Justin Adams, managing director of Connect Books (now Bertrams Group, following its purchase by investment company Aurelius in February), is to leave the company.
In a statement, Aurelius said it had moved to strengthen the current management team with the addition of three new hires: Nicholas Goodwin, as chief financial officer; Stephen Moon as Aurelius Operating Partner; and Caroline Cotterell as HR director.
"As of today, they are embedded in the business, working with and supporting the experienced Managing Directors of the individual Bertram businesses,” the statement said. "Aurelius will continue to work with the management team to implement its planned strategy to drive efficiencies and accelerate growth across its full brand range, strengthening its operations, and focusing on expanding the business’s international footprint, service offering, marketing capabilities and e-commerce platform.”
Goodwin is a chartered accountant and has been a c.f.o. for over 15 years, operating at main board level both in the UK and internationally, and is said to specialise in successfully leading and delivering transformational change, alongside the day-to-day management of a complex organisation within multi-site businesses, including distribution businesses. Moon is an “experienced chief transformation officer, specialising in transformation and performance improvements.” Cotterell’s expertise is said to be in managing complex projects for major employers including Greene King and Care UK, involving large change programmes, restructuring, talent management and communications.
Adams told The Bookseller: “After an fulfilling few years during which we have made some great progress, I have decided that with the sale of the business complete, it is the natural time for me to embark on a new challenge. Since I did not feel that I could personally commit to a further three to five years running the business, I felt it appropriate to indicate my intentions to Aurelius. The business has a strong executive team, and some fantastic people. Now the handover process is complete, I will step back from the day to day running of the business with immediate effect. I have agreed to complete my work on a number of projects and possibly other Aurelius businesses in an advisory capacity. This has been a really difficult decision for me. It is an exciting and interesting business operating in a fascinating sector that makes a truly rewarding contribution to world we live in. I will watch it’s development with great interest and affection.”
He said the decision to leave had been "really difficult for me," commenting: "I am a passionate supporter of the Bertram Group business, and am very pleased with the progress we have made over the last few years and reputation we have built with our customers and publisher partners. I believe in the vision, strategy and direction of the business and its great potential. Whilst I also believe that Aurelius will be a good owner for the business, and indeed am impressed by the resource investment that they have already made to support and accelerate progress, I did not feel that I could personally commit to a further three to five years with it, and felt that it was appropriate to make Aurelius aware of this.
"The business has a strong executive team, now joined by the arrival of Nicholas Goodwin as CFO and Stephen Moon as Aurelius Operating Partner and Shareholder Representative. We have completed a full handover process and have agreed that it therefore makes sense for me to step back from the day to day running of the business with immediate effect. I have agreed to complete my work on a number of Bertrams Group projects and potentially to help Aurelius in an advisory capacity."