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Portfolio personalities: from pop singer to portfolio career
BGF’s Talent Network has introduced 300 chairs and non-executive directors to company boards. Angela Luger recently became non-executive chair of The Paint Shed, a retailer of branded paints and accessories sold via its e-commerce site and network of stores across Scotland.
- What do you enjoy most about your job as non-executive chair?
Over my career I have been involved in a variety of businesses at very different stages of their journey, from tech start-ups to corporations such as Walmart. I enjoy being able to leverage that knowledge and experience to support management teams as they strive to develop and grow their businesses.
- What skills should a non-executive chair bring?
Excellent communication skills are imperative, and that includes active listening. In a non-operational role, the non-executive chair needs to provide insight and independent perspective to support management teams as they steer a course through challenges and opportunities to deliver the strategy. The chair needs to both challenge and motivate the team. Good communication skills help to enable that balance.
- Why did you choose to work with the team at The Paint Shed and BGF?
I like to take on opportunities where I believe in the proposition, I feel I can add value and I am excited to work with people. BGF and The Paint Shed tick all my boxes.
- What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
I joined N Brown plc with a mandate to transform a significant catalogue company with around £1 billion turnover into a relevant online retailer. This required significant change across every aspect of the business. I am proud of the team I built to deliver this transformation. In five years we took online participation from 20% to 85%.
- What’s your most embarrassing experience in your career?
In the 90s I worked for Pedigree Petfoods, part of the Mars Corporation. Early in my tenure I had the honour of organising and hosting a visit by John Franklyn Mars, chairman of the Mars corporation. Everything was planned to perfection, but with 20 minutes to go an elderly gentleman parked his Ford Fiesta in the space I had reserved. I rushed out and asked him to move his car. The gentleman politely informed me that he was John Franklyn Mars!
- What advice would you give to female founders?
Be proud of yourself, you are in a minority and are clearly bold and brave. Continue to be authentic and, most importantly, inspire and aid the next generation of female founders.
- If you weren’t doing this job what else would you do?
Another similar one! I am thoroughly enjoying my portfolio career and have managed to achieve the right balance between work time and time to pursue other interests.
- Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
I embarked on a portfolio career nearly two years ago and now work with five businesses. I am sure there will be some changes to my portfolio in the next ten years, offering me the variety and the opportunities to learn and develop that I enjoy, but I expect still to be working as a non-executive director and chair across a portfolio of companies.
- Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
In the 80s I was a singer in a little-known pop band called the Hot Shots.
- Favourite film? Bridesmaids
- Your best marketing campaign? “Own It” with Lorraine Kelly for JD Williams
- First proper holiday destination post lockdown? New Zealand
- Historical person you most admire? Emmeline Pankhurst
- Line of Duty or Coronation Street? Coronation Street
- Favourite joke or quotation? “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi
Supporting business in your region
BGF has invested more than £250 million in businesses across Scotland, including high tech lasers in Glasgow and family housebuilders in Fife.
Overall, BGF has invested £2.5 billion in more than 400 businesses in the UK and Ireland.
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