Role and company:CEO of Sable Group
Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):£75m turnover; £1.4m profits
Growth forecast for the next three years:20 per cent per annum
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:Sable specialises in professional services, helping SMEs and individuals who have international interests and background manage their finances. The team comprises chartered accountants, financial advisors, solicitors, MBAs and immigration consultants. We’re marked by our unparalleled expertise and the fact that, as “International Citizens” ourselves, we understand exactly what our clients need.
What’s the big vision for your business?We’ve expanded as a company in the UK and internationally, and our service offering has grown, but our vision remains unchanged: to give the best, most insightful advice to our clients and to assist them in finding the best structures for managing their financial and business interests. As the business landscape in the UK and abroad becomes an increasingly global space, demand for sound international financial advice is set to keep growing; we will work to ensure we continue to lead the pack with our market knowledge.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:Much of our business is international by nature, and we currently have bases in London, Cape Town and Melbourne. We plan to expand into the Far East and enter growing markets in places such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:A change to some tax legislation had a rather catastrophic effect on one area of our business several years ago. Some things are out of your control, but it’s your response to it that really matters.
What makes you mad in business today?Tiny things that represent a sloppy don’t-care attitude to the customer service experience.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?The growing number of international citizens coming into, and leaving, the UK.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?We haven’t had a need to, nor have we tried. Personal guarantees drive me mad, and always get in the way of arms-length loan agreements with your business banker.
How would others describe your leadership style?Competitive and persuasive.
Your biggest personal extravagance?Membership of a Sports Car club.
You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:Simplify the tax system by merging NI with PAYE and Corporation Tax. Get rid of half of the red tape strangling business and society. Demand a 10% non-refundable deposit on every claim that a person/company claims against another – 75% of frivolous claims would disappear overnight. Be bold. By Shané Schutte
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