SJT To Launch A Business Club


A former Sir John Talbot’s School student who is now one of the country’s top businessmen will be the first guest speaker at a new Business Club to be hosted by the school on the evening of Wednesday 30th September.

Robert Forrester, the Chief Executive Officer of Vertu Motors plc, will headline the Club’s inaugural event which aims to bring together the local business community and will combine the opportunity to hear from inspirational guest speakers with informal business networking.

Oxford graduate, Robert, heads up one of the country’s most progressive and successful automotive retailers, Vertu Motors, which has an annual turnover of £2.4 billion. He initially trained as an accountant before moving to private property investment group Brookhouse, based in Manchester.

In 1999, at the age of 29, he 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, Robert, 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.

The company is now 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. The Group employs over 4,500 colleagues.

Robert will be speaking about his passion for excellence in customer care and the importance of people management, and their contribution to the success of his business. He will also be providing local business owners with hint and tips for innovative and creative communication.

Speaking about the forthcoming event, Sir John Talbot’s School Headteacher, David O’Toole, said:

‘The aim of the new Business Club is to bring the local business community together on an informal and regular basis to meet each other and to hear from a range of inspiring and interesting speakers.

‘We are very fortunate to have secured Robert Forrester to speak at our first event and it’s very generous of him to have found time in his busy schedule to join us. It is a real privilege to welcome back a former student who has been such a high-achiever in his career. His customer care and communication themes will be relevant to every business.’

The event, sponsored by Grocontinental, will take place between 6.30pm – 8.30pm. If you are interested in attending, contact Amy Gregory at or call Amy on 01691 664404 to book a place.

Posted by marchesadmin on 8th September 2015, under Uncategorized

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