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Portfolio personalities: A kitchen maker who’s not afraid to sweat
Behind every great business is a great management team. Here, we profile the CEOs and business leaders who run our portfolio companies. Eamon Donnelly is chief executive of Northern Ireland-based kitchen component supplier Uform, which joined the portfolio in 2019.
- How long have you been with the company?
Since the company was initiated in February 1993.
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
Bringing new and refreshing kitchen designs and finishes to market that become the real heart of people’s homes.
- What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at the business?
Managing and rebuilding the company through the recession of 2007, when revenue fell by almost 50% in less than a year.
- Why did you choose BGF as your funding partner?
BGF is a strong partner with shared values and proven track record, who could challenge and assist the group with strategic planning and focus.
- What’s changed since BGF came on board?
Improved corporate governance, support and guidance to the board through best practices in strategic planning and financial management.
- What advice would you give to other CEOs?
You only miss with the shots you do not take. Recruit A-star employees, pay A-star wages, but expect and achieve A-star results.
- If you were not doing this job what else would you do?
Sharing knowledge about business and life. After 39 years in the industry, it would have to be in some shape or form helping small and mid-sized businesses become better at what they do, through mentoring or non-executive directorships. (Learn about BGF’s Talent Network)
- Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Travelling the world and enjoying life.
- Tell us something about yourself that most people do not know.
I used to be 17 stone. Thank goodness I am now only 11.5 (Mrs Donnelly has kept me well in check over the last 20 years).
- Favourite Bond film? Casino Royale
- Worst thing about lockdown? I love people so less social interaction.
- Best thing about lockdown? Getting to chill out in comfy clothes when working from home and getting spoiled by Mrs Donnelly.
- Historical person you most admire? Marie Curie
- Beach or country? Country. You must get in amongst it. New and diverse cultures are wonderful to see.
- Favourite joke or quotation? “Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”
Supporting business in your region
BGF has invested about £50 million in seven companies across Northern Ireland, including coffeeshop chain Bob & Berts, housebuilder Braidwater and waste manager RiverRidge.
Overall, BGF has invested nearly £2.5 billion in more than 360 businesses in the UK and Ireland.
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