective training/skills.
  • Reviewed global travel budget for 3-star General at an Army HQ and reduced his costs by £1m pa;
  • Successfully arranged military diplomatic missions to/from the UK, organised training of CEE ‘foreign’ military personnel, hosted high-ranking USA, GE, Chinese and Nepalese officials during official trips to the UK, and arranged bilateral military staff exchanges.

Agreed ‘Defence Offset’ funding formula with DESO and various Military Attachés and consulates to support Army ‘International Defence Training’ (IDT(A)) costs with 23 CEE nations.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE: OMNETA LTD

The first Pan-European commercial supercomputer built, tested and accessible in 19 nations/64 cities in just 14 months.

CEO OMNETA Ltd (part time for first 9 months) fulltime for 18 months. A £12 million VC and PE funded start up. Setup Omneta on a part-time basis during my final months with the MOD. Fulltime as CEO for 18 months

Omneta provided a diverse range of services centred on a highly secure, multi-site supercomputer enabling and maintaining the highest levels of personal, physical, commercial and national security levels; creating a revolutionary, cost-effective, highly efficient facility, used by governments, commercial organisations and academia.

  • Operated one of the world’s fastest computers.
  • Remarkably cost efficient and cost effective.
  • Robust, infinitely scalable, very secure infrastructure.
  • Security cleared staff (individually security-vetted by a leading NATO country).
  • Ultra-secure locations.

Based in secret, ultra-secure, bombproof centres, the Omneta supercomputer, powered by several thousand servers and RAID storage systems, directly connected to the high speed Interoute network to 61 major cities in nineteen countries; enabling customers to access Omneta’ s phenomenal power from their computer desktop.

Collapsed as 2007-8 recession started to bite and key customers did not buy as they had promised.

COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR:
CALEDONIAN AND LONDON ENTERPRISES LTD (CALE)

As Commercial Director my role was to be the [part-time] commercial lead for CALE, a company formed as a ‘special purpose vehicle’ (SPV) for the acquisition and development of logistics firms across Europe.

Following several years of not progressing Gerry Edwards (Chairman, CALE) engaged me to be his commercial trouble-shooter: my role being to refine his concept, develop a commercial strategy and help him present it to logistic companies, VC firms and government officials.

  • Following my input, CALE sought to form a consortium of firms willing to be active partners.
  • Following a visit to all EU countries, we obtained heads of agreements from Chairman and CEOs of 29 leading logistics firms (e.g. Red Star Parcels, Panther, Simarco, Delamode and DB Schenker Logistics, etc.).
  • The consortium obtained options to buy and develop a rail depot alongside Liège Airport in order to construct a Pan-European logistics hub centralising the load/ transfer of goods between EU countries.

On the back of these agreements and the option to both buy and develop the depot, CALE raised £112 million in VC and PE funding including £56 million of matched funding as a soft loan from the Walloon government; this was insufficient to complete the construction phase and after two years the project collapsed.

DIRECTOR OF COMMERCIAL PROJECTS:
SUN ALLIANCE PLC (SUBSIDIARY: LPC CONSULTANTS LTD)

Chief Trouble-Shooter for a business crisis turnaround consultancy supporting clients of Sun Alliance. Employed to trouble-shoot businesses facing survival issues; identifying the problem, derive strategy, sell strategy to Board of ailing business and then appoint and lead project teams. LPC (£12m pa sales) was acquired by Sun Alliance to help protect own revenue by supporting subsidiaries, ailing clients and investments during the recession.

The senior ‘Trouble-shooter’ and ‘Rainmaker’ within this international turnaround consultancy; directed (70 staff) turnaround/strategic help for SME & FTSE firms, invested businesses and clients. I was employed to meet clients, quickly assess their problem, develop a turnaround solution with a high probability of success, convince the firm of the solution, contract and then assign, brief and monitor the delivery of field consultants.

  • Maintained £12m pa sales during recession; saved £64m for Sun Alliance from turnaround of investments.
  • Led (as CEO Pro-Tem, 250 staff) turnaround of BP Nutrient subsidiary; £30m t/o, £2m losses reversed to £2m profits in <90 days by renegotiating contracts and cutting costs.
  • Led privatisation of 2 DfES offices, creating TECs with £55m sales led on strategy & market research.
  • Raised £122m (VC and soft loan) for 2 companies for Pan-European freight handling centre in Brussels.

New Business Development and Strategies

  • Managed a well-crafted turnaround strategy for clients to rapidly achieve financial breakeven; typically involved removing costs, restructuring finances and redefining strategic objectives – often calling for building a stronger management team, making acquisitions or devising an exit strategy;
  • Used data-intensive strategic and financial review of underperforming business streams; usually reorganized to preserve shareholder value by hiring new management team / shrink to profitability;
  • Did not typically/instantly recommend across-the-board cost cuts or the elimination of all discretionary spending. Instead, investigated where and how a company could invest strategically or redefine its relationships to decrease spending and/or increase sales.
  • Director Commercial Projects (aka CEO) £90 Billion Financial Services (Subsidiary: Strategy & Management Consultancy).
  • Led privatisation of 2 DWP regional area offices, creating 2 TECs each with total £55m sales.
  • Raised £122m (VC + soft loan) for 2 companies for Pan-European freight handling centre in Brussels

Developed client turnaround strategies enabling underperforming companies to survive recession

CHIEF KNOWLEDGE OFFICER & HEAD OF STRATEGIC PLANNING & RESEARCH:
THAMES VALLEY ENTERPRISE LIMITED (TVE)

Head-hunted to Executive Board position vacant for 18 months due exceptional complexity of role; a mix of consultancy, economics advisor, commercial contracting; a multi-faceted trouble-shooting appointment that defied job description.

At the time I arrived, the TVE was a £28 million pa management consultancy and training business, specializing in business turnarounds and business re-engineering (e.g. increase sales / decrease costs) combined with commercial sales dealing with planning, valuation, restructuring, regulation, M&A and corporate disposals, vocational training and economic development/forecasting; TVE was part of a £1.8 Billion pa vocational training and consultancy group employing 12,000 staff. TVE employed 120 staff overseeing 130 outsourced commercial training and other business-consultancies.

I was employed to plan, predict, evaluate and improve the performance of a complex web of re-engineering, M&A and government programmes commercially delivered under contract.

My various simultaneous job titles included:

  • ‘Head of Strategic Planning & Research’
  • ‘Head of Internal Consultancy’
  • ‘Chief Knowledge Officer’
  • ‘Chief Economist’.

Business Leadership & Operations Management

I led 60-strong team of professional business consultants, research analysts and economic advisors with a top team of 3 direct reports; we achieved a national reputation amongst government and regional business leaders for analytical and prognosticative services.

  • Wrote economic development ‘Master Plan’ for eight counties in SE England.
  • Created £750m 25 year PPP/PFI plan for NHS Trust (Stoke Mandeville Hospital); I was a member of the Trust project board.
  • Created £25m IT ‘trainee tracking’ system; saved £6.2m pa on £256m sales with payback in 4yrs.

New Business Development & Marketing

  • Won £256m pa sales contract for 6yrs; researched requirements, wrote regional sales plan 4yrs;
  • Increased local sales 32% from £28m to £37m sales pa in 30 months with £2m pa marketing budget.
  • Developed national and regional brand awareness: 60-person market-analysis and research team.
  • Increased unit sales by 24% and decreased unit cost by 19% increased profits by 230%.
  • Managed £2m pa productivity, research and strategic planning portfolio

Key Engagements & Relationships

  • Achieved sought after membership of the ‘Six Wise Men’ national advisory committee as a full member of the UK government’s ‘National Resource Targeting Committee’ under both Tory and Labour governments (1996-2000)
  • Enviably appointed to national Business Link ‘Advisory Board’ and national DfES (now DWP) ‘Marketing Board’.

Seconded to ‘Regional Development Agency’ (RDA) as Chief Knowledge Officer. Wrote ‘Regional Economic Strategy’ (RES) and developed ‘Regional Spatial Plan’; briefed UK Ministers and advised EU Parliament.