1. Sum up your leadership style in three words.
Energetic, challenging and supportive.
2. What was your first paid job?
I had a newspaper round from the age of 13, the earliest you were allowed to work at that time.
3. How would you define your role?
My role in the UK and Ireland is to set the direction, create the momentum and take the tough decisions. Put simply, it’s to make it easy for everyone else to do their jobs well.
4. What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
You need to give people the leadership they need, not the leadership you want to give them. It’s something that I try to live up to.
5. What’s been your biggest achievement?
So far, my biggest achievement was being part of the team that rescued Energis, the telecoms company, after a debt for equity swap and subsequently selling it to Cable & Wireless.
6. Who is your business hero and why?
I admire everyone who has built a business from scratch and turned it in to a successful organisation. At Logica I was lucky enough to spend time with one of the founders, Philip Hughes, who started a company in the 1960s with five people that now employs 40,000. Now I get to spend time with Sir John Peace who founded Experian.
7. Do you have a favourite business/management book?
I don’t read many management books, but Stephen Green’s Good Value deals with some fascinating issues in the cross-over between religion, capitalism and globalisation.
8. What should the government do to improve the UK business outlook?
We need to remember that economic recovery will be driven by business growth and the Government can make a big contribution by bolstering its public support for UK businesses. Combining this with a long-term view of economic change will make a real difference.
9. How healthy is the relationship between the government and UK business at present?
The relationship is improving, but the government and big business needs to continue working together constructively to secure a positive economic outcome for the UK.
10. What is your biggest business challenge right now?
To continue growing Experian in the UK and Ireland, while navigating the economic headwinds the country is facing but we have a great team who are focused on getting the job done.
11. What’s your favourite restaurant?
My favourite restaurant is Al Boccon di Vino in London. It’s an Italian restaurant with no menu and no wine list. You just turn up and join in with the meal. It really appeals to me as everyone shares the meal and it’s a really sociable experience.
12. BlackBerry or iPhone?
I love my iPhone. I can do everything with it, from reading through e-mails to buying my coffee in the morning. I can’t wait until I can use it in place of my Oyster card.
13. What possession could you not do without?
My squash racket. I love to play squash to keep fit and it’s a great way to unwind.
14. Where is the most interesting place you have visited?
My wife and I went to the Galapagos Islands on our honeymoon. It really was the trip of a lifetime.
15. How do you manage to balance work and home life?
I manage to spend a good amount of time with my wife and two young sons, When I’m away, technology like FaceTime is a great way to keep in touch and when I’m at home, particularly on weekends, we make the most of our time together.
16. When was the last time you were truly relaxed?
I don’t have a hard time relaxing, but it’s always easier on weekends. I was really relaxed last weekend when I went to the Natural History Museum in London with my family and some friends.