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RedBook announces new CEO hire Tom Adams

04 Dec 2020
Read our Q&A with Tom on his background, goals and vision and with Sandy on what this hire means for RedBook.
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RedBook is delighted to announce that Tom Adams joined the business as CEO in October 2020. Founder and Director Sandy Mitchell commented: ‘RedBook had been looking for the ideal CEO for a while and, following a surprisingly busy 2020, Tom came along as the perfect candidate. He has a fantastic background in the luxury world and has an entrepreneurial flair that will drive RedBook’s growth and plans for the future.

Tom, tell us about your background?

I began my career as a property consultant at Quadrant Property Management, where I got hands-on knowledge of the industry, particularly in the high-end property of South West London. One of my first major roles was Sales Director for GunsOnPegs, Europe’s largest online market platform for buying and selling shooting and sporting trips, with over 120,000 members across the world. My role there was to grow the business, which we did significantly.

Whilst at GunsOnPegs I recognised that there was an issue in the game meat market, where supply was outstripping demand, a very unsustainable place to be, so I set up the British Game Alliance (BGA). It’s a not-for-profit organisation to promote game meat in the UK and overseas, whilst regulating the industry from start to finish. We created an industry standard of best practice which now covers 40% of the 25 million game birds put into the food chain annually. I am pleased to say it continues to go from strength-to-strength.

 

I’m a passionate countryman. I spend as much time as I can fishing on the South West rivers for trout and salmon.

What did you learn from the BGA?

Gosh, everything! Running a start up, you need to learn all sides of the business from marketing to sales to HR. With an entrepreneurial mindset and a lot of determination we got it off the ground and into a self-financing position within 18 months. The initial funding came from family offices, estate owners, business leaders and the wider sporting community; we raised nearly £1 million in donations in our first year. I managed to pull together a very influential board of Directors spanning many industries, including property and banking. We then built a dynamic and hardworking team and it progressed from there.

What will you bring to your new role at RedBook?

With an entrepreneurial mindset and a commercial approach to business that revolves around leadership and strategy, I am well placed to take RedBook to the next chapter. Having spent much of my career working with affluent individuals I have built a significant network of contacts to aid our growth plans.

What attracted you to RedBook?

The challenge. RedBook is small business with a punchy brand, yet it should be centre stage, whether in the commercial or global arena.

What will your role involve at RedBook?

Building the brand and propelling the business forwards from where it is now so that we have a much broader offering and wider market, including overseas and commercial projects. This also means branching out from RedBook’s original focus on design-based introductions for property projects to end-to-end solutions. The essential of what RedBook does will remain the same, though. It is all about who we know and the efforts we put into being sure they are the best, whether that involves introducing RedBook clients on a bespoke basis to the ideal specialists to sell or buy a property or aligning them with the best property managers. We have the connections to offer everything from pre-purchase advice, whether for end users or investors, through to aftercare.

What is unique about RedBook?

Our customer service is impeccable. It is amazing to hear some of the feedback from leading property people, who say, ‘Wow, RedBook really do go above and beyond’. The speed of our response, the detail our team go into and the in-house expertise are impressive. Sandy, Emily and my other colleagues have what is probably unique knowledge of the technical side of property projects and the design side. They are incredibly well connected, too. Plus, I think our clients immediately sense the level of integrity and rigour that runs through the business.

How will the dynamic work between you as CEO and Sandy as Founder/Director?

We complement each other very well. Sandy is brilliant at the technical side of projects, industry contacts and market intel. My role in the business will give Sandy more time to be out there dealing with the clients and projects as we grow while I run the business and make sure that we have all the support and ability to do so.

You’ve said yourself that you are not immersed in the industry, is this a disadvantage?

Naturally, there is a disadvantage there. But I feel it is offset by the fact that the business has this expertise already. No one is leaving. We expect to be hiring, too.

What is your overall vision for RedBook?

My vision is that RedBook will become a leading global, end-to-end property agency, advising its clients from pre-purchase right through to aftercare, working with the very best consultants and suppliers. A one stop shop for best-in-class curated introductions.

Tell us a bit about your life outside work.

My family home is in Somerset, so I’m a passionate countryman. I spend as much time as I can fishing on the South West rivers for trout and salmon. Another love of mine is music and with an extensive vinyl collection—my ‘set-up’ is my pride and joy—a decent glass of red wine whilst I’m cooking, listening to a Pink Floyd album, bliss! I’ve also bought, developed and sold two of my own properties in London over the past five years, which is an investment hobby of mine that I really enjoy.

Sandy Mitchell, Founder and Director 

Sandy, what prompted you to hire a CEO?

I want to grow the business in scale and in new areas. But the trigger for hiring had to be finding the right person as CEO, and being 100% confident in the outlook for our business.

What were you looking for in a CEO?

Somebody who would understand RedBook’s essence, and the quality of service we give to our clients. But equally, somebody who had the dynamism and skills to grow a business into areas where we have been working and see potential to grow, for example high-end commercial projects and international ones.

What do you think Tom will bring to RedBook?

Tom will bring extremely strong business acumen. He has also had rare experience in working with our kind of very discerning HNW clients, with all that means in terms of confidentiality and trusted advisor status. I love the fact that Tom is very driven and very disciplined, but fun for the team and myself to have around.

How will this affect your role as Founder/Director?

If anyone is wondering what Tom’s arrival means for my involvement in RedBook, I am even more committed to it than I ever was. Because for me it’s fantastic to have more energy and brains in the business, enabling me realise long-held ambitions for RedBook. Hiring at a senior level is going to free me up to spend more time with our wonderful clients and suppliers. And with Tom also working alongside me, our outward-facing resource is greatly increased.

Read other RedBook articles here.

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