Shape

Grasping detail and seeing the big picture

Often when a new chairman is appointed, it is essential they offer advice without disturbing a business ecosystem that already works. 

Four Communications, a leading independent communications agency, received £10m of growth capital from BGF in July 2015 to accelerate its expansion.

As part of the investment, Four’s chairman Chris O’Donoghue stood down after 14 years, but remains a significant shareholder. BGF suggested three candidates to succeed him and Four chose John Farrell, who has worked for some of the world’s biggest advertising groups.

Four’s chief executive, Nan Williams, is very task orientated and concentrates on running the day-to-day processes of the business.  John came from another side of the marketing services field and had operated at a much more international level. John’s experience was immediately valued by Nan, who wanted someone from a different background in the chair – fifty per cent of Four’s business comes from cross-selling integrated services.

Here, in The Telegraph’s Two’s Company series, Nan and John talk through how they work together, and how Jon challenges Nan and Four’s senior management team constructively:

Two’s Company – Grasping detail and seeing the big picture.

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