Bringing in a chairman does not mean he or she must be geographically close to make a success of the business they are overseeing.
For Jim Clark, chairman of organic waste management firm Keenan Recycling, the focus is on “quality” not “quantity”. Based in South Africa, and with years of experience in the oil and gas, IT and recycling sectors, Jim became the chairman of BGF backed Keenan Recycling in September 2015.
The Aberdeen family firm accelerated its expansion in 2015 with £2.2m of growth capital from BGF. As part of the funding, managing director Grant Keenan was introduced to Jim by BGF. Grant was keen to secure outside advice and council through a chairman who had experience in similar sectors.
Jim could offer years of experience in the acquisition of companies, and could offer Grant advice on how to navigate expanding Keenan Recycling through the acquisition of similar businesses.
Both Grant and Jim now speak regularly on the phone – swapping ideas and discussing strategies together. Although based in South Africa, Jim does have a house in Aberdeen and flies in six to eight times a year for face to face meetings with Grant.
Here, in The Telegraph’s Two’s Company series, Jim and Grant explain how they work together – and how distance is no barrier when it comes to forming a lucid business partnership together: