A unique working environment crafted for and by ambitious business leaders.


There is a modern work revolution going on, quietly, behind ancient oak doors which are steeped in an industrious history.  It is defining the ‘new normal’ in terms of how we work, where we do it and what matters most in life. The revolution will not be televised, nor will it be promoted on social media. It is in fact only to be found in our private workspace where ambitious business people consider, work, collaborate and grow their businesses. Our members share a passion for doing great things and an openness for doing so in new, interesting ways.  Our strictly limited membership benefits from space to think, people to bounce ideas off, a place to plan their success.

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Welcome to our Little Black Book, an inspirational series of business stories and insights from our brilliant members.

Marc Bandemer on thinking beyond boundaries

Marc Bandemer’s entrepreneurial journey is one that has transcended both geographical and conceptual boundaries. Developing a reputation for his investment advisory aptitude, Marc founded an investment company in 1996 and after several adjustments in branding, relocated the company to the UK in 2015.

Read Marc's story

Zoe Hanson on broadcasting horizons

Relatable, personable and ultimately a great listener — presenter and podcaster Zoe Hanson knows how to connect with audiences, a skill which she has honed in over 20 years’ experience as a breakfast radio presenter for Capital and Heart.

Read Zoe's story

Gavin Rampton on financially secure futures

Inspired by his dad to debut into the financial industry at the age of 27, Gavin Rampton has accumulated 18 years of experience as a Financial Advisor, earning him a commendable reputation in his fields of specialist investments and tax planning.

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Adrian Rochester on finding clarity in cryptocurrency

Combining analytical aptitude with investment intellect, Adrian Rochester is fast becoming a leading specialist in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

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Matt Taylor on commercial strategy

Matt Taylor’s proficiency in overcoming commercial challenges has taken him from Carnival UK to FTSE 100 retail business Kingfisher plc where he was responsible for implementing commercial strategy projects across the nine countries the company operates in. His 17 years of experience in the field has led him to become a specialist in pricing, promotions, and revenue management.

Read Matt's story

Helen Clements on Collaborative Empowerment

Alongside her business partner Boo Donovan, the pair are passionate about empowering other business owners through knowledge, with a philosophy of collaborative working and being true to themselves.

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Steve Cross on Building Better Business

With a natural aptitude for understanding people, enriched from working across the BBC, at over 20 different radio stations, and writing in every UK national newspaper, he blurs the boundaries between technology and communication to create tools which create action.

Read Steve's story

Damian Gevertz on bringing new content on board

As travel reignites, Damian shares how the pandemic has launched him towards the next phase of his business.

Read Damian's story

Chris Schutrups on brokering business development

Now Chris, alongside his wife Nicola, is making moves as one of the UK's leading mortgage brokers.

Read Chris' story

Scott stephens on going forth

FORTH®’s recent move to new offices in Ampfield marks both its organic growth, and a new settling in natural surroundings aligned with the sustainable aspirations that the company represents.

Read Scott's story

Jonny Bliss on the science of marketing

Jonny Bliss first found his entrepreneurial appetite at the age of 13 washing wetsuits in a surf shop in his hometown of Woolacombe, North Devon. He later co-founded and raised investment for an online fantasy football game which grew to thousands of users.

Read Jonny's story

Ben Mcmahon on experiential productions

Motivated by a commitment to sustainability, Collaborate Global is at the forefront of developing hybrid events – blending the physical and virtual audience to create unforgettable brand experiences.

Read Ben's story

Chris Rees on getting city events back up and running

Fresh from the return of Southampton Sailing Week, which featured a team of members from the Old Bond Store, Chris Rees is on track to get sporting events back up and running in the city.

Read Chris' story

Sally Golden on the composition of connective photography

Sally Golden, the person behind the lens and creator of the Old Bond Store’s member portraits, found her calling in photography 12 years ago. After 30 years working in retail, a photographer put a camera in her hand and she immediately felt a connection with the craft.

Read Sally's story

Matt Sanger on event enhancement

With a Californian can-do spirit resonating from his time at the University of San Francisco, Matt is passionate about creating inspiring experiences and environments where people can thrive.

Read Matt's story

Jeremy Robbins on approachable accountancy

Genio Accountants has doubled in size over the past year thanks to open and proactive advice delivered in a professional yet relaxed way.

Read Jeremy's story

Chris Pestell on making waves in the talent pool

From Welsh roots, Chris Pestell has lived and worked across the UK accumulating 17 years of experience in recruitment along the way. But it was riding the storm of the pandemic that brought the keen surfer to his most fulfilling and current role at KM4.

Read Chris' story

Andrew Lambert on surveying the market

Andrew explains how their specialist boutique agency is recruiting for, and promoting, the property sector across the South of England.

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Alasdair MacMillan on growing globally

Along with delivering partner-led HR services, Stellamar Employment Solutions is on the crest of a wave as recruitment specialists in some very niche sectors.

Read Alasdair's story

Josh Mitchell on methodical marketing

The success of a business that has been built methodically from the ground up is testimony to their down-to-earth hard work and desire to support others.

Read Josh's story

Nella Pang on real estate change

Driven by her ambition to leave a positive legacy, Nella is now an ambassador and role model for women and those from non-traditional backgrounds breaking into the industry.

Read Nella's story

Will Rosie on piecing together contemporary art

The artist behind the specially curated mosaic pieces adorning the walls of the Old Bond Store is installing intrigue and joy through his art.

Read Will's story

Martin Smith on driving integrity

Martin Smith set up his own company specialising in procurement and supply chain recruitment two years ago.

Read Martin's story

Jen Todd on keeping things honest

With their candid approach, Jen Todd and her business partner Pam Bates, have neatly tied together several businesses under the umbrella of the Silk Bow Group.

Read Jen's story

Daniel Fitzhenry on visionary leadership

Earlier this year, Southampton elected Daniel Fitzhenry as its new City Council Leader, taking the helm of a city in which he was born and bred.

Read Daniel's story

Zabir Ali on optometry insights

As we embark on a new era of how we access healthcare, the Managing Director of Wessex Optical has a vision to lead the way in his specialist area of optometry.

Read Zabir's story

Callum Donnelly on ahead of the curve consulting

Callum Donnelly began the year by taking the helm at Etch UK; a radical agency that is creatively challenging the traditional concepts of consultancy.

Read Callum's story

Ben Stickland on the next generation of healthcare

With worldly experience from time spent in New Zealand managing insurance responses to earthquakes, and in Australia working on behalf of the esteemed Lloyd's of London, Ben Stickland is knowledgeable beyond his 24 years.

Read Ben's story

Andy Hollands on entrepreneurial experience

True experience is built not only upon the achievement of success, but equally upon the lessons of the losses, and straight-talking Andy Holland has garnered a grounding of both highs and lows in the corporate world.

Read Andy's story

Adam Myers on a new stage of humanised HR

Adam Myers has a background in acting and a résumé in Human Resources spanning the corporate world from Hamleys in London to Walt Disney World in Florida. His passion and profession seem worlds apart and yet are unexpectedly complementary; Adam has an instinctive aptitude for humanising HR through his emotive enthusiasm.

Read Adam's story

Sam Griffiths on building your minimum

Motivated by a deep sense of purpose to help others, following his own personal experiences of burnout, Sam Griffiths is channelling his energies into helping professionals to be Healthy in Business.

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Henri Ghijben on branching out

At 24 Henri Ghijben launched his tree services business and, alongside wife Sarah, grew HRG Tree Surgeons to become a renowned business credited with a portfolio of projects for clients including Salisbury Cathedral, Southampton International Airport and Winchester City Council.

Read Henri's story

Alex Hurn on building progressively

It was perhaps predestined that Alex Hurn, who has a natural instinct for entrepreneurship combined with an ardent interest in buildings stemming from childhood, would start his own business in the property industry.

Read Alex's story

Zoie Golding on a new movement of dance

Zoie Golding, the founder of Zoielogic is choreographing a new movement in dance; without boundaries of environment, participant and audience.

Read Zoie's story

Hannah Waddington on resourceful purpose

Hannah Waddington has a musical background, but it is notes of morality which have inspired her to create Maru HR – human resources recruitment business with purpose.

Read Hannah's story

Chris Vertannes on dream team values

Chris Vertannes, CEO of UK Elite Sports Group (encompassing Planet Education, Elite Football and Elite Rugby), embodies the coaching skills he is such an advocate for; inclusivity, integrity and fun.

Read Chris' story

Ross Breckenridge on creative evolution

Taking the reins of a family business established in the early 80s by his parents, Ross Breckenridge is steering the agency into a new era of marketing.

Read Ross' story

Richard Allen on engineering a skilled labour force

Richard gives insight into his constructive specialisms as well as his people-first culture resounding in a commitment to playing a part in addressing issues such as mental health in the industry.

Read Richard's story

Jon Martin on embracing the silver lining of the cloud

Jon Martin, the Co-founder of JLA Resourcing has a proactive energy originating from his love of working in a sector helping people to fulfil their career dreams and aspirations.

Read Jon's story

Douglas Mellors on adjusting to the unforeseen

Starting his career as a Firearms Officer in the Edinburgh Police, Douglas diversified and accumulated 25 years’ experience in private banking and investment advice.

Read Douglas' story

Antony Fanshawe on acquiring a wealth of experience

Entrepreneur, corporate finance specialist, expert witness, insolvency practitioner and forensic accountant are just some of the multi disciplines associated with Antony Fanshawe.

Read Antony's story

Wayne Loon on making a positive business imprint

From modest beginnings repairing machines from his bedroom at 18, Wayne Loon has grown Abbey Office Solutions to become a respected and successful UK-wide office equipment operation.

Read Wayne's story

Steve Crawford on streamlining skills to superyachts

The founder of luxury yacht crew placement agency Yotspot began his career by working as crew on a superyacht in the Mediterranean.

Read Steve's story

Lee Smith on impactful investments

Living by the mantra to either find a way or make one, Lee Smith has created a bespoke investment consultancy with a conscience.

Read Lee's story

Colin Aubrey on lending acumen to be banked on

In a career that has cultivated three decades of experience in the industry; the business finance merits of Colin Aubrey include working capital, term finance and equity funding.

Read Colin's story

Ashley Lewer on building a new path for construction firms

Pioneering a new approach in helping the construction industry to use sub-contractors, Ashley Lewer has created Hard Hats to provide an alternative option for what can be a taxing area.

Read Ashley's story

Andrew MacAskill on growing a new career ecosystem

With his innovative coaching model Executive Career Jump, Andrew MacAskill is carving a new career pathway for job-seeking professionals.

Read Andrew's story

Giles Semper on the new wave of revitalisation

Combining a 17-year career in regeneration with a passion for European cities, the Executive Director of GO! Southampton (the Business Improvement District for the city centre) is devoted to creating a new narrative for the city.

Read Giles' story

Jason Oliver on creating a constructive family business

Classic, steadfast business techniques, underpinned by strong family values, have seen Global Ceramic Tiling grow to be one of the South's largest tiling contractors.

Read Jason's story

Mark Badley on enhancing individualism through technology

Ronin: the captivating name of Mark Badley’s cutting-edge company derives from a wandering samurai who had no lord or master.

Read Mark's story

Ryan Hill on emerging new ventures in tech

At just 33 Ryan Hill has a portfolio of experience exponential to someone of his age. Starting his career in professional football, he is now the youngest partner of a top technology executive search firm: 360 Leaders.

Read Ryan's story

Realising the potential of talent

Founder of in-house recruitment company Collabz, Louis Cross discusses a fresh approach to talent, driven by a motivation to champion the underdog and realise the potential of proficient people and SMEs.

Read Louis' story

Rob King on finding your niche

He shares his passion and experiences in the property market with others through his dedicated mentoring work, enthusiastically championing how property investment can help achieve a work-life balance.

Read Rob's story

Nikki Rees on running a healthy business

In the months that sees the launch of Southampton Sailing Week at the Old Bond store, Nikki shares how her company values are reflected in her own.

Read Nikki's story

Josh Williams on associate ambitions

Josh reflects upon redefining success in the modern age and developing a business model that will become part of the new cultural infrastructure.

Read Josh's story

Maddy Alexander-Grout on striking a business balance

In advance of the launch of the app for her multi-award winning My VIP Card, the business of the year winner tell us how she balances motherhood whilst simultaneously growing a UK wide business.

Read Maddy's story

Ian Riggs on securing a financial future

The founder of the Eight Wealth Management shares the success of his financial services company through the Eight Foundation, a charitable trust raising funds to help local, small businesses and inidividuals.

Read Ian's story

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