Corporate transformation & turnaround

I have often had to rapidly assess a business that I had not previously been involved with and determine any necessary solutions to address critical known (and usually some unknown) issues that may have been hampering its effectiveness. Two examples are described below:

Pearce Group


The Pearce example is a good one, as it had made substantial losses, with huge cash outflows, suffering massive customer defection and staff attrition. After a short assessment period, I determined the underlying issues and developed a plan for recovery. This was successfully implemented, achieving dramatic positive change, enabling the sale of the business to ISG plc within 2 years at a massive premium for the shareholders. 

The extent of transformation was very extensive, including strategic re-direction; significant organisational change; new approaches to business development and customer relationship management; and the implementation of entirely new operating processes. These changes were fortunately achieved whilst retaining and developing the existing key leadership team.

As part of the trasnformation, the culture and morale of the business improved dramaticially, enabling the company to achieve four consecutive placings in the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies list, up to No 34. “Staff think that Forrest runs the company on sound moral principles and have a great deal of faith in him (both 80%).” The business benefits were significant, with a massive reduction in leavers to less than half the Industry average, with consequent improvements in knowledge retention, customer satisfaction and reduced recruitment costs.


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Paynes & Borthwick, Greenwich, London 

Major residential development delivered by United House

United House


Another relevant and recent example is United House, where I took over the construction business within the group at very short notice. As issues became apparent, I proposed a plan for turnaround, which I successfully implemented, paving the way for the eventual sale of the business to Bullock in late 2014.


The changes included strategic re-direction; substantial operational re-organisation; the closure of several head office departments; the implementation of new reporting systems; and the implementation of entirely new operating processes. These changes required significant change of the incumbent leadership team.

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