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Managing Director Recruitment

Vivio is a multi award-winning, independent business telecoms and IT service provider, located in the heart of Chester, servicing business customers nationwide. Vivio also forms part of a wider entrepreneurial group of businesses including property and farming investments and has recently invested heavily in a partnership with digital training specialist, Code Nation. The significant investment will not only make a huge impact on addressing the digital skills shortage in the UK, but has also seen Code Nation open a second branch within Vivio’s extensive Chester HQ.

Providing a broad range of communications services but specialising in mobile telephony and cloud-based solutions, the business was founded in 2001 by entrepreneur James Wright and employs 60 people with annualised revenues of circa £15m. With over 4000 customers nationwide, this service-orientated business, has won numerous awards including ‘Best Customer Service Award’ at the Mobile News Awards and continues to enjoy year-on-year growth based on its highly successful customer-centric sales strategy.

The Brief:

Sherrington’s MD, Rob McKay, had previously supported Vivio with recruitment in its formative years, so many years later when the business was looking to develop a succession-plan for Vivio’s owner and MD James Wright, the company contacted Rob to determine the brief. Being the single-most senior hire in the company’s history, it was an important appointment for the business and one which had to be made with careful scrutiny. Sherrington consulted with Vivio to clarify the desired credentials of the type of MD the business needed to achieve its growth aspirations over the coming years, which included the need for the individual to have a more operational focus and planning background.

Due to Vivio’s highly entrepreneurial and innovative culture, anticipated growth and related scale-up challenges, it was agreed that the MD should come with a strong financial leadership pedigree, as well as having the obvious requisite operational and strategic leadership qualities. Deciding together on a target profile of a chartered FD with a broader leadership pedigree and preferably some experience in the technology sector, Sherrington got to work.

The Search:

Having recruited senior executives for SME clients in the North West for many years, our network of chartered FDs and North West based MDs was already very strong, so we began by talking to a number of potential candidates with whom we had some existing relationships, before commissioning any research into the ‘new’ candidate market. Through extensive follow-up dialogue with Vivio and close scrutiny of the available candidates, we selected the strongest perceived match and arranged interviews with the client. Following a three-stage selection process with the owner of Vivio and members of the senior-management team, an offer was made to the candidate just before Christmas 2018.

The Result:

Stuart Evans joined Vivio as Managing Director in February 2019. Stuart is the former Group Finance Director of Wheatsheaf Group, the non-property arm of the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate. Wheatsheaf directly operates, invests in and helps develop businesses across the food and agri-tech sectors. Stuart’s financial and operational leadership experience throughout a broad range of sectors including; technology, property, energy and farming made him an excellent fit with Vivio’s ideal candidate profile.

Stuart has hit the ground running, implementing an immediate focus on strategy, operations and finance, pulling on the obvious strengths of the company and starting to develop a robust platform from which to execute growth.

Sherrington Associates would like to congratulate Stuart on the appointment and wish James and the team at Vivio all the best for 2019 and their growth plans into the future.

Another example of Sherrington's ability to achieve a perfect solution for client and candidate.

Rob McKay - MD, Sherrington Associates
Vivio Hq

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