There have been two threads running through my life over the last four decades.
The first is creating, developing, and selling businesses. I began my career at Lloyd’s of London in 1973 with Nelson Hurst and Marsh Ltd and was subsequently appointed Chief Executive. During the following ten year period the business expanded from 12 to 350 employees and grew by 60 % per annum compound growth in profit. The company was sold to Citigroup for £52 million in 1986.
The second thread commenced in 1982, when I entered into psychotherapy for the first time. Over the next decade, following a profound spiritual awakening, I undertook a degree in theology and philosophy, a master’s degree in psychology, a four year programme in Neo-Reichian bodywork and an intense spiritual training programme in India. This period of study and training was supported by my own therapeutic inner work. This included breathwork, psychodrama, rebirthing, intense emotional release, gestalt formulation, constellation work and soul exploration. All of this was incorporated into my clinical practice in London, working with individuals and groups to create transformation in their lives.
Much to my surprise, in 1993, I returned to the business world to establish Andrew Wallas & Marsh Ltd at the heart of the Financial Services Sector. I decided to apply everything I had learned and experienced to create a business with a spiritual ethos. I expanded the business from 2 employees to 180, established a fun, collaborative culture and when the business was sold for £28 million, every employee was a shareholder and benefited from the value creation. During this return to business, I also became Chairman of Martello Underwriting Limited (incorporating P I Direct) and sold that business to the Royal Sun Alliance in 2006 for £37 million.
I left business again for good – or so I thought – and dedicated another decade to deepening my inner enquiry. I facilitated mediation groups and workshops, began teaching and public speaking and guiding individuals through similar processes. During this period, I integrated and refined the study and trainings I had previously undertaken and re-established that having the courage to examine our shadow leads to greater authenticity and flow.
At this point there was a realisation that the two threads of my life had to a large extent been kept separate. Now there was an opportunity to weave these together into a transformative set of principles for work and life.
I developed a radical new approach to business called Business Alchemy; I wrote a book and created an online programme. I set the intention to introduce Business Alchemy to the corporate world. In 2016, I was asked to undertake a management buy-out of an FCA Regulated financial services company at the heart of the City of London. Although I had been introducing Business Alchemy to companies, large and small, this was an opportunity to apply the principles of Business Alchemy on an in-depth, day-to-day basis.
In 2017, I borrowed £3.8m to purchase the company which was given an external valuation of £22miliion in 2020. The shift in culture occurred surprisingly quickly and the workforce consistently refer to greater levels of happiness, inspiration, and fulfilment. All 63 employees are shareholders and will participate in the value creation. I am currently Chairman of this group of companies. A detailed case study of this process is available here.
Following Covid-19 in 2020 and the consequent devastation for the business community, I have shifted my focus more towards the corporate world. My interest is in showing people that there is an alternative strategy for doing business. There is a growing recognition among business leaders that capitalism and the old ways of working are fundamentally flawed and broken. My passion is to introduce a new way of creating and building sustainable businesses.
I also continue to see individuals on a one-to-one basis in my private practice in Oxfordshire.