Rob Seery and Ian Pickett discuss blue-plaques, John Lennon and how the latest incarnation of Drayton’s London office is helping to drive their business forward.
One of the things that I really enjoy about walking in London is the city’s sense of history. So, as I walk down George Street in Marylebone towards Drayton Partners latest London office and notice a blue plaque on a nearby building which reads: “John Lennon 1940-1980 Musician and Songwriter lived here,” I stop and look around me. Think, momentarily, about all the other famous faces who have walked the streets around here and how fast Britain’s capital changes.
It seems fitting then that once I step inside the company’s new George Street home I see it’s a handsome Georgian building whose walls could, presumably, tell some interesting stories. As I sit down with Rob Seery and Ian Pickett, the recruitment company’s founding Partners, they are clearly happy with this new London hub.
‘One of our specialist areas is the Food & Drink sector,’ says Rob,'and we have all got a passion for Food so even from a trend perspective it's a great location. We have Texture, one of London’s leading vegetarian restaurants on the doorstep and two interesting Basque tapas places. But more seriously, we are ten minutes’ walk from Paddington Station which works perfectly for us - international clients are now coming in directly from Heathrow and using our space here. Convenience is critical, of course, but they have been very complimentary about the space - its 'Britishness' combined with a very contemporary twist.’
Ian nods in agreement. ‘We do a lot in the Private Equity space and it’s just five stops to St Paul’s from here, where a number of our clients' City offices are. Our previous London office was all chrome and steel but this feels more in tune with us and our brand,’ he says. ‘It's exactly the space we need right now as we continue to expand.’
Ian sits back as he warms to his theme. He starts talking about Jonathan Bean, the company’s Health & Wellness sector specialist who is also an expert in Procurement & Supply Chain. ‘Jonathan has added further strength to our international network and proposition. We recently travelled out to the Netherlands for a meeting with a global, P/E backed company who were looking for a new partner to deliver a really complex piece of recruitment. Jonathan was asked to fix what was a failing search with a competitor. The result was five, senior management placements on the back of us sourcing candidates from South America, Asia and Europe.’
Both smile as Ian reminisces. ‘I think it was the most manic meeting day we've ever had. I had a client meeting in Amsterdam in the morning, a client meeting down the M4 corridor in the afternoon, and a networking event back in London in the evening. It was one of those days when people talk about jet setting and business – it certainly was that day...’
Once our interview is over, I walk back up the road on a bright May evening and pass Lennon’s plaque again. His song, “In My Life,” comes into mind. The one where he sings of places and people he remembers. My meeting with Rob and Ian had a very upbeat and positive tone. Whatever life brings them, George Street, I think, is a place these ambitious Partners will always look back on with great fondness.