Inspiring Speaker at Business Club Launch


An inspiring and insightful speech on leadership by Robert Forrester, one of the country’s top businessmen, headlined the launch of a new business networking club at Sir John Talbot’s School in Whitchurch.

Former Sir John Talbot’s School student, Forrester, the Chief Executive Officer of Vertu Motors, addressed an audience of 70 business people from North Shropshire. Vertu is the sixth largest motor retailer in the UK with an annual turnover of around £2.4 billion, selling over 140,000 vehicles a year under the Bristol Street Motors, Macklin, Farnell and Vertu brands. Launched just nine years’ ago, the Group employs over 4,500 people.

The event was staged on the eve of a significant business deal instigated by Forrester to snap up three VW and Audi dealerships in the wake of the current emissions-rigging scandal for £12.8 million.

On his return to the school he left almost 30 years’ ago, Forrester concentrated his speech on the importance of recruiting and engaging the right people in any business highlighting that ‘business is people’. He explained the importance of identifying the ‘five unteachables’ of character, attitude, energy, drive and talent in potential employees.
Forrester also explained that, in his view, if a business has great leaders with great values, great colleagues with high satisfaction levels, great training and processes, these factors will drive outstanding customer experiences.

Headteacher, David O’Toole, who officially welcomed Robert Forrester back to the school, said:

“We could not have hoped for a better opening event for our new Business Club. Robert captivated our audience with his inspiring, insightful yet practical leadership advice that could be applied to any business.

“It is clear that his dynamism, combined with humility and a grounded approach, have been major contributors to his success in the business world. We are particularly proud that Robert attended Sir John Talbot’s as a student. He embodies the strong values that we aim to instil in all our students today.”

In 1999, at the age of 29, Robert Forrester joined motoring giant Reg Vardy plc as Finance Director and later as Managing Director, based in Sunderland. He worked with the company for seven years until it was bought by rival, Pendragon, for £506 million in a hotly-contested takeover battle.

At the age of 36, Forrester, jobless after the takeover, decided to start his own company. After raising £25 million from City investors through a cash shell float in just three months, Vertu Motors plc was launched in December 2006 and based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Although Forrester now lives in Newcastle, a number of his close family members live in Prees and Ellesmere.

The business club event, was sponsored by Whitchurch’s largest employer, Grocontinental. The next event will be announced shortly. Anyone wishing to join the Club should contact Amy Gregory at or by calling her call her on 01691 664404.

Posted by marchesadmin on 5th October 2015, under Uncategorized

Previous Post:
Next Post: