What do you do?
I was recently appointed Executive Chairman of Compact Media Group following a successful acquisition of the business in October 2010, bringing together the talented management team and new investors in the form of Lyceum Capital.
Compact Media Group is the leading independent collection agent worldwide for what is known as secondary TV and film rights. Essentially we are appointed by TV broadcasters and TV/film producers and distributors to ensure their revenue from these rights are collected as efficiently as possible.
With my experience of the international media industry I’m here to act as a bridge between the parties and help spot new opportunities for growth in Europe and the US, as well as in the short term help prepare the ground for, hopefully, rapid expansion!
What is your inspiration in business?
Constantly doing new things and creating change for the benefit of an organisation. Building successful businesses into even greater operations by creating an environment for people within the organisation to develop their careers and become very successful in business – in some cases, entrepreneurs running their own company.
Looking back, are there any things you would have done differently?
I was running my own retail business from the ages of 16 to 18 and decided to sell it in order to go to college and work in large corporations to drive my knowledge forward for my future ventures. I didn’t return to owning my own business and I sometimes ponder on that.
Having said that, I have been working with a number of great companies in the media and entertainment industry for over 20 years, which has been really fun, so I have no regrets. In Compact Media Group I have found a business that encompasses many of my needs both personally and professionally.
Who Do You Admire?
Many people, mainly friends and former colleagues (unfortunately, no household names!) .I have had the privilege to know and work with many who have followed their convictions to change their job, skills or quality of life. Many even changed everything to do something they either believe in or are good at. These people are likely to be very successful because they have passion and drive.
However, if I was to select a well known business leader it would have to be Sir Terry Leahy. He has lead the growth and development of an outstanding company on every level and his observations about CEOs in a recent article I read was spot on.
What defines your way of doing business?
There are various elements that appeal to my sensibilities; the application of technology, a strong team and the right culture to drive the business forward.
Compact realised the need for an integrated and bespoke rights system coupled with the ability to monitor broadcasts from key channels – by getting a solid system in place they raised revenue levels significantly for their clients. However, IT systems can only go so far; having passionate and knowledgeable staff is integral for the value proposition.
This is why we have such notable brands including BBC Worldwide, ITV Global Entertainment, Discovery Communications, National Geographic and Echo Bridge Entertainment amongst others, trusting us with their rights.
I am a strong believer that culture is the ideological glue that holds a company together. Compact appealed to me due to the management’s approach to business. Passion, commitment, integrity and quality of service are often phrases used in articles such as this but it is these values that are the building blocks that drive a business forward, such as we hope to do with Compact.
Forget these values at your peril!
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Learn from people you admire in all walks of life and not just celebrity names in the news. Decide what you like doing, and if you are doing something you do not enjoy try and change it, either where you are or move into something new. Usually if you don’t like it, you will not be successful at it anyway.
Finally, decide early, although it is never too late, whether you want to be an entrepreneur running your own business or whether to move into a more corporate world. Although the latter has its rewards, only a limited few make it to the top, so why not start at the top and try your own business.
Whatever you decide, drive change, create your own opportunities and believe in yourself!