Rob has nursed an obsession with all things nautical for most of his life, being happier on, in or under the water since the age of two.
He holds RYA Day Skipper (NZ Boat Master) and progressed through teaching windsurfing at university to cruising on yachts from 26 – 44’. He and his wife have cruised together extensively throughout the Mediterranean and Caribbean on 'bareboat' holidays, plus a catamaran cruise through Tonga.
He has also owned dinghies and motor boats in the UK, culminating in an 11m fly bridge motor cruiser, in which he cruised in the Solent, West Country and the Channel Islands. Current on-water activites include occasional fishing and cruising whenever the opportunity presents itself and a return to SCUBA diving in what is proving to be New Zealand's best-kept sub-tropical secret.
Rob built a successful 23-year career in the UK and international automotive finance sector before he and his wife relocated to Auckland in January 2007 for Mandy to take up a new work challenge. This left Rob with the freedom to follow his dream and become involved in the NZ marine industry.
Noted for his methodical approach and obsession with customer service, his focus as a marine recruiter brings together Rob’s extensive experience in leadership, team building and H.R. best practice, commercial acumen, project management and general business experience, wrapped up in his passion for all things maritime.
He has a down-to-earth approach, and is very firmly of the 'old school', believing that a handshake is as good as a contract.
Rob’s career biography will clearly demonstrate that he has the experience to support managerial and trade candidates alike to advance their careers, and to assist client businesses realise their potential through the addition of the right personnel, matched individually each organisation.
Setting out in field sales for Mercantile Credit Co. Ltd (Barclays Bank group), Rob worked through a management development programme, which duly led to a managerial appointment in a specialist vehicle leasing subsidiary.
After three years in junior management, Rob was invited to establish a BSi-accredited quality management system from scratch throughout the group (450 people).
He then worked increasingly on numerous project and trouble-shooting activities within the Dial Contracts group, including business acquisitions, senior strategic reviews, business change interventions and systems development projects.
Rob exhibited a passion for achieving challenging objectives through motivating and empowering the team around him.
Returning to the franchisor division, Network Vehicles, as Head of Operations, he next took on the challenge of a major customer service revamp and systems enhancement programme. Leading a team of 55 people, three years were spent restructuring the team and re-engineering the operational backbone of the business. The systems platform which resulted has maintained a market-leading position and a basis for sustainable business growth, with over 30,000 vehicles on the road, 150+ Franchised brokers and 18,000+ small business customers supported at the point he moved on.
Rob was invited to participate in – and subsequently in 2005, to lead – an international project for LeasePlan Corporation, based in The Netherlands. A collaborative enterprise across ten countries, this project focused on the creation of a new multi-channel small business enterprise template, and capitalised on all the skills Rob had learned in his 20+ years within the vehicle finance and leasing industry.
Late in 2006, however, an opportunity in New Zealand caused Rob and his wife to re-evaluate their career paths and London-based life-style, and they elected to make the move 'Down Under' and effectively start over with fresh challenges to face. The opportunity to move into the marine industry proved too great a temptation for Rob to resist!
He joined a niche specialist recruitment business early in 2007 to take responsibility for the marine business portfolio; from a scratch start (for Rob), he built it until it was the highest-performing division in the agency.
However, the global recession took its toll, and in 2009 Rob had the chance to acquire the marine portfolio that he'd nurtured when the agency ceased to operate, an opportunity which he seized. Operating first as a sole trader, Rob continued to work with his clients and candidates, now based from his Auckland home.
A year on, having weathered the worst that the recession could throw, Rob decided to incorporate the business to consolidate its standing in the NZ marine community, where it remains the only recruitment service dedicated to this sector, and a full member of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association (MIA).