Portfolio personalities: the rifle-shooting, medal-winning managing director
Susan Jackson is joint managing director of Campion Homes, a family-owned Scottish housebuilder. In 2016, the business received a multi-million pound investment from BGF to accelerate its growth plans.
1. How long have you been with the company?
Since July 2013. My father formed the business in 1989.
2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
My leadership role is so varied and I interact across so many different areas of the business every day. I really enjoy the opportunity to work alongside our great team. One day I can be working with our finance team on financial planning, next day with the sales team working on our marketing strategy, and after that engaging with our HR team on how we can further develop our company values and behaviours. Never a dull moment!
3. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at the business?
Definitely Covid-19 and the resulting business shutdown that took place in March 2020. The sudden closure of the housebuilding and construction industry was incredibly challenging for all our clients, workforce and the leadership team. We knew we were in the same position as so many industries across the country, but at the time the focus had to be on our people and our clients and ensuring the business weathered the storm as best it could.
4. Why did you choose BGF as a funding partner?
BGF offered the flexible, long-term funding that we were seeking at the time of their investment. The funding was structured in such a way to support the development of the business that we planned at that time.
5. What’s changed since BGF came on board?
Our business has grown significantly since we took on the BGF funding. Turnover has grown from £14.5 million in 2016 to £41 million by 2021. This growth has been aided by the secure funding base we have from BGF, but also through the wider support and guidance we have received from our non-executives, who joined the team at the same time.
6. What advice would you give to other managing directors?
Listen carefully to everybody around you, lead with purpose and conviction, and trust your instincts.
7. If you weren’t doing this job what else would you do?
My background is in finance, so if I wasn’t immersed in the housebuilding sector I would probably be back working in the world of corporate finance, using my experience of helping to build a business to support others to do the same.
8. Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
I like to think I will be leading an established, well respected housebuilding company and planning how the next generation can develop it further – whether that be family members or other younger future leaders of our business. And maybe spending more time on my skis!
9. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I won a medal for Scotland at three consecutive Commonwealth Games in the sport of target rifle shooting.
- Top destination to visit in 2022? The Alps.
- Favourite book? A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
- Four “celebrities” you would invite for dinner? Sebastian Coe, Michelle Obama, Paula Radcliffe, Daniel Craig.
- Historical person you most admire? Eric Liddell – the athlete immortalised in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
- Favourite joke or quotation? “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
- Beach or country? Beach. I love the sea, being in it, on it or just walking alongside it.
- What did you want to be when you grew up? An Olympic skier.
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