Ambitious Leaders: The 2018 alumni going for growth

The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders was launched in 2018. Some 400 nominations and 150 interviews took place in this inaugural year. The Top 50 in 2018 hailed from a multitude of industries, from vegan food to crafts, cloud technology to media companies, evidencing the true diversity of Britain’s mid-market. They came from all around the UK, representing some 29 different locations. Some were created in small rural villages or suburban industrial estates, others in bustling cities, proving that enterprising individuals can thrive all over the UK. The 50-strong group of outstanding leaders ran companies with a combined turnover of £1.3bn, employing more than 10,000 people and more than half exported internationally. 

Over the past year, these companies have continued to go from strength to strength. Mike Danby MBE has realised his plan to boost international revenues at Halifax-based logistics giant Advanced Supply Chain from 20pc of turnover to 50pc. The chief executive says that his ambition has been crucial to his success: “We’ve set ambitious global growth targets, which we’ll achieve through being a great place to work and investing in technology which gives our customers a competitive advantage in their supply chain.”

What could be more inspiring than a woman who helps bring new life into the world? Professor Geeta Nargund has built CREATE Fertility into the fastest-growing IVF company in the UK, specialising in effective yet mild treatments. Son Praful, who is now CEO of the business, is taking the venture into Europe for the first time. “We want to continue to disrupt the sector,” he says.

Barry Leahey MBE is boss of playground specialist Playdale, which has created 20,000 play areas across 49 countries. “Post Brexit, ambition will be what fuels the successful global companies, without it you will not even maintain status quo.”

Shaun Lynn says that ambition has given him an edge in a competitive marketplace. His company offers white-label tech support to global brands like IBM and Softcat around the world. “Agilitas believes ambition and innovation are pivotal in remaining relevant to your customers and staying ahead of the competition in the current climate.”

And uncertainty doesn’t stop the most ambitious planning for future growth. Grant Mansfield, CEO of leading independent production company, Plimsoll Productions, said: “Another successful year for Plimsoll, with turnover and profits doubling. What next?  An exciting new partnership with LDC, an alliance I know will drive us to even greater success in a growing TV marketplace.”

Ambition is especially vital, given the ongoing economic uncertainty, according to Alex Goldsmith, chief executive of employee wellness provider Medigold Health. “It drives questioning and a constant desire to improve. Our growth has been because of these things.”
 
Check back throughout the week to find out who will join these esteemed alumni as we announce this year’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders, and read on to hear more about our second 10 including the husband and wife behind a reusable nappy brand and the founder of a business tackling the IT skills shortage.

Meet The Leaders

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  
  2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based medium sized companies seeking up to £100m of investment to fund management buyouts or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure, Support Services, Construction & Property and Financial Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network with locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.