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Trust bonds brothers in business

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Scott founded IT company s2s in 2000 and Dale came on board as finance director shortly after. Last December, they sold s2s to Bailey Teswaine, which is part of the NG Bailey Group, for an undisclosed sum. They continue to run the business as part of the combined organisation and it contributes approximately £16m to NG Bailey Group’s overall revenue of £600m.

The Southern African-born brothers say the positive aspects of working together far outweigh the negatives. Scott says: “I think the real benefits have come out of the trust we have in each other. Our family has been through a lot – wars, losing businesses, losing properties, going bankrupt. We have extreme trust in our family members. We’ve had to place our livelihoods, and our lives, in each other’s hands.”

Dale says it has been important to keep family and business matters separate: “When we walk into the office, we become business associates.” Scott adds: “And when we leave the office, we become brothers.

“I think Dale and I are of a sufficient temperament to ensure that we don’t let business and family mix. It’s easy to let things escalate – all of a sudden, one of us may bring up a personal issue but normally the other puts a stop to that quickly.”

Scott says he and Dale “are like yin and yang”. He says: “I’m entrepreneurial and visionary and I come up with kooky and crazy ideas while Dale is from an accountancy background. He knows where the cash is at and where the business is at. He often tempers some of the risks I take and when he’s a little staid, I can spur him on.”

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