I make a living from working with startup and early-stage businesses, so I
have to choose who I work with very carefully. I chose to engage with SARD JV
because I saw in its founder, Kevin Monk, a genuine passion and commitment to
build a sustainable business for the long-term, and in its co-founder, Oxleas
NHS Foundation Trust, then his client, a willingness to think outside the box
in how to achieve their goals. We negotiated a joint-venture agreement, and
have moved through the tricky start-up phase into a fully self-sustaining and
rewarding business for all involved, in which the personal qualities which
first attracted me are now firmly rooted in the culture of the company: SARD JV
is caring, forward-looking, responsive and adaptive.
With 30 years experience, spread equally over public and private sectors,
I’m the gray-hair in the team, and help balance the perspectives of the
stakeholders, maximise alignment of interests and avoid the common pitfalls in
a growth-oriented business. Starting out as an academic theoretical chemist,
my earlier career has moved through: systems programming, software development,
intelligence and security services interests in technology, technology research
& development programmes, government contracting, the introduction of digital
television, digital convergence and regulation, and business development,
finance, venture capital investment, turnaround and exit (M&A/Flotation).
I founded Haven Ventures in the UK in 2002, and we now operate the same model
of collaborative business development, investment and turnaround services in
the UK and six countries in Latin America and more recently Africa.