Back in January Neil Taylor received a phone call which he’d not been expecting, but one which set him on the path for rewarding new chapter in his career.
Having led East Yorkshire-based Bankside Patterson as managing director for 14 years, helping the business achieve a 75 per cent share of the UK Holiday Home Chassis market and through sale in 2019, he admits he had started looking for fresh challenge.
At the same time, Emmerson Kitney had been handed the task of finding a suitable candidate to step into the shoes of Brocklesby Ltd owner Rob Brocklesby as managing director.
The business owner was looking to reduce his day to day involvement at the leading waste food recycling company, having built it into a £16.8m business.
That requirement saw Emmerson Kitney carry out detailed research within their network to identify a number of suitable board level candidates, of which Mr Taylor was one.
“I had started to consider a fresh new challenge in my career and had been talking to Emmerson Kitney. I was also considering investing into a business when I was contacted by Emmerson Kitney and told there was an opportunity locally which they felt I could be well matched to, ” said Mr Taylor.
“It was presented very well to me as to why it could be the next best step for me in my career and why it suited my skills and experience, and I was keen to explore the opportunity so I went to meet the owner Rob Brocklesby. I immediately knew it was a challenge which I liked and I felt it was a good fit.
“The business had done very well and grown through significant investment in recent years, but was also facing significant immediate challenges as it had suffered a major fire last December. This was also around the time of Covid-19 starting to take a grip, so it was a double setback to overcome.
“I was delighted to be successful and secure the position and I feel this was largely because Emmerson Kitney had understood more than just the skillsets required for the job, but also the personalities involved.
“They were able to identify that I was a good fit to work with the team at Brocklesby and step into the shoes of someone who had done a tremendous job as Rob had, to help him take a step back from the business.
“I think my track record of having steered a business from loss to a strong profit, and through a sale, was also crucial in me securing the role.”
Business has rebuilt after fire and bolstered sales
Four months on from his appointment and Mr Taylor says he is delighted to have made the move.
“I loved my time with Bankside Patterson and I am hugely proud of what we achieved but a new challenge really does invigorate and we have achieved so much in such a short time at Brocklesby given the impact of the fire last Christmas and the Covid-19 situation,” he said.
“We have reinvested into a major rebuild of the site following the fire, which includes £1.5m of our own money alongside insurance funds, to ensure we can enhance of capability and capacity. Our sales have also surpassed where they were prior to lockdown in March which is a tremendous achievement.
“The business is dedicated to constantly innovating and developing products and working to find new solutions which meet our customers’ needs. That is an exciting and rewarding way to work.
“Further down the line we hope to be looking at more growth and expansion, and that will mean recruiting more people to develop the business further.
“That is something I’ll certainly be looking to involve the team at Emmerson Kitney with, both in terms of helping us identify the roles required, and then finding the best suited people to fit the business and drive our profits.”
David Kitney, managing director at Emmerson Kitney, said: “Neil was someone we had a long-standing relationship with and when Rob said he needed a new managing director we instantly knew Neil could well be the perfect fit. I am pleased for both Neil and Rob.
“We are delighted to hear how well things are working out for Neil and Brocklesby given our role in identifying him as a suitable candidate, and in advising the company with regards to his appointment.
“This was a very specific recruitment board level appointment which a limited number of people would have been suited given the circumstances in which an owner who had built a very successful family business was looking to step back from his day to day involvement and hand over key responsibilities.
“It is an appointment which simply had to be got right and we feel our knowledge of the regional market at this high level was key.
“A fit of board level management experience, a track record of growing a business and operating within the SME sector was obviously a major attribute being sought, but equally in this case was the need to find a suitable fit culture and personality wise.
“It is why we use many techniques, including specialist leading international recognised work and personality behavioral profiling tools, to fully understand the candidates we identify and suggest, and why our track record is so strong in terms of how well those appointments do at their new employers.”