During my very varied working life which has seen me operate my Sport and Leisure Business to managing two large PLC’s, I have invariably faced many challenges. I was involved in the creation of Barclaycard Profiles when they wanted to reward customer loyalty back in the ’90s and took on the challenge when Vinopolis needed to increase visitor numbers and turn a hefty loss into a profit.
How did I do that? Well, with Barclays it was all about providing experiences versus the more traditional “collections of stamps “or in the case of the London based Vinopolis, bringing more fun and enjoyment to the tasting and knowledge of wine.
After Barclaycard, I worked with the likes of Jamie Redknapp, the South African and West Indian Cricket teams and Jonah Lomu. I organised Tonga to play South Africa pre the 95 Rugby World Cup in Cape Town. All this activity eventually saw Tonga coming to the UK for a 10-match tour in what was the inaugural first year of Professional Rugby Union. I organised this tour and, in some way, contributed towards England RFU’s future successes as the Vunipola Brothers ultimately owe their existence to their father meeting their mother on this tour.
Following this, I spent time working at both Sale and Richmond RFC’s. Richmond RFC was the first to move to Madjeski Stadium and I subsequently advised London Irish to consider the same back in the late nineties. Winning the Powergen Cup in 2002 is just one of many the highlights as was regularly recording the highest attendance figures at that time for a premiership match – on St Patricks Day, of course!
In the latter years of my pre-consultant career, I was involved with the management of the world-renowned Spitalfields Markets. I was able to further push its brand on a worldwide scale via the usage of the venue for multiple high-profile events like the VANS World Skate Tour and the Samsung Experience at the London Olympics in 2012.
In my spare time, I am an avid golfer and keen competitive sports fan. I am a family man and I enjoy walking in the countryside with my wife and dog.
I have written this ‘About Me’ section to open a small window of insight as to who I am but the best way to decide for yourself is to give me a call. I would be happy to listen to your issues, answer any queries regarding my services and talk about how we could work together.
Gladstone Hall Consultants Ltd.
Managing Director: 1984 – 1998
Beconsfield , Buckinghamshire
Having left teaching and having tried my hand at various roles (training , HR , and sales) I decided to set up my own marketing company in 1984.
This eventually saw us achieving annual sales of c£1.5m primarily down to our appointment as Customer Loyalty provider to Barclaycard.
This saw Gladstone Hall pioneer rewards points with Barclaycard Profiles and its 6 million users and Premier Card and its 125,000 card holders.
On the more traditional sporting front appointments I served as the Commercial Manager for the South African and West Indies Cricket teams while touring the UK.
Key Achievements included: Becoming a fund raiser for the 1994 Commonwealth Games and a consultant for both Sale and Richmond Rugby Clubs (on the eve of the sport going professional) and providing an excellent platform to enter the professional arena of rugby. This no more so when taking Richmond Rugby Club to the Madejski Stadium 1997/98.
London Irish Rugby Club
Director Of Sales Marketing: 1998 – 2003
Sunbury & Reading
Primarily involved in moving London Irish from Sunbury to the Stoop (ground-share with Harlequins Rugby Club) but to then move the club to the Madejski Stadium, Reading – which is where they are currently located.
As the Director of S & M I was responsible for sponsorship (one of the strongest sponsorship portfolio’s in the league at that time including Guinness, Aer Lingus, Bank of Ireland, JCB and Stena Line to name but a few).
Key Achievements include: Playing a major role in growing crowd attendances (with some innovative marketing at that time with our sponsors) and on the back of a team generally in the bottom half of the table besides winning the Pilkington Cup in 2002. Given the reputation of the Irish fraternity our strap line “Arrive early, leave late” did help swell our numbers as did our St Patrick’s Day Matches which achieved record crowd levels for the league in 2001/2002 & 2003.
WineWorld Plc ( Vinopolis )
CEO: 2003 – 2008
Vinopolis was the country’s first and only major visitor attraction dedicated to the drinks industry but also became a top 5 venue for corporate hospitality, conferences and exhibitions.
Key Achievements include: Doubling the turnover from £6m to £12m primarily by making the wine tasting experience more interactive. Introducing a third party dedicated caterer new A1 & A3 facilities within the 3 – acre site. Quadrupling visitor numbers.
I was also a board member of Vinum Restaurants – a joint venture between Wineworld and the two proprietors Claudio Pulze and Trevor Gulliver and whereby together we created Brew Wharf and the Muskin’s Yard food enclave. My interest in the area which included the famous Borough Market saw me become a board member of Better Bankside ( the first BID area in the country ) and Chairman of the Better Bankside Marketing & Promotion section.
WMC Retail Partners Plc.
Director Of Sales Marketing: 2008 – 2017
As the CEO I was responsible for the day to day running of all aspects of the business, this included but was not limited to:
– Strategic planning
– Budget management
– Securing new business
– Corporate governance when running a PLC
– Purchasing/selling properties for the business
– Strategic redevelopment of existing properties
Key Achievements include: Introducing a Facility Management & Consultancy Service section, winning many notable planning applications ( that had previously failed ) and securing the prestigious management and operation of Old Spitalfields Market 2010-2015. This location soon became a major London hospitality venue and was ideally placed to take advantage of the 2012 Olympic Games. One of those notable planning applications being able to operate our famous market on Saturdays as well as Sundays.
Held a number of executive roles besides being CEO at WMC most notably Chair of the Association of London Markets, a Member of the All Parliamentarian Markets Alliance and the Markets Retail Forum.