CASE STUDIES

CASE STUDY

My invitation to assist GBIM:

“I was approached by Gore Browne Investment Management Ltd, in the early summer of last year, following a post I put on a private network, Radio H-P. This successful private client fund management business had grown from a small four partner firm in 2004 into a sophisticated medium sized enterprise. All of the key building blocks were in place – a great offering, high quality staff, a growing client base and a strong balance sheet. It was time to have a fresh look at the business model to ensure the firm would continue to build on these strong foundations to achieve success through robust growth in the future.

Gore Browne decided that it would be helpful to ask an experienced outsider who could present an objective perspective of the firm and its future plans. I was delighted to take up their invitation. I think it can be fairly said that, eighteen months later, the business is on a very firm footing, and I have no doubt that GBIM will go from strength to strength. Having got to know all the staff well, and some of their very happy clients, I asked them to help with some of my family’s affairs. I can wholeheartedly endorse them. They have six core principles driving every decision they make, and their clients best interests are in the forefront of their minds at all times.”

 And here is the review from the Directors of GBIM:

“In early 2017, it was clear to everyone at GBIM that, having grown successfully for more than a decade, as a matter of good practice we should review our business plan to ensure that we continued to provide the best possible service to our clients with their changing expectations and requirements. We felt it could be helpful to have some outside help from someone who could provide an outsider’s perspective of the business and perhaps challenge some of our (inevitable) preconceived ideas. Ed Wood came highly recommended, and we therefore decided to approach him.

His wonderfully diligent and detailed approach – to both the business and, as importantly, all of the members of the firm – almost immediately brought results and a clearer path towards our new business plan. Ed is not afraid to challenge the status quo and be totally up front and honest about the situation he finds. The greatest strength of a business like ours is its people, and, within a few weeks, Ed had spoken to, and had a detailed knowledge of, all members of staff. He handled the whole process with great care and ensured that everyone knew exactly what he was trying to achieve. We are all very grateful for his help and support during this process and would thoroughly recommend him to any other business with similar requirements”.

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What People Say

“In early 2017, it was clear to everyone at GBIM that, having grown successfully for more than a decade, as a matter of good practice we should review our business plan to ensure that we continued to provide the best possible service to our clients with their changing expectations and requirements. We felt it could be helpful to have some outside help from someone who could provide an outsider’s perspective of the business and perhaps challenge some of our (inevitable) preconceived ideas. Ed Wood came highly recommended, and we therefore decided to approach him. His wonderfully diligent and detailed approach – to both the business and, as importantly, all of the members of the firm – almost immediately brought results and a clearer path towards our new business plan. Ed is not afraid to challenge the status quo and be totally up front and honest about the situation he finds. The greatest strength of a business like ours is its people, and, within a few weeks, Ed had spoken to, and had a detailed knowledge of all members of staff. He handled the whole process with great care and ensured that everyone knew exactly what he was trying to achieve. We are all very grateful for his help and support during this process and would thoroughly recommend him to any other business with similar requirements”.

Bertie Gore Browne, Co Founder, Gore Browne Investment Management

Ed Wood of Runway has been invaluable to us here at Hogarth Architects. To have someone who is not only entrepreneurial but also a Chartered Accountant by trade is the ultimate combination for a business. He provides utterly sound advice, reassurance, has a wealth of solid experience and can give an alternative opinion when the bigger picture is needed. We retain Ed on a monthly basis as we highly value his regular visits, telephone advice and unrelenting cheerfulness and positivity. Every business should have an Ed if they want to thrive!

Claire Farrow, Director, Hogarth Architects Ltd

Having come to business rather late in life, Ed presented me with myriad ways in which I could change and update the smooth running of my business. Although I was immensely slow to pick up his ideas, he didn’t browbeat me at all for which I was very grateful. I have now put many of his ideas in place. And, at least I know that the ones, which I haven’t yet used, do exist. For anyone looking for someone with a sympathetic, but steely, overview of how to smooth the running of their business and give them a hundred and one ideas to improve its efficiency, Ed is definitely the most useful advisory cost around!

Vivien Stratton, Vivien Stratton Homeopathy.

Ed came into our lives 18 months ago as a mentor to our family business. He is a true gentleman, with the outstanding ability to engineer a difficult situation into one of clarity, with a result that suits us all. He is cool, calm and collected, with the ability to help in all aspects of business – from drawing up a business plan to helping to resolve petty issues.

Dr Thomas Marshall-Manifold, Managing Director, The Wimbledon Clinic of Natural Medicine

Ed has been an indispensable business partner in the last few years. His diligence, attention to detail and clarity of thought have brought great dividends, as we have moved projects forward significantly. Moreover, his incisive approach to inevitable challenges, creating instant solutions, has been a revelation. As a strategic thinker and business associate, I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Adrian Zagoritis, Founder, Hummingbird Music

It has been a great pleasure to have Ed working on our team over the past two years. And his wise counsel and considered opinion have been immensely helpful in getting our business on the right track.

George Baker, Managing Partner, George Baker Racing LLP

Ed and I were business partners/co directors in Commercial Estates Group Limited, and in a predecessor company, in the late 1980s into the early 1990s. Ed, who was Chairman/Head of Investment, was great fun to work with, highly motivational internally and externally, and gave it his all in getting deals done. The deal doing was based on a sound Strategy and Business planning that he had developed beforehand. He managed the business with great skill and style. As a consequence of our happy times together in business we have remained good friends since.

Gerard Versteegh, Chairman, Commercial Estates Group

Ed has served as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appointed trustee to the Magdalen Hospital Trust for over thirty years. During that time he has contributed much in very many ways and especially in helping steer through various changes within the trust, giving wise judgements as to our choice of bequests to many charities, and providing sound advice as to our appointment of stockbrokers, bankers and accountants.

Diana Lazenby, Chairman, The Magdalen Hospital Trust

I have worked with Ed on Rural Consultancy and have found that, with his incisive business acumen, and his strategic overview, his work helps to bring added value. I have no hesitation in recommending him.

Johnny Dudgeon, Director, Rural, Savills

I have been impressed with Ed’s gravitas as the chairman of trustees’ meetings, controlling 10 others often with conflicting views. His knowledge of the issues facing rural estates is strong and he provides many insightful comments. He is charming and diplomatic and I would be very happy to recommend his services.

Mark Chatterton, Partner, Duncan & Toplis Chartered Accountants

I have known Ed for twenty five years, both from a professional standpoint as his banker, in the early days, and also socially. I have always found him to be honest, a keen negotiator, and, most of all, a man with strong entrepreneurial flair. If we ever needed this kind of talent to boost our economy and to find work for young people, then it is certainly now.

Ray Entwistle, Founder, Hampden & Company, PLC

Ed is great. He has boundless energy and, most importantly, he cuts to the chase.

Mark Arkwright, Chairman, Gore Browne Investment Management Ltd

Ed is a guardian angel, who popped out of my inbox, at an unearthly hour, when I was down on my knees a few weeks ago. He really is a godsend!

Allison Rodger, Allison Rodger Designs Ltd

Ed came in to revivify Scumble Goosie, which was close to failing, losing its way after 20 years. Ed worked alongside the sales and marketing team to oversee the rebranding of the company and the creation of a full e-commerce website. He also introduced financial forecasting and planning as well as new systems and controls. Ed brought an invaluable rigour and discipline to the business, which had been lacking. His involvement, together with pure hard work, helped to restore the business to good health, and to grow it in a recession.

Robert Cain, Partner, Scumble Goosie LLP

Ed is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He has assisted me in an honest and friendly manner. The contribution he has made to the company has been invaluable. I look forward to working together with him into the future.

Brian Shaddick, Founder & CEO, My Ultimate Dream Ltd

I have worked with Ed on a sensitive business restructure and found his ability to understand and communicate long-term strategic planning issues a significant aspect in moving the business forward. He has good business acumen and the ability to apply diplomacy to difficult business situations.

Andrew Wraith, Director, Agribusiness, Rural, Savills

Ed is very thorough with a task, full of energy and enthusiasm as well as having excellent people management skills and a good sense of humour (essential at times!). He is diplomatic in dealing with tricky people, and has helped to smooth the way in difficult situations. His accounting background is extremely useful as we looked at ways to diversify and move the Oxton Estate forward. He is a creative thinker, entrepreneurial and solution-orientated. He has made a significant contribution to the future direction of the Estate.

Andrea O’Donnell, Trustee, The Oxton Estate

I want to strongly endorse Ed’s qualities and capabilities as a strategic advisor to growing companies. He is blessed with wise judgement, considerable tactical and negotiating skills and, most importantly, complete integrity. Having worked shoulder to shoulder with him on a long and complex transaction recently, I have no doubt as to the depth of both his professional and personal qualities.

Jan Pilkington Miksa, Principal, Ilex Associates

Having Ed as part of the team, available to guide us through some of our strategic decisions, has been invaluable. He brings a broad wealth of knowledge and constant professionalism, which has been vital in helping us to stay focused as a management team, and in ensuring that the milestones we set ourselves are delivered – both his experience and contributions are highly valued and recommended.

Tom Mason, Managing Director, YouSoft

Dedicated and determined, Ed is singularly and aggressively solution-focused, with the stamina to get results.

Christopher Ives, Managing Director, Heddon Projects Ltd

Ed is great. He brings a rare combination of sagacity and directness, coupled to a vast network – he can be relied upon to cut to the heart of a matter and resolve it.

James Farha, Managing Partner, James Farha Associates

Ed has been a huge help to me in my new business over the last six months. He is brilliant at steering you in the right direction and really helping you focus on, and prioritise, what needs to be done in order to make serious progress. His support has been, and continues to be, huge. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs business guidance and direction.

Panda Christie, Managing Director, The Grapevine Works

In the months since we’ve been working with Ed, we can honestly say we are in a much better place with our business.  We have come a very long way and are on a very good course. We now have a 3 year plan in place, a marketing plan that works and generally more efficient and streamlined systems in place. Ed provided sage advice, was a great sounding board and kept us moving forward at a critical time in our business.  There is no substitute for experience and enthusiasm both of which Ed has in bucket loads.

Edward Burke, Managing Director, Seventy Ten Travel

I have known Ed for over 35 years, and worked with him as Co-Director of Residential Holdings Plc throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s. He is a man of huge integrity, who works well under pressure, and for whom nothing, and nobody, is too much trouble.
He is also unselfish, and giving, and loves nothing more than working through a problem in a creative and innovative way. In addition, he is a formidable communicator, and good with people from all walks of life, as well as being reliable and honest to a fault.

Nikki Shale, Joint Managing Director Residential Holdings Plc

I have been fortunate in knowing Ed for over 10 years. During this time I have worked with him on a broad range of fund raisings and business development projects. His experience, expertise, and breadth of skills are far wider than his origins as an accountant might suggest. He is capable of providing wise counsel on pretty much any corporate issue, because he has the knack of being able to look forensically inside companies, quickly identifying their particular problems, opportunities and solutions. Ed is a man of rare integrity, which might explain his extraordinary network, covering so many different sectors. He is also great fun to work with – something which to me is just so important – when working relationships are enjoyable, much more can get done quickly.

David Hutton

Ed has been an immensely helpful and thoughtful Chairman of our Advisory Board. He always has the long-term success of our company in mind, and I have appreciated his unswerving determination to ensure that we tackle difficult issues head on in order to progress. Ed is strategic, solution-oriented but also exceptionally good with people. He has chaired our board meetings with vigour and meticulous attention to detail but also with considerable charm, always leading to an energetic and useful exchange of ideas. He has been very generous with useful and relevant introductions to those in his own network. Most importantly, Ed has been a loyal confidante who I have never hesitated to call upon for advice. He always follows up and pushes you to do more. I will happily recommend these qualities to others.

Shomik Panda, Founder & Managing Director Inline Policy

With the wisdom of his experience and instinct for people, Ed immediately enhanced – and tactfully corrected – our approach.  The desired results ensued, and in with the bargain has been a master class in strategic communication.  Thoughtfully incisive and assiduously professional, Ed seems to have a 360 knack for whistling energetically through or over any scenario to re-orient and resolve it with pinpoint panache.

Jonathan Pegg, Managing Director Jonathan Pegg Literary Agency

I work with Ed assisting a complex business conglomerate, where we jointly hold Non Executive roles. I have always found him to be perceptive, prepared and questioning. He is very adept at quickly getting to the issue at hand, suggesting a resolution and agreeing the way forward. Often acting as Chairman, he is effective at marshalling legal and other advisors – as well as executives – and carrying the meeting with him. His work has helped to transform, for the good, the performance of the organisation. He is particularly knowledgeable about property matters, but also has a natural business instinct which I believe makes him valuable in any business forum. In my opinion, his experience and energy would always be useful where a business needs direction, strategy and guidance. He is always invariably charming and courteous, and a pleasure to deal with.

Robert Mason, Partner The Management Buy Out Centre LLP

Ed is cool calm and collected, resourceful and rigidly reliable. A Chartered Accountant by training, he is a highly effective, solution orientated, businessman with a forensic attitude to detail and assessment. He indulges his clients with his considerable experience, know-how and analytical processing, making him a quite exceptionally able mentor.

Martin Horsford, Managing Director TEEC Operations

Ed has been a helpful sounding board as I have developed my plans over the last year.  He is a good listener and responsive whenever needed, demonstrating a prodigious work rate, but he does not misuse valuable time. He is not shy to take, support and follow up tough decisions which managers of new businesses, or those close to challenging situations, so often struggle with. His business instinct, financial knowledge and network are very strong and I would commend him as a business partner.

James Drace-Francis

Outdoor events are by nature high risk businesses that demand dispassionate decisions based on the facts. Over the last three years, Ed has helped the Standon Calling music festival make the right calls during high stakes moments. His calm assurance, experience and solution orientated strategic advice have been invaluable in growing Standon Calling into a leading UK festival. Most importantly, he is great to work with – both warm and tough when he needs to be – a real people person who is always happy to share knowledge gained during his long career.

Alexander Trenchard, Founder & Creative Director Standon Calling Ltd

I have worked closely with Ed for the last two years on a number of projects. I have always held him in the highest regard and can testify first-hand to his exceptional work rate, diligence, attention to detail and common sense. He adds huge value to any organisation, whether an established entity or an early start-up. I would not hesitate to commend his integrity and professionalism – as a compassionate and intelligent human being – in dealing with clients and colleagues alike.

Edward Moodie, Managing Partner Marine & Aviation Finance International

We have worked with Ed for a year now, ‘professionalising’ the business. This has involved assigning job descriptions to each employee, developing and implementing a tailor-made conveyor belt system to track our restoration processes from instruction to completion, and improving and updating our computer systems for greater efficiency; we’ve delved into, and analysed our finances, and Ed has helped us to develop both an immediate and a longer term plan. We’re already seeing great results in organisation and profitability.

Apart from being an extremely nice person to work with, Ed is an intuitive and quick problem solver, asking pertinent questions and coming up with realistic solutions. He brings with him a huge amount of experience. I highly recommend him to any business looking for an outsider’s view with the input to match.

Simon Gillespie, Managing Director Simon Gillespie Studio

Ed’s contribution has been subtle: part granular analysis, part strategic thinking, part informed sounding board, part friendly encouragement and support. He was at his best in flushing out all the interconnected factors that had come together to create the particular crisis he was asked to consider. His part in the solution was as much psychological as it was empirical. As a business owner, the answer is always within yourself. But having Ed alongside means that, at the very least, you have confirmation as to what needs to be done, and, crucially, in what order.

John Rawlinson, Managing Director Oakbeam UK

More sophisticated young campaigners quickly develop their own ability to identify and separate the mere wordsmiths from the seasoned campaigners whose advice and actions are informed by genuine experience. To include someone in the line-up whose own medals and battle-scars can educate and assist a business founder how to avoid the potholes in their own road ahead, is surely of huge benefit to any growing business with long term ambitions. Ed can deliver this element of oversight.

Bill Cunningham, Director Endeavour Ventures Ltd