This year I was surprised, flattered and delighted to be included in The Sunday Times/Debrett's 500 Most Influential People in the UK.
Something I could never have imagined when I first started my life in advertising.
For 13 years I had the privilege of working at some of the best agencies in London – Y&R, CDP and JWT. In 1993, in need of a change, I bought out the founding partners of Kendall Tarrant. My ambition from day one was to try to take the business of headhunting onto a different plane.
Kendall Tarrant grew quickly and in 1996 I floated the company on the London stock market in order to raise the money to build a global business that could partner agencies around the world.
Over the next few years we opened offices in New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Australia. Kendall Tarrant became the pre-eminent global headhunting firm in the communications sector.
In 2006 having tired of running a public company, I took the very difficult decision to leave to set up a different kind of offering. An offering that concentrated solely on senior briefs and candidates around the world. Grace Blue was born in September 2006 and was blessed from day one with the support of many of the most talented and respected communications practitioners – both as clients and candidates. Support that I shall always value.
In 2012 we opened our office in the US followed by Asia in 2014.
This year I took over the Chairmanship of Liberty Blue, a company we launched to look after the younger people in the industry - those we perceive to be the future leaders.
Goodness knows why in 2014, I bought a building and developed a hotel in Ramsgate. The refurbishment of Albion House (www.albiionhouseramsgate.co.uk) has been difficult and challenging but very exciting. Once the holiday home of Queen Victoria, it is now one of the most respected hotels in Kent.
Truth is, there is only one thing I do really well and that is to pick outstanding partners. In all my businesses I am blessed with the opportunity to work with some remarkable people.